IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in History — July 27

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 27, the 208th day of 2007. There are 157 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 27, 1789, President Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.

On this date:
In 1794, French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre was overthrown and placed under arrest; he was executed the following day.

In 1857, 150 years ago, Puerto Rican statesman and humanitarian Jose Celso Barbosa was born in Bayamsn.

In 1861, Union Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac.

In 1866, Cyrus W. Field finally succeeded, after two failures, in laying the first underwater telegraph cable between North America and Europe.

In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.

In 1960, Vice President Richard Nixon was nominated for president at the Republican national convention in Chicago.

In 1967, in the wake of urban rioting, President Lyndon Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of the violence, the same day black militant H. Rap Brown said in Washington that violence was “as American as cherry pie.”

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to recommend President Nixon’s impeachment on a charge that he had personally engaged in a “course of conduct” designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case.

In 1980, on day 267 of the Iranian hostage crisis, the deposed Shah of Iran died at a military hospital outside Cairo, Egypt, at age 60.

In 1996, terror struck the Atlanta Olympics as a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, killing one person and injuring 111. (Anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing.)

Ten years ago: United Auto Workers approved a deal to end a six-day strike at a General Motors parts plant that forced four assembly plant shutdowns and threatened GM’s entire North American production.

Five years ago: A Ukrainian fighter jet crashed during an air show in Lviv, killing 77 people. John Ruiz retained the WBA heavyweight title in Las Vegas after his opponent, Kirk Johnson, was disqualified for hitting low blows.

One year ago: Floyd Landis’ stunning Tour de France victory just four days earlier was thrown into question when he tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race (Landis has denied cheating).

Today’s Birthdays: TV producer Norman Lear is 85. Rhythm-and-blues singer Harvey Fuqua is 78. Actor Jerry Van Dyke is 76. Sportscaster Irv Cross is 68. Actor John Pleshette is 65. Singer Bobbie Gentry is 63. Actress-director Betty Thomas is 59. Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 59. Actor Maury Chaykin is 58. Singer Maureen McGovern is 58. Actress Janet Eilber is 56. Actress Roxanne Hart is 55. Country musician Duncan Cameron (Sawyer Brown) is 51. Comedian Bill Engvall is 50. Jazz singer Karrin Allyson is 45. Country singer Stacy Dean Campbell is 40. Rock singer Juliana Hatfield is 40. Actor Julian McMahon is 39. Comedian Maya Rudolph is 35. Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is 33. Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers is 30. Singer Cheyenne Kimball is 17.

Thought for Today: “A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” — Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian dramatist and poet (1828-1906).