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Today in History — August 27

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

BC-History-Aug 27,0725

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Monday, Aug. 27, the 239th day of 2007. There are 126 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 27, 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa blew up; the resulting tidal waves in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra.

On this date:

In 1770, German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in Stuttgart.

In 1859, Col. Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the United States, near Titusville, Pa.

In 1892, fire seriously damaged New York’s original Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1894, Congress passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, which contained a provision for a graduated income tax that was later struck down by the Supreme Court.

In 1908, Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, was born near Stonewall, Texas.

In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in Paris, outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

In 1962, the United States launched the Mariner 2 space probe, which flew past Venus in December 1962.

In 1967, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, was found dead in his London flat from an overdose of sleeping pills; he was 32.

In 1975, Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia’s 3,000-year-old monarchy, died in Addis Ababa at age 83 almost a year after being overthrown.

In 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

Ten years ago: Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy was charged with seeking and accepting more than $35,000 in trips, sports tickets and favors from companies that did business with his agency. (A jury found Espy innocent in 1998 of taking illegal gifts, but eight others pleaded guilty or were convicted of various charges; President Bill Clinton later issued seven pardons and a commutation.) Israel lifted a month-long blockade of Bethlehem that was imposed after a suicide bombing July 30 that killed 16 people.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush met at his Texas ranch with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan; a White House spokesman said Bush told the Saudi diplomat he had not yet decided whether to attack Iraq. A Tokyo court acknowledged for the first time Japan’s use of biological weapons before and during World War II, but rejected demands for compensation by 180 Chinese who claimed they were victims of the germ warfare program.

One year ago: A Comair CRJ-100 crashed after trying to take off from the wrong runway in Lexington, Ky., killing 49 people and leaving the co-pilot the sole survivor. Two Fox News journalists, Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig, were freed by militants nearly two weeks after being kidnapped in Gaza City. The action series “24” won Emmys for best drama series and best actor for Kiefer Sutherland; “The Office” was honored as best comedy.

Today’s Birthdays: Cajun-country singer Jimmy C. Newman is 80. Actor Tommy Sands is 70. Bluegrass singer-musician J.D. Crowe is

70. Musician Daryl Dragon is 65. Actress Tuesday Weld is 64. Rock singer-musician Tim Bogert is 63. Actress Marianne Sagebrecht is

62. Actress Barbara Bach is 60. Ex-porn star Harry Reems is 60. Country musician Jeff Cook (Alabama) is 58. Actor Paul Reubens is

55. Singer Willy DeVille is 54. Rock musician Alex Lifeson (Rush) is 54. Actress Diana Scarwid is 52. Rock musician Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols) is 51. Actor Peter Stormare is 49. Country singer Jeffrey Steele is 46. Gospel singer Yolanda Adams is 45. Country musician Matthew Basford (Yankee Grey) is 45. Writer-producer Dean Devlin is 45. Rock musician Mike Johnson is 42. Rap musician Bobo (Cypress Hill) is 39. Actress Chandra Wilson is 38. Rock musician Tony Kanal (No Doubt) is 37. Actress Sarah Chalke is 31. Rapper Mase is 30. Rock musician Jon Siebels (Eve 6) is 28. Contemporary Christian musician Megan Garrett (Casting Crowns) is 27. Singer Mario is 21. Actress Alexa Vega (“Spy Kids”) is 19.

Thought for Today: “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” — Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher (1770-1831).