Today in history: January 27

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, January 27th, the 27th day of 2005. There are 338 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:
On January 27th, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.

On this date:
In 1756, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.

In 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.

In 1901, opera composer Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan, Italy, at age 87.

In 1943, some 50 bombers struck Wilhelmshaven in the first all-American air raid against Germany during World War Two.

In 1944, the Soviet Union announced the end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for more than two years.

In 1951, an era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.

In 1967, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their “Apollo One” spacecraft at Cape Kennedy, Florida.

In 1967, more than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons.

In 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.

In 1985, the secret three-day military-satellite mission of the space shuttle “Discovery” ended with a smooth landing in Florida.

Ten years ago: About 5,000 mourners gathered at the site of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its liberation.

Five years ago: President Clinton proposed a $350 billion tax cut, big spending increases for schools and health care and photo ID licenses for handgun purchases in his final State of the Union address.

One year ago: John Kerry won the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary. A jury in New York heard opening arguments in the trial of Martha Stewart, who was accused of lying about a stock sale (she was convicted the following March and sentenced to five months in prison). Former “Tonight Show” host Jack Paar died in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 85.

Today’s birthdays: Musical conductor Skitch Henderson is 87. Singer Bobby “Blue” Bland is 75. Actor James Cromwell is 65. Actor John Witherspoon is 63. Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) is 60. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) is 59. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 57. Country singer Cheryl White is 50. Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) is 50. Actress Mimi Rogers is 49. Rock singer Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 44. Rock musician Gillian Gilbert (New Order) is 44. Actress Bridget Fonda is 41. Actor Alan Cumming is 40. Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 37. Rock singer Mike Patton is 37. Rapper Tricky is 37. Rock musician Michael Kulas (James) is 36. Rock musician Mark Trojanowski (Sister Hazel) is 35. Actor Josh Randall is 33. Country singer Kevin Denney is 29.

Thought for today: “Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.” -- John Erskine, American author and educator (1879-1951).