Today in history: April 27

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, April 27, the 117th day of 2005. There are 248 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Two hundred years ago, on April 27, 1805, during the First Barbary War, an American-led force of Marines and mercenaries captured the city of Derna, on the shores of Tripoli.

On this date:
In 1509, Pope Julius II excommunicated the Italian state of Venice. (The pope lifted the excommunication in February 1510.)

In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.

In 1822, the 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.

In 1865, the steamer “Sultana” exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., killing more than 1,400 Union prisoners of war.

In 1937, the nation’s first Social Security checks were distributed.

In 1965, broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow died in Pawling, N.Y., at age 57.

In 1967, Expo ’67 was officially opened in Montreal by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

In 1973, during the Watergate scandal, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned.

In 1978, convicted Watergate defendant John D. Ehrlichman was released from an Arizona prison after serving 18 months.

In 1994, former President Richard M. Nixon was remembered at an outdoor funeral service attended by all five of his successors at the Nixon presidential library in Yorba Linda, Calif.

Ten years ago: Former Orange County, Calif., Treasurer Robert Citron pleaded guilty to six counts of defrauding investors in the Orange County investment pool.

Five years ago: New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani disclosed that he had prostate cancer (he later bowed out of the U.S. Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton).

One year ago: Iraqi police moved into the streets of the besieged city of Fallujah following hours of pounding by U.S. warplanes and artillery on Sunni insurgents. Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, of Pennsylvania, beat back a tough primary threat, barely defeating conservative congressman Pat Toomey.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jack Klugman is 83. Civil rights activist Coretta Scott King is 78. Actress Anouk Aimee is 73. Announcer Casey Kasem is 73. Broadcast journalist Phil Jones is 68. Actress Judy Carne is 66. Opera singer Judith Blegen is 64. R&B singer Cuba Gooding is 61. Singer Ann Peebles is 58. Rock singer Kate Pierson (The B-52’s) is 57. R&B singer Herbie Murrell (The Stylistics) is 56. Actor Douglas Sheehan is 56. Rock musician Ace Frehley is 54. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 46. Actor James Le Gros is 43. Rock musician Rob Squires (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 40. Singer Mica Paris is 36. Rock singer-musician Travis Meeks (Days of the New) is 26.

Thought for Today: “Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices — just recognize them.” — Edward R. Murrow, American broadcast journalist (1908-1965).