Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, August 27, the 239th day of 2015. There are 126 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 27, 1975, Haile Selassie (HY’-lee sehl-AH’-see), the last emperor of Ethiopia’s 3,000-year-old monarchy, died in Addis Ababa at age 83 almost a year after being overthrown.

On this date:

In 1776, the Battle of Long Island began during the Revolutionary War as British troops attacked American forces, who ended up being forced to retreat two days later.

In 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa erupted with a series of cataclysmic explosions; the resulting tidal waves in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra.

In 1908, Lyndon Baines 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 1939, the first turbojet-powered aircraft, the Heinkel He 178, went on its first full-fledged test flight over Germany.

In 1949, a violent white mob prevented an outdoor concert headlined by Paul Robeson from taking place near Peekskill, New York. (The concert was held eight days later.)

In 1957, the USS Swordfish, the second Skate Class nuclear submarine, was launched from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.

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

In 1965, influential Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier, 77, died in Cap Martin, France.

In 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten and three other people, including his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas, were killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

In 1989, the first U.S. commercial satellite rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida — a Delta booster carrying a British communications satellite, the Marcopolo 1.

In 2008, Barack Obama was nominated for president by the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Ten years ago: Coastal residents jammed freeways and gas stations as they rushed to get out of the way of Hurricane Katrina, which was headed toward New Orleans. President George W. Bush asked Americans in his weekly radio address to be patient with the U.S. military mission in Iraq as thousands of pro-Bush and anti-war demonstrators competed for attention in his tiny hometown of Crawford, Texas.

Five years ago: Aijalon Gomes (EYE’-jah-lahn gohms), an American held seven months in North Korea for trespassing, stepped off a plane in his hometown of Boston accompanied by former President Jimmy Carter, who had flown to Pyongyang to negotiate his freedom. Cuba issued a pair of surprising free market decrees, allowing foreign investors to lease government land for at least 99 years and loosening state controls on commerce to let citizens grow and sell their own fruits and vegetables.

One year ago: Both Israel’s prime minister and Hamas declared victory in the Gaza war, though their competing claims left questions over future terms of their uneasy peace still lingering. The University of Southern California suspended cornerback Josh Shaw for 10 games after he confessed to lying to school officials about how he’d sprained his ankles, retracting his story about jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew. (Shaw reportedly jumped from the balcony of an apartment following an argument with his girlfriend; he was reinstated after authorities determined no criminal charges would be filed against him.)

Today’s Birthdays: Author Lady Antonia Fraser is 83. Actor Tommy Sands is 78. Bluegrass singer-musician J.D. Crowe is 78. Musician Daryl Dragon is 73. Actress Tuesday Weld is 72. Actor G.W. Bailey is 71. Rock singer-musician Tim Bogert is 71. Actress Marianne Sagebrecht is 70. Country musician Jeff Cook is 66. Actor Paul Reubens is 63. Rock musician Alex Lifeson (Rush) is 62. Actor Peter Stormare is 62. Actress Diana Scarwid is 60. Rock musician Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols) is 59. Golfer Bernhard Langer is 58. Country singer Jeffrey Steele is 54. Gospel singer Yolanda Adams is 54. Country musician Matthew Basford (Yankee Grey) is 53. Writer-producer Dean Devlin is 53. Rock musician Mike Johnson is 50. Rap musician Bobo (Cypress Hill) is 47. Country singer Colt Ford is 46. Actress Chandra Wilson is 46. Rock musician Tony Kanal (No Doubt) is 45. Actress Sarah Chalke is 39. Actor RonReaco (correct) Lee is 39. Rapper Mase is 38. Actress-singer Demetria McKinney is 37. Actor Aaron Paul is 36. Rock musician Jon Siebels (Eve 6) is 36. Actor Shaun Weiss is 36. Contemporary Christian musician Megan Garrett (Casting Crowns) is 35. Actor Kyle Lowder is 35. Actor Patrick J. Adams is 34. Actress Amanda Fuller (TV: “Last Man Standing”) is 31. Singer Mario is 29. Actress Alexa Vega is 27. Actor Ellar Coltrane (Film: “Boyhood”) is 21. Actress Savannah Paige Rae is 12.

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