Today is Friday, April 27, the 118th day of 2012. There are 248 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 27, 2011, powerful tornadoes raked the South and Midwest. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 120 twisters resulted in 316 deaths across parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia.
On this date:
• In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.
• In 1777, the only land battle in Connecticut during the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Ridgefield, took place, resulting in a limited British victory.
• In 1805, during the First Barbary War, an American-led force of Marines and mercenaries captured the city of Derna, on the shores of Tripoli.
• 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 people, mostly freed Union prisoners of war.
• In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.
• In 1967, Expo ‘67 was officially opened in Montreal by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.
• In 1972, the Apollo 16 mission to the moon ended safely.
• In 1973, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after it was revealed that he’d destroyed files removed from the safe of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.
• In 1982, the trial of John W. Hinckley Jr., who had shot four people, including President Ronald Reagan, began in Washington. (The trial ended with Hinckley’s acquittal by reason of insanity.)
• In 1992, the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed in Belgrade by the republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro. Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of Britain’s House of Commons.
Ten years ago:
• South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth arrived at the international space station for an eight-day, seven-night cruise that had cost him $20 million.
• A biker brawl at Harrah’s Casino in Laughlin, Nev., left three bikers dead and 12 others wounded.
• Mattel toy company co-founder Ruth Handler, creator of the Barbie doll, died in Los Angeles at age 85.
Five years ago:
• President George W. Bush and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe threatened stronger punitive actions against North Korea if it reneged on a promise to padlock its sole nuclear reactor.
• A judge in Madrid indicted three U.S. soldiers in the 2003 death of Jose Couso, a Spanish journalist who was killed when their tank opened fire at a hotel in Baghdad. (The U.S., which found the use of force was justified, has refused to hand over the soldiers.)
• The government reported economic growth slowed to a near crawl of 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2007.
One year ago:
• An Afghan officer, Col. Ahmed Gul, killed eight U.S. airmen and one U.S. civilian during a routine meeting at an Afghan air force headquarters compound in Kabul.
• Responding to critics’ relentless claims, President Barack Obama produced a detailed Hawaii birth certificate in an extraordinary attempt to bury the issue of where he was born and confirm his legitimacy to hold office.
Actor Jack Klugman is 90. Actress Anouk Aimee is 80. Announcer Casey Kasem is 80. Actress Judy Carne is 73. Rock musician Jim Keltner is 70. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cuba Gooding is 68. Singer Ann Peebles is 65. Rock singer Kate Pierson (The B-52’s) is 64. Rhythm-and-blues singer Herbie Murrell (The Stylistics) is 63. Actor Douglas Sheehan is 63. Rock musician Ace Frehley is 61. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 53. Rock musician Rob Squires (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 47. Actor David Lascher is 40. Actress Maura West is 40. Actress Sally Hawkins is 36. Rock musician Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) is 34. Rock singer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) is 34. Rock singer-musician Travis Meeks (Days of the New) is 33. Actress Ari Graynor is 29. Rock singer-musician Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) is 28. Actor William Moseley is 25. Singer Allison Iraheta is 20.