On Nov. 27, 1942, during World War II, the Vichy French navy at Toulon scuttled its ships and submarines to keep them out of the hands of German troops.
On this date:
In 1839, the American Statistical Association was founded in Boston.
In 1901, the U.S. Army War College was established in Washington, D.C.
In 1910, New York's Pennsylvania Station officially opened.
In 1911, the stage comedy "The Playboy of the Western World" by J.M. Synge received a hostile reception in New York because of its portrayal of Irish characters. Theatrical producer David Merrick was born in St. Louis.
In 1937, the musical revue "Pins and Needles," produced by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, opened in New York.
In 1939, the play "Key Largo," by Maxwell Anderson, opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York.
In 1962, the first Boeing 727 was rolled out at the company's Renton Plant.
In 1970, Pope Paul VI, visiting the Philippines, was slightly wounded at the Manila airport by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest.
In 1973, the Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald R. Ford as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who'd resigned.
In 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH'-nee) and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights activist, were shot to death inside City Hall by former supervisor Dan White.
In 1983, 181 people were killed when a Colombian Avianca Airlines Boeing 747 crashed near Madrid's Barajas airport.
In 1989, a bomb blamed on drug traffickers destroyed a Colombian Avianca Boeing 727, killing all 107 people on board and three people on the ground.
Ten years ago: U.N. specialists began a new round of weapons inspections in Iraq. President George W. Bush appointed former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to lead an investigation into why the government had failed to foil the September 11 attacks. (The following month, Kissinger stepped down, citing controversy over potential conflicts of interest with his business clients.) President Bush gave the go-ahead to open U.S. highways to Mexican trucks.
Five years ago: Israeli and Palestinian leaders at a Mideast conference in Annapolis, Md., agreed to formally restart peace talks. A Somali immigrant (Nuradin Abdi) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to blow up an Ohio shopping mall. Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor died after being shot in his Florida home by an intruder. Bill Willis, a Hall of Fame guard with the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State's first black football All-American, died in Columbus, Ohio, at age 86. Dr. J. Robert Cade, inventor of Gatorade, died at age 80.
One year ago: In an unprecedented move, the Arab League approved economic sanctions against Syria, to pressure Damascus to end its deadly suppression of an 8-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad. British movie director Ken Russell, 84, died in Lymington, England.
Today's Birthdays: Author Gail Sheehy is 75. Actor James Avery is 64. Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (Film: "The Hurt Locker") is 61. TV host Bill Nye ("Bill Nye, the Science Guy") is 57. Actor William Fichtner (FIHK'-nuhr) is 56. Caroline Kennedy is 55. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri (Film: "Thelma and Louise") is 55. Rock musician Charlie Burchill (Simple Minds) is 53. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is 52. Rock musician Charlie Benante (Anthrax) is 50. Rock musician Mike Bordin (Faith No More) is 50. Actor Fisher Stevens is 49. Actress Robin Givens is 48. Actor Michael Vartan is 44. Rapper Skoob (DAS EFX) is 42. Actor Kirk Acevedo is 41. Rapper Twista is 40. Actor Jaleel White is 36. Actor Arjay Smith (TV: "Perception") is 29. Actress Alison Pill is 27.
Thought for Today: "In youth we feel richer for every new illusion; in maturer years, for every one we lose." -- Anne Sophie Swetchine, Russian-French author (1782-1857).
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