On June 27, 1963, President John F. Kennedy spent the first full day of a visit to Ireland, the land of his ancestors, stopping by the County Wexford home of his great-grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, who'd emigrated to America in 1848.
On this date:
In 1787, English historian Edward Gibbon completed work on his six-volume work, "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."
In 1844, Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, were killed by a mob in Carthage, Ill.
In 1846, New York and Boston were linked by telegraph wires.
In 1893, the New York stock market crashed.
In 1922, the first Newberry Medal, recognizing excellence in children's literature, was awarded in Detroit to "The Story of Mankind" by Hendrik Willem van Loon.
In 1942, the FBI announced the arrests of eight Nazi saboteurs put ashore in Florida and Long Island, N.Y. (All were tried and sentenced to death; six were executed while two were spared for turning themselves in and cooperating with U.S. authorities.)
In 1944, during World War II, American forces liberated the French port of Cherbourg from the Germans.
In 1950, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling on member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North.
In 1957, more than 500 people were killed when Hurricane Audrey slammed through coastal Louisiana and Texas.
In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws and bar association rules that prohibited lawyers from advertising their fees for routine services.
In 1988, at least 56 people were killed when a commuter train ran into a stationary train at the Gare de Lyon terminal in Paris.
In 1991, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black jurist to sit on the nation's highest court, announced his retirement. (His departure led to the contentious nomination of Clarence Thomas to succeed him.)
Ten years ago: More than 735,000 phone numbers were registered on the first day of a national do-not-call list aimed at blocking unwelcome solicitations from telemarketers.
Five years ago: North Korea destroyed the most visible symbol of its nuclear weapons program, the cooling tower at its main atomic reactor at Yongbyon. (However, North Korea announced in September 2008 that it was restoring its nuclear facilities.) In Zimbabwe, roaming bands of government supporters heckled, harassed or threatened people into voting in a runoff election in which President Robert Mugabe was the only candidate.
One year ago: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness offered each other the hand of peace during a private meeting inside Belfast's riverside Lyric Theatre. A 22-year-old former Texas Tech University student from Saudi Arabia, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, was convicted in Amarillo of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. (He later received life in prison.)
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