Today in History

  • Sun Aug 26th, 2012 1:28pm
  • Life

Today is Monday, Aug. 27, the 240th day of 2012. There are 126 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Aug. 27, 1962, the United States launched the Mariner 2 space probe, which flew past Venus in December 1962.

On this date:

In 1770, German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (HAY’-guhl) was born in Stuttgart.

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 1859, Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the United States, at Titusville, Pa.

In 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa blew up; 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 1942, the Times of London published an editorial calling on the British government to promote the production of penicillin, the first mention of the antibiotic by a newspaper.

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

In 1967, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, was found dead in his London flat from an overdose of sleeping pills; he was 32.

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, Fla. — a Delta booster carrying a British communications satellite, the Marcopolo 1.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush met at his Texas ranch with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan; a White House spokesman said Bush told the Saudi diplomat he had not yet decided whether to attack Iraq. A Tokyo court acknowledged for the first time Japan’s use of biological weapons before and during World War II, but rejected demands for compensation by 180 Chinese who claimed they were victims of the germ warfare program.

Five years ago: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation after a controversy over the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick apologized for “using bad judgment and making bad decisions” and vowed to redeem himself after pleading guilty in Richmond, Va., to a federal dogfighting charge.

One year ago: Hurricane Irene, after striking Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, pushed up the U.S East Coast, prompting evacuations in New York City and leaving major flood damage in Vermont. Hundreds of soldiers and federal agents raided a casino in Monterrey in northern Mexico, two days after an arson attack on a gambling house killed 52 people.

Associated Press