Today in history

  • Monday, January 26, 2015 1:55pm
  • Life

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2015. There are 338 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Jan. 27, 1945, during World War II, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.

On this date:

In 1756, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.

In 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.

In 1901, opera composer Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan, Italy, at age 87.

In 1913, the musical play “The Isle O’ Dreams” opened in New York; it featured the song “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” by Ernest R. Ball, Chauncey Olcott and George Graff Jr.

In 1944, during World War II, the Soviet Union announced the complete end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for more than two years.

In 1951, an era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flat.

In 1965, “Up the Down Staircase,” Bel Kaufman’s novel about a young, idealistic teacher at a New York inner-city school, was published by Prentice-Hall.

In 1967, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo spacecraft. More than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons.

In 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.

In 1977, the Vatican issued a declaration reaffirming the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on female priests.

In 1984, singer Michael Jackson suffered serious burns to his scalp when pyrotechnics set his hair on fire during the filming of a Pepsi-Cola TV commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

In 1998, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, on NBC’s “Today” show, charged the sexual misconduct allegations against her husband were the work of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

Ten years ago: Condoleezza Rice, in her first day on the job as Secretary of State, reached out by phone to European allies and partners in the war on terrorism and echoed President George W. Bush’s inaugural charge to promote liberty across the globe. Frail survivors and humbled world leaders remembered the victims of the Holocaust as they marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

Five years ago: Acknowledging that “change has not come fast enough,” President Barack Obama vowed in his State of the Union address to get jobless millions back to work while fighting for ambitious overhauls of health care, energy and education. Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad tablet computer during a presentation in San Francisco. J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of “The Catcher in the Rye,” died in Cornish, New Hampshire, at age 91. Actress Zelda Rubinstein died in Los Angeles at age 76.

One year ago: Mexico essentially legalized the country’s growing “self-defense” groups, reaching an agreement with vigilante leaders to incorporate the armed civilian outfits into old and largely forgotten quasi-military units called the Rural Defense Corps. Folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, 94, died in New York.

Today’s birthdays: Actor James Cromwell is 75. Actor John Witherspoon is 73. Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) is 69. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 67. Political commentator Ed Schultz is 61. Chief U.S. Justice John Roberts is 60. Country singer Cheryl White is 60. Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) is 60. Actress Mimi Rogers is 59. Rock musician Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) is 58. Actress Susanna Thompson (TV: “Arrow”) is 57. Political and sports commentator Keith Olbermann is 56. Rock singer Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 54. Rock musician Gillian Gilbert is 54. Actress Bridget Fonda is 51. Actor Alan Cumming is 50. Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 47. Rock singer Mike Patton is 47. Rapper Tricky is 47. Rock musician Michael Kulas (James) is 46. Actor-comedian Patton Oswalt is 46. Actor Josh Randall is 43. Country singer Kevin Denney is 39. Tennis player Marat Safin is 35. Rock musician Matt Sanchez (American Authors) is 29. Actor Braeden Lemasters (TV: “Betrayal”; “Men of a Certain Age”) is 19.

Thought for today: “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” — Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist (1667-1745).

Associated Press

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