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Friday, February 27, 2004



Today is Friday, Feb. 27th.

The 58th day of 2004.

There are 308 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 27, 1933, Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, caught fire. The Nazis, blaming the Communists, used the fire as a pretext for suspending civil liberties.


On this date:

In 1594, Henry IV is crowned king of France in Chartres.

In 1801, the District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

In 1807, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine.

In 1827, The first open celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans begins.

In 1883, Oscar Hammerstein patented the first cigar-rolling machine.

In 1902, Pulitzer Prize winning (Grapes of Wrath) American author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, Calif.

In 1922, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that guaranteed the right of women to vote.

In 1939, the Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes.

In 1947, In Baltimore, the first closed-circuit broadcast of a surgical operation takes place at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Observers in four classrooms are able to see the procedure simultaneously.

In 1949, Chaim Weizmann became the first Israeli president.

In 1960, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets, 3-2, at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. (The United States went on to win the gold medal.)

In 1972, President Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai issued the Shanghai Communique at the conclusion of Nixon's historic visit to China.

In 1973, Sioux Native Americans seize and hold Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, demanding a United States Senate investigation of Native American problems.

In 1974, The first issue of People magazine, a weekly publication featuring entertainment and social-interest news, hits the newsstands.

In 1979, Jane M. Byrne confounded Chicago's Democratic political machine as she upset Mayor Michael A. Bilandic to win their party's mayoral primary. (Byrne went on to win the election.)

In 1982, Wayne B. Williams was found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period.

In 1990, The Exxon Corporation is indicted on five criminal charges relating to the 1989 Alaskan oil spill.

In 1991, Kuwait was liberated by U.S. troops. The U.S. had began a ground assault to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait on February 24.

In 1997, divorce became legal in Ireland.

In 1998, Britain's House of Lords agreed to give a monarch's first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son. This was the end to 1,000 years of male preference.

In 2002, In Boston, twenty people working at Logan International Airport were charged with lying to get their jobs or security badges.

Ten years ago (1994):

The Winter Olympic Games ended in Lillehammer, Norway.

Five years ago:

The Rev. Henry Lyons, president of the National Baptist Convention USA, was convicted in Largo, Fla., of swindling millions of dollars from companies seeking to do business with his followers. (Lyons, who served nearly five years in prison, was released last December.)

Nigerians elected Olusegun Obasanjo to be president as their country marked the final phase of its return to democracy.

Colin Prescot and Andy Elson set a new hot-air balloon endurance record when they stayed aloft for 233 hours and 55 minutes. The two were in the process of trying to circumnavigate the Earth.

One year ago (2003):

A design by architect Daniel Libeskind is selected to be built on the former site of the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center.

The Bush administration lowered the national terror alert from orange to yellow.

Iraq agreed in principle to destroy its Al Samoud Two missiles, two days before a U.N. deadline.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavsic was sentenced by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, to 11 years in prison.

Children's television host Fred Rogers died in Pittsburgh at age 74.


Today's Birthdays:

Actress Joanne Woodward is 74.

Actress Elizabeth Taylor is 72.

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 70.

Actress Barbara Babcock (Faye Furillo, "Hill Street Blues") is 67.

Actor Howard Hesseman (Dr. Johnny Fever, "WKRP") is 64.

Actress Debra Monk is 55.

Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 50.

Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 44.

Basketball player James Worthy is 43.

Actor Adam Baldwin is 42.

Actor Grant Show is 42.

Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 39.

Actor Donal Logue is 38.

Rhythm and blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 33.

Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 32.

Rhythm and blues singer Roderick Clark is 31.

Chelsea Clinton is 24.

Rhythm and blues singer Bobby Wilson (Mista) is 24.

Singer Josh Groban is 23.


Thought for Today:

"All that is human must be retrograde if it does not advance." -

— Edward Gibbon, English historian (1737-1794).