Today In History - Wednesday, July 27th

2007


News helicopters from Phoenix, Arizona television stations KNXV and KTVK collide over Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix while covering a police chase; there were no survivors. This was the first known incidence of two news helicopters colliding in mid-air, and the worst civil aviation incident in Phoenix.
2006


The Federal Republic of Germany is deemed guilty in the loss of Bashkirian 2937 and DHL Flight 611, because it is illegal to outsource flight surveillance.
2005


STS-114: NASA grounds the Space Shuttle, pending an investigation of the continuing problem with the shedding of foam insulation from the external fuel tank. During ascent, the external tank of the Space Shuttle Discovery sheds a piece of foam slightly smaller than the piece that caused the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster; this foam does not strike the spacecraft.
2002


Ukraine airshow disaster: A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others, the largest air show disaster in history.
1999


Tony Hawk lands the first 900 on a skateboard (two-and-a-half complete revolutions) at the fifth annual X Games in San Francisco, California.
1997


Si Zerrouk massacre in Algeria; about 50 people killed.
1996


Centennial Olympic Park bombing: In Atlanta, United States, a pipe bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. One woman (Alice Hawthorne) is killed, and a cameraman suffers a heart attack fleeing the scene. One hundred eleven are injured.
1995


In Washington, DC, the Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated.
1990


The Supreme Soviet of the Belarusian Soviet Republic declares independence of Belarus from the Soviet Union. Until 1996 the day is celebrated as the Independence Day of Belarus; after a referendum held that year the celebration of independence is moved to June 3.
The Jamaat al Muslimeen attempt a coup d'état in Trinidad and Tobago, occupying the Trinidad and the studios of Trinidad and Tobago Television, holding Prime Minister A. N. R. Robinson and most of his Cabinet as well as the staff at the television station hostage for six days.
1987


RMS Titanic Inc. begins the first expedited salvage of wreckage of the RMS Titanic.
1983


Black July: Eighteen Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada high security prison in Colombo are massacred by Sinhalese prisoners, the second such massacre in two days.
1981


British television: On Coronation Street, Ken Barlow marries Deirdre Langton, which proves to be a national event scoring massive viewer numbers for the show.
Adam Walsh, 6-year-old son of John Walsh, is kidnapped in Hollywood, Florida and is found murdered two weeks later.
1976


Former Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka is arrested on suspicion of violating foreign exchange and foreign trade laws in connection with the Lockheed bribery scandals.
1974


The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s as a result of the June 17, 1972, break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement. When the conspiracy was discovered and investigated by the U.S. Congress, the Nixon administration's resistance to its probes led to a constitutional crisis. The term Watergate has come to encompass an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration. Those activities included such "dirty tricks" as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. Nixon and his close aides ordered harassment of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by the Nixon administration, articles of impeachment, and the resignation of Richard Nixon, the President of the United States, on August 9, 1974—the only resignation of a U.S. President to date. The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty and incarcerated, many of whom were Nixon's top administration officials.

The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972. The FBI connected cash found on the burglars to a slush fund used by the Committee for the Reelection of the President (CRP), the official organization of Nixon's campaign. In July 1973, as evidence mounted against the President's staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was revealed that President Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations. After a protracted series of bitter court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the president had to hand over the tapes to government investigators; he eventually complied. Recordings from these tapes implicated the president, revealing he had attempted to cover up the questionable goings-on that had taken place after the break-in. Facing near-certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974. On September 8, 1974, his successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned him.

The name "Watergate" and the suffix "-gate" have since become synonymous with political scandals in the United States and in other English- and non-English-speaking nations as well.
1972


The F-15 Eagle flies for the first time.
1964


Vietnam War: 5,000 more American military advisers are sent to South Vietnam bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.
1955


The Allied occupation of Austria stemming from World War II, ends.
1953


Fighting in the Korean War ends when the United States, China, and North Korea sign an armistice agreement. Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea, refuses to sign but pledges to observe the armistice.
1949


Initial flight of the de Havilland Comet, the first jet-powered airliner.
1942


World War II: Allied forces successfully halt the final Axis advance into Egypt.
1941


Japanese troops occupy French Indochina.
1940


The animated short A Wild Hare is released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.
1929


The Geneva Convention of 1929, dealing with treatment of prisoners-of-war, is signed by 53 nations.
1928


Tich Freeman becomes the only bowler ever to take 200 first-class wickets before the end of July.
1921


Researchers at the University of Toronto led by biochemist Frederick Banting prove that the hormone insulin regulates blood sugar.
1919


The Chicago Race Riot erupts after a racial incident occurred on a South Side beach, leading to 38 fatalities and 537 injuries over a five-day period.
1917


The Allies reach the Yser Canal at the Battle of Passchendaele.
1914


Felix Manalo registers the Iglesia ni Cristo with the Filipino government.
1900


Kaiser Wilhelm II makes a speech comparing Germans to Huns; for years afterwards, "Hun" would be a disparaging name for Germans.
1890


Vincent van Gogh shoots himself and dies two days later.
1880


Second Anglo-Afghan War: Battle of Maiwand - Afghan forces led by Mohammad Ayub Khan defeat the British Army in battle near Maiwand, Afghanistan.
1866


The Atlantic Cable is successfully completed, allowing transatlantic telegraph communication for the first time.
The first permanent transatlantic telegraph cable is successfully completed, stretching from Valentia Island, Ireland, to Heart's Content, Newfoundland.
1865


Welsh settlers arrive at Chubut in Argentina.
1862


Sailing from San Francisco, California to Panama City, Panama, the SS Golden Gate catches fire and sinks off Manzanillo, Mexico, killing 231.
1794


French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre is arrested after encouraging the execution of more than 17,000 "enemies of the Revolution".
1789


The first U.S. federal government agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs, is established (it will be later renamed Department of State).
1778


American Revolution: First Battle of Ushant - British and French fleets fight to a standoff.
1720


The Battle of Grengam marks the second important victory of the Russian Navy.
1694


A Royal Charter is granted to the Bank of England.
1689


Glorious Revolution: The Battle of Killiecrankie ends.
1663


The English Parliament passes the second Navigation Act requiring that all goods bound for the American colonies have to be sent in English ships from English ports.
1549


Jesuit priest Francis Xavier's ship reached Japan.
1302


Battle of Bapheus: Decisive Ottoman victory over the Byzantines opening up Bithynia for Turkish conquest.
1299


According to Edward Gibbon, Osman I invades the territory of Nicomedia for the first time, usually considered to be the founding day of the Ottoman state.
1214


Battle of Bouvines: In France, Philip II of France defeats John of England.
1202


Georgian-Seljuk wars: At the Battle of Basian the Kingdom of Georgia defeats the Sultanate of Rum.
1189


Friedrich Barbarossa arrives at Niš, the capital of Serbian King Stefan Nemanja, during the Third Crusade.
1054


Siward, Earl of Northumbria invades Scotland and defeats Macbeth, King of Scotland somewhere north of the Firth of Forth.