Today in History

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Today is Wednesday, June 27, the 178th day of 2018. There are 187 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 27, 1846, New York and Boston were linked by telegraph wires.

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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, Illinois.

In 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World was founded in Chicago.

In 1922, the first Newberry Medal, recognizing excellence in children’s literature, was awarded to “The Story of Mankind” by Hendrik Willem van Loon.

In 1944, during World War II, American forces liberated the French port of Cherbourg from the Germans.

In 1957, Hurricane Audrey slammed into coastal Louisiana and Texas as a Category 4 storm; the official death toll from the storm was placed at 390, although a variety of state, federal and local sources have estimated the number of fatalities at between 400 and 600.

In 1966, the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1974, President Richard Nixon opened an official visit to the Soviet Union.

In 1985, the legendary Route 66, which originally stretched from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, passed into history as officials decertified the road.

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 1988, Mike Tyson retained the undisputed heavyweight crown as he knocked out Michael Spinks 91 seconds into the first round of a championship fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

In 1990, NASA announced that a flaw in the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope was preventing the instrument from achieving optimum focus. (The problem was traced to a mirror that had not been ground to exact specifications; corrective optics were later installed to fix the problem.)

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: 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 (moo-GAH’-bay) was the only candidate.

Five years ago: The Senate passed, 68-32, comprehensive legislation offering the hope of citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in America’s shadows; however, the measure became stalled in the GOP-led House. President Barack Obama visited Senegal, where he urged African leaders to extend equal rights to gays and lesbians but was bluntly rebuked by Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, who said his country “still isn’t ready” to decriminalize homosexuality. Kevin Rudd was sworn in as Australian prime minister a day after toppling rival Julia Gillard.

One year ago: A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software began causing mass disruption across the world, hitting Europe — and Ukraine — especially hard.

Today’s Birthdays: Business executive Ross Perot is 88. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is 80. Singer-musician Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys) is 76. Fashion designer Vera Wang is 69. Actress Julia Duffy is 67. Actress Isabelle Adjani is 63. Country singer Lorrie Morgan is 59. Actor Brian Drillinger is 58. Writer-producer-director J.J. Abrams is 52. Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is 50. Olympic gold and bronze medal figure skater Viktor Petrenko is 49. Actor Edward “Grapevine” Fordham Jr. is 48. TV personality Jo Frost is 48. Actor Yancey Arias is 47. Actor Christian Kane is 44. Actor Tobey Maguire is 43. Rock singer Bernhoft is 42. Gospel singer Leigh Nash is 42. Christian rock singer Zach Williams is 40. Musician Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) is 36. Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian (kar-DASH’-ee-uhn) is 34. Actor Drake Bell is 32. Actor Sam Claflin is 32. Actress India de Beaufort is 31. Actor Ed Westwick is 31. Actor Matthew Lewis (Film: “Harry Potter”; TV: “Ripper Street”) is 29. Actress Madylin Sweeten is 27. Pop singer Lauren Jauregui (Fifth Harmony) (TV: “The X Factor”) is 22. Actor Chandler Riggs is 19.