Today is Friday, March 27, the 87th day of 2020. There are 279 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 27, 2006, Al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified at his federal trial that he was supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House.
On this date:
In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted present-day Florida.
In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.
In 1964, Alaska was hit by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake (the strongest on record in North America) and tsunamis that together claimed about 130 lives.
In 1968, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man to orbit the Earth in 1961, died when his MiG-15 jet crashed during a routine training flight near Moscow; he was 34.
In 1973, “The Godfather” won the Academy Award for best picture of 1972, but its star, Marlon Brando, refused to accept his Oscar for best actor. Liza Minnelli won best actress for “Cabaret.”
In 1975, construction began on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which was completed two years later.
In 1977, in aviation’s worst disaster, 583 people were killed when a KLM Boeing 747, attempting to take off in heavy fog, crashed into a Pan Am 747 on an airport runway on the Canary Island of Tenerife.
In 2005, Pope John Paul II delivered an Easter Sunday blessing to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, but the ailing pontiff was unable to speak and managed only to greet the saddened crowd with a sign of the cross. In a live Internet interview with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Michael Jackson declared himself “completely innocent” of child molestation charges, and said he was the victim of a conspiracy.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Julian Glover is 85. Actor Jerry Lacy is 84. Hall of Fame racer Cale Yarborough is 81. Actor-director Austin Pendleton is 80. Actor Michael York is 78. Rock musician Tony Banks (Genesis) is 70. Rock musician Andrew Farriss (INXS) is 61. Jazz musician Dave Koz is 57. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 57. Rock musician Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) is 56. Rock musician Johnny April (Staind) is 55. Actress Talisa Soto is 53. Actor Ben Koldyke is 52. Actress Pauley Perrette is 51. Singer Mariah Carey is 50. Rock musician Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) is 50. Actress Elizabeth Mitchell is 50. Actor Nathan Fillion is 49. Hip-hop singer Fergie is 45. Jazz musician Tia Fuller is 44.
Thought for Today: “Fear grows in darkness; if you think there’s a bogeyman around, turn on the light.” — Dorothy Thompson, American journalist (1894-1961).