TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Saturday, March 27, the 86th day of 2021. There are 279 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 27, 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.

On this date:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted present-day Florida.

In 1884, the first telephone line between Boston and New York was inaugurated.

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 1980, 123 workers died when a North Sea floating oil field platform, the Alexander Kielland, capsized during a storm.

In 1995, “Forrest Gump” won six Academy Awards, including best picture and a second consecutive best actor Oscar for Tom Hanks.

In 2015, Italy’s highest court overturned the murder conviction of Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of Knox’s roommate, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that had captivated trial-watchers on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 2019, a Wisconsin man, Jake Patterson, pleaded guilty to kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents; the plea spared the girl from the possible trauma of having to testify at his trial. (Patterson was sentenced to life in prison.) Facebook said it was extending its ban on hate speech to prohibit the promotion and support of white nationalism and white separatism.

Today’s Birthdays: Hall of Fame racer Cale Yarborough is 82. Actor Michael York is 79. Rock musician Tony Banks (Genesis) is 71. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 58. Singer Mariah Carey is 51. Rock musician Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) is 51. Hip-hop singer Fergie is 46. MLB catcher Buster Posey is 34.