By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Saturday, April 27, the 117th day of 2019. There are 248 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 27, 1978, 51 construction workers plunged to their deaths when a scaffold inside a cooling tower at the Pleasants Power Station site in West Virginia fell 168 feet to the ground.
On this date:
In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.
In 1791, the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel Morse, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
In 1865, the steamer Sultana, carrying freed Union prisoners of war, exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee; death toll estimates vary from 1,500 to 2,000.
In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.
In 1950, Britain formally recognized the state of Israel. In 1965, broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow died in Pawling, New York, two days after turning 57.
In 1968, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president, less than a month after President Lyndon B. Johnson said he would not run for re-election.
In 1978, convicted Watergate defendant John D. Ehrlichman was released from an Arizona prison after serving 18 months.
In 1982, the trial of John W. Hinckley Jr., who shot four people, including President Ronald Reagan, began in Washington. (The trial ended with Hinckley’s acquittal by reason of insanity.)
In 1992, the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed in Belgrade by the republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro. Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of Britain’s House of Commons.
In 2006, construction began on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
In 2011, powerful tornadoes raked the South and Midwest; according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 120 twisters resulted in 316 deaths.
Ten years ago: A 23-month-old Mexico City toddler died at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, becoming the first swine-flu death on U.S. soil. A strong earthquake struck central Mexico, rattling nerves among residents already tense from a swine flu outbreak. One of President Barack Obama’s Air Force One jets, a Boeing 747, and an F-16 fighter jet panicked New Yorkers as they circled over lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty for what turned out to be a photo op.