Today is Friday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2009. There are 307 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 27, 1933, Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, was gutted by fire. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, used the fire as justification for suspending civil liberties.
On this date:
In 1801, the District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.
In 1860, former Illinois Congressman Abraham Lincoln delivered a widely acclaimed speech in which he argued against the expansion of slavery into the western territories, telling listeners at Cooper Union in New York that "right makes might."
In 1861, in Warsaw, Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule over Poland; five marchers were killed.
In 1922, the Supreme Court, in Leser v. Garnett, unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right of women to vote.
In 1939, the Supreme Court, in National Labor Relations Board v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corp., outlawed sit-down strikes.
In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.
In 1960, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets, 3-2, at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)
In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. (The occupation lasted until May.)
In 1979, Jane M. Byrne confounded Chicago's Democratic political machine as she upset Mayor Michael A. Bilandic to win their party's mayoral primary. (Byrne went on to win the election.)
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared that "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated" and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight, Eastern Time.
Ten years ago: The Rev. Henry Lyons, president of the National Baptist Convention USA, was convicted in Largo, Fla., of swindling millions of dollars from companies seeking to do business with his followers. (Lyons, who served nearly five years in prison, was released in 2003.) Nigerians voted to elect Olusegun Obasanjo their new president as the country marked the final phase of its return to democracy.
Five years ago: America's top bishop, Wilton Gregory, declared the days of sheltering sex abusers in the Roman Catholic priesthood were "history" as two reports showed how pervasive assaults on minors had been during the previous half-century. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer asked the state's top court to stop San Francisco from issuing same-sex marriage licenses until the justices could decide whether the weddings were legal. (The justices halted the weddings the following month.)
One year ago: William F. Buckley Jr., the author and conservative commentator, was found dead at his home in Stamford, Conn.; he was 82. Civil rights leader John Lewis dropped his support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton in favor of Barack Obama. A judge in Canton, Ohio, sentenced former police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. to life in prison with a chance of parole after 57 years for killing his pregnant lover, Jessie Davis, and their unborn child.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 79. Actress Elizabeth Taylor is 77. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 75. Actress Barbara Babcock is 72. Actor Howard Hesseman is 69. Actress Debra Monk is 60. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 55. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 52. Actor Timothy Spall is 52. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 49. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 49. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 48. Basketball Hall-of-Famer James Worthy is 48. Actor Adam Baldwin is 47. Actor Grant Show is 47. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 44. Actor Donal Logue is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 38. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 36. Football player Tony Gonzalez is 33. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers) is 31. Chelsea Clinton is 29. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino is 29. Singer Josh Groban is 28. Actress Kate Mara is 26.
Thought for Today: "Reasoning with a child is fine, if you can reach the child's reason without destroying your own." _ John Mason Brown, American essayist (1900-1969).
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