Today is Friday, March 27, the 86th day of 2009. There are 279 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 27, 1977, 583 people were killed when a KLM Boeing 747, attempting to take off, crashed into a Pan Am 747 on the Canary Island of Tenerife.

On this date:

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

In 1625, Charles I acceded to the English throne upon the death of James I.

In 1794, Congress approved "An Act to provide a Naval Armament" of six armed ships.

In 1836, the first Mormon temple was dedicated, in Kirtland, Ohio.

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

In 1945, during World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower told reporters in Paris that German defenses on the Western Front had been broken.

In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.

In 1964, Alaska was hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunamis that killed about 130 people.

In 1979, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Delaware v. Prouse that police could not stop motorists at random to check licenses and registrations unless there was reason to believe a law had been broken.

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

Ten years ago: NATO expanded its air assault on Yugoslavia in the fourth straight day of attacks. Maria Butyrskaya of Russia won the World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki; defending champion Michelle Kwan of the United States finished second.

Five years ago: Nearly half a million people surrounded Taiwan's presidential office and blocked major streets to protest their country's disputed presidential election. Shizuka Arakawa of Japan was the surprise winner at the women's world figure skating championships in Dortmund, Germany.

One year ago: The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Robert Gates had ordered a full inventory of all nuclear weapons and related materials after the mistaken delivery of ballistic missile fuses to Taiwan. North Korea underscored its anger over South Korea's tough new stance toward the communist country with the test-firing of short-range missiles.

Today's Birthdays: Former newspaper columnist Anthony Lewis is 82. Dance company director Arthur Mitchell is 75. Actor Julian Glover is 74. Actor Jerry Lacy is 73. Actor Austin Pendleton is 69. Actor Michael York is 67. Rock musician Tony Banks (Genesis) is 59. Actress Maria Schneider is 57. Rock musician Andrew Farriss (INXS) is 50. Jazz musician Dave Koz is 46. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 46. Rock musician Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) is 45. Rock musician Johnny April (Staind) is 44. Actress Talisa Soto is 42. Actress Pauley Perrette is 40. Singer Mariah Carey is 39. Rock musician Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) is 39. Actress Elizabeth Mitchell is 39. Actor Nathan Fillion is 38. Hip-hop singer Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) is 34. Actress Emily Ann Lloyd is 25. Actress Brenda Song (TV: "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody") is 21. Actress Taylor Atelian is 14.

Thought for Today: "Often the test of courage is not to die but to live." _ Vittorio Alfieri, Italian dramatist (1749-1803).

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