This Day in History: Feb. 27

On this day, Feb. 27 …

1968: At the conclusion of a CBS News special report on the Vietnam War, Walter Cronkite delivers a commentary in which he says the conflict appears “mired in stalemate.”

Also on this day:

  • 1801: The District of Columbia is placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.
  • 1911: Inventor Charles F. Kettering demonstrates his electric automobile starter in Detroit by starting a Cadillac’s motor with just the press of a switch, instead of hand-cranking.
  • 1922: The Supreme Court, in Leser v. Garnett, unanimously upholds the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the right of women to vote.
  • 1933: Germany’s parliament building, the Reichstag, is gutted by fire; Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, uses the fire to justify suspending civil liberties.
  • 1943: The U.S. government, responding to a copper shortage, begins circulating one-cent coins made of steel plated with zinc. (The steel pennies would prove to be unpopular, since they were easily mistaken for dimes.)
  • 1951: The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, is ratified.
  • 1960: The U.S. Olympic hockey team defeats the Soviets, 3-2, at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. (The U.S. team would go on to win the gold medal.)
  • 1968: Former teen singing idol Frankie Lymon, known for such songs as “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” and “Goody Goody,” is found dead of a drug overdose in New York City at age 25.
  • 1973: Members of the American Indian Movement occupy the small settlement of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children.
  • 1982: Wayne Williams is found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young African-Americans whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period. (Williams, who was also blamed for 22 other deaths, has maintained his innocence.)
  • 1991: Operation Desert Storm comes to a conclusion as President George H.W. Bush declares that “Kuwait is liberated, Iraq’s army is defeated.” He announces that allied forces would suspend combat operations at midnight, Eastern time.
  • 1998: With the approval of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s House of Lords agrees to end 1,000 years of male preference by giving a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son.
  • 1999: The Rev. Henry Lyons, president of the National Baptist Convention USA, is convicted in Largo, Fla., of swindling millions of dollars from companies seeking to do business with his followers.
  • 2009: President Barack Obama tells Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. that he would end combat operations in Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, and open a new era of diplomacy in the Middle East. 
  • 2009: The Rocky Mountain News ceases publishing after nearly 150 years in business.
  • 2014: President Obama kicks off his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative from the White House East Room, calling for vigorous efforts to reverse underachievement among young black and Hispanic males. 
  • 2018: President Trump names former digital adviser Brad Parscale as campaign manager for his 2020 reelection bid. 
  • 2018: The Anti-Defamation League reports a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States during 2017.