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Mar 27, 12:01 AM EDT

Today in History

Today in History

Today is Monday, March 27, the 86th day of 2017. There are 279 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 27, 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 (ten-uh-REEF').

On this date:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon (hwahn pahns duh LEE'-ohn) sighted present-day Florida.

In 1836, the first Mormon temple was dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio, by Joseph Smith Jr.

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

In 1912, first lady Helen Herron Taft and the wife of Japan's ambassador to the United States, Viscountess Chinda, planted the first two of 3,000 cherry trees given to the U.S. as a gift by the mayor of Tokyo.

In 1933, Japan officially withdrew from the League of Nations.

In 1942, during World War II, Congress granted American servicemen free first-class mailing privileges.

In 1952, the MGM movie musical "Singin' in the Rain," starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, had its world premiere at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

In 1957, "Around the World in 80 Days" won the Academy Award for best picture of 1956; Yul Brynner won best actor for "The King and I," Ingrid Bergman was awarded best actress for "Anastasia" and George Stevens was recognized as best director for "Giant."

In 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.

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

In 1996, an Israeli court convicted Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's (YIT'-sahk rah-BEENZ') confessed assassin of murder, then sentenced former law student Yigal Amir (YEE'-gahl ah-MEER') to life in prison.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed landmark bipartisan legislation designed to limit the role of big money in political campaigns.

Ten years ago: Truck bombs hit markets in Tal Afar (tahl AH'-fur), Iraq, killing at least 152 people and wounding more than 150. NFL owners voted 30-2 (with Cincinnati and Arizona dissenting) to make the video replay system a permanent officiating tool.

Five years ago: A JetBlue Airways captain ran through the cabin of a New York-to-Las Vegas flight yelling about religion and terrorists before he was tackled and restrained by passengers. (Clayton Osbon was charged with interference with a flight crew; he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.) Award-winning poet Adrienne Rich, 82, died in Santa Cruz, California. Art critic Hilton Kramer, 84, died in Harpswell, Maine.

One year ago: A bombing in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore killed 65 people in a park crowded with Christians, including many children; a breakaway faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility. The Syrian government recaptured the historic city of Palmyra (pahl-MEER'-uh) from Islamic State fighters who had waged a 10-month reign of terror there. Global Catholic Network founder Mother Angelica, 92, died in Hanceville, Alabama.

Today's Birthdays: Dance company director Arthur Mitchell is 83. Actor Julian Glover is 82. Actor Jerry Lacy is 81. Hall of Fame racer Cale Yarborough is 78. Actor-director Austin Pendleton is 77. Actor Michael York is 75. Rock musician Tony Banks (Genesis) is 67. Rock musician Andrew Farriss (INXS) is 58. Jazz musician Dave Koz (kahz) is 54. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 54. Rock musician Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) is 53. Rock musician Johnny April (Staind) is 52. Actress Talisa Soto is 50. Actor Ben Koldyke is 49. Actress Pauley Perrette is 48. Singer Mariah Carey is 47. Rock musician Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) is 47. Actress Elizabeth Mitchell is 47. Actor Nathan Fillion is 46. Hip-hop singer Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) is 42. Actress Megan Hilty is 36. Actress Emily Ann Lloyd is 33. Actress Brenda Song is 29. Pop singer/songwriter Kimbra is 27. Actress Taylor Atelian is 22. Classical crossover singer Amira Willighagen (TV: "Holland's Got Talent") is 13.

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

(Above Advance for Use Monday, March 27)

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