Today In History: May 27, The Golden Gate Bridge Opens

Today in History

Today is Monday, May 27, the 148th day of 2024. There are 218 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 27, 1937, the newly completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California, was opened to pedestrian traffic (vehicles began crossing the next day).

On this date:

In 1861, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal circuit court judge in Baltimore, ruled that President Abraham Lincoln lacked the authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus (Lincoln disregarded the ruling).

In 1896, 255 people were killed when a tornado struck St. Louis, Missouri, and East St. Louis, Illinois.

In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, unanimously struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act, a key component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” legislative program.

In 1936, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary left England on its maiden voyage to New York.

In 1941, the British Royal Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off France with a loss of some 2,000 lives, three days after the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with the loss of more than 1,400 lives.

In 1942, Doris “Dorie” Miller, a cook aboard the USS West Virginia, became the first African-American to receive the Navy Cross for displaying “extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety” during Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1957, the single “That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly’s group The Crickets was released by Brunswick Records.

In 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. O’Brien, upheld the conviction of David O’Brien for destroying his draft card outside a Boston courthouse, ruling that the act was not protected by freedom of speech.

In 1993, five people were killed in a bombing at the Uffizi museum of art in Florence, Italy; some three dozen paintings were ruined or damaged.

In 1994, Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia to the emotional cheers of thousands after spending two decades in exile.

In 1998, Michael Fortier (FOR’-tee-ur), the government’s star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after apologizing for not warning anyone about the deadly plot. (Fortier was freed in January 2006.)

In 2017, music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel The Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died at his home near Savannah, Georgia; he was 69.

In 2018, LeBron James reached his eighth straight NBA Finals as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

In 2020 protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody rocked Minneapolis for a second night, with some people looting stores and setting fires. Protests spread to additional cities; hundreds of people blocked a Los Angeles freeway and shattered windows of California Highway Patrol cruisers.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Lee Meriwether is 89. Actor Bruce Weitz is 81. Former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) is 80. Singer Bruce Cockburn (KOH’-burn) is 79. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is 77. Singer-actor Dee Dee Bridgewater is 74. Actor Richard Schiff is 69. Singer Siouxsie Sioux (The Creatures, Siouxsie and the Banshees) is 67. Rock singer-musician Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House) is 66. Actor Peri Gilpin is 63. Actor Cathy Silvers is 63. Comedian Adam Carolla is 60. Actor Todd Bridges is 59. Rock musician Sean Kinney (Alice In Chains) is 58. Actor Dondré Whitfield is 55. Actor Paul Bettany is 53. Rock singer-musician Brian Desveaux (Nine Days) is 53. Country singer Jace Everett is 52. Actor Jack McBrayer is 51. Rapper Andre 3000 (Outkast) is 49. Rapper Jadakiss is 49. TV chef Jamie Oliver is 49. Alt-country singer-songwriter Shane Nicholson is 48. Actor Ben Feldman is 44. Actor Michael Steger is 44. Actor Darin Brooks is 40. Actor-singer Chris Colfer is 34. Actor Ethan Dampf is 30. Actor Desiree Ross (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 25. U.S. Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Jade Carey is 24.