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27th March: Today In History

Today is Monday, March 27th, the 86th day of 2017. There are 279 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
Events:
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’).

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

1836:   The first Mormon temple was dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio, by Joseph Smith Jr.
1884:   The first telephone line between Boston and New York was inaugurated.
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.
1933:   Japan officially withdrew from the League of Nations.
1942:   During World War II, Congress granted American servicemen free first-class mailing privileges.
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.
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.”
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.
1980:  123 workers died when a North Sea floating oil field platform, the Alexander Kielland, capsized during a storm.
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.
2002:   President George W. Bush signed landmark bipartisan legislation designed to limit the role of big money in political campaigns.
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. 

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