On This Date In 4977 BC The universe was created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.
On This Date In 1521 After traveling three-quarters of the way around the globe, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan was killed during a tribal skirmish on Mactan Island in the Philippines. Earlier in the month, his ships had dropped anchor at the Philippine island of Cebu, and Magellan met with local chief Lapu-Lapu, who, after converting to Christianity, persuaded the Europeans to assist him in conquering a rival tribe on the neighboring island of Mactan. In the subsequent fighting in the Battle of Mactan, Magellan was hit by a poisoned arrow and left to die by his retreating comrades.
On This Date In 1667 John Milton - English poet, polemicist, scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth (republic) of England under Oliver Cromwell - sold the publication rights to “Paradise Lost” to publisher Samuel Simmons for £5, equivalent to approximately £7,400 income in 2008, with a further £5 to be paid if and when each print run of between 1,300 and 1,500 copies sold out. The first run, a quarto edition priced at three shillings per copy, was published in August 1667 and sold out in eighteen months. Paradise Lost, the magnum opus, blank-verse epic poem, composed by the blind and impoverished Milton from 1658 to 1664 (first edition) with small but significant revisions published in 1674 (second edition), would become his best-known work, and is often considered one of the greatest literary works in the English language.
On This Date In 1773 The British Parliament passed the Tea Act, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company from bankruptcy by greatly lowering the tea tax it paid to the British government and, thus, granting it a de facto monopoly on the American tea trade. Because all legal tea entered the colonies through England, allowing the East India Company to pay lower taxes in Britain also allowed it to sell tea more cheaply in the colonies. Even untaxed Dutch tea, which entered the colonies illegally through smuggling, was more expensive the East India tea, after the act took effect.
On This Date In 1777 The Battle of Ridgefield was a battle and a series of skirmishes between American and British forces during the American Revolutionary War. The main battle was fought in the village of Ridgefield, Connecticut on April 27, 1777 and more skirmishing occurred the next day between Ridgefield and the coastline near modern Westport, Connecticut. The resulting tactical success for the British forces galvanized Patriot support in Connecticut.
On This Date In 1805 The Battle of Derne was a decisive victory of a mercenary army led by a detachment of United States Marines and soldiers over pirate forces along the Barbary coast nation of Tripoli during the First Barbary War. It was the first recorded land battle of the United States fought overseas. After marching 500 miles from Egypt, U.S. agent William Eaton led a small force of U.S. Marines and Berber mercenaries against the Tripolitan port city of Derna. The Marines and Berbers were on a mission to depose Yusuf Karamanli, the ruling pasha of Tripoli, who had seized power from his brother, Hamet Karamanli, a pasha who was sympathetic to the United States. Supported by the heavy guns of the USS Argus and the USS Hornet, Marines and Arab mercenaries under Eaton captured Derna and deposed Yusuf Karamanli. Lieutenant Presley O' Bannon, commanding the Marines, performed so heroically in the battle that Hamet Karamanli presented him with an elaborately designed sword that now serves as the pattern for the swords carried by Marine officers. The phrase “to the shores of Tripoli,” from the official song of the U.S. Marine Corps, also has its origins in the Derna campaign.
On This Date In 1813 The Battle of York during the War of 1812 was fought at York, Upper Canada (present day Toronto). After surviving two dangerous exploratory expeditions into uncharted areas of the West, Zebulon Pike, American officer and explorer for whom Pikes Peak in Colorado is named, died in this battle. Brigadier General Pike, victorious in this battle, was killed by flying rocks and other debris when the retreating British garrison blew up its ammunition without warning as the town's surrender negotiations were going on. The explosion killed 38 American soldiers and wounded 222. Pike's body was brought by ship back to Sackets Harbor, where his remains were buried at the military cemetery.
On This Date In 1822 Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885), 18th President of the United States (1869–1877) following his dominant role in the second half of the Civil War, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/apr27.html
On This Date In 1865 Mississippi River steamboat paddlewheeler SS Sultana exploded in the greatest maritime disaster in United States history, more costly than even the April 14, 1912 sinking of the Titanic, when 1,517 people were lost. An estimated 1,600 of Sultana's 2,400 passengers were killed when three of the ship's four boilers exploded and Sultana sank near Memphis, Tennessee. This disaster was overshadowed in the press by other recent events: John Wilkes Booth, President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, was killed the day before; and during the previous week, the American Civil War ended.
On This Date In 1908 Through October 31, the 1908 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the IV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in London, England. These games were originally scheduled to be held in Rome. At the time they were the fifth modern Olympic Games. However, the Athens Games of 1906 have since been downgraded by the International Olympic Committee and the 1908 Games are seen as the start of the Fourth Olympiad, in keeping with the now-accepted four-year cycle.
On This Date In 1914 “Caught in a Cabaret,” a short film starring Charlie Chaplin and the film's writer/director Mabel Normand, was released. Produced by Mack Sennett, the movie also features Harry McCoy, Chester Conklin, and Edgar Kennedy. Chaplin plays a waiter who fakes being a Greek Ambassador to impress a girl. He then is invited to a garden party where he gets in trouble with the girl's jealous boyfriend. Mabel Normand wrote and directed comedies before Chaplin and mentored her young co-star.
On This Date In 1916 During World War I, three British officers, including the famous Captain T.E. Lawrence (known as Lawrence of Arabia), attempted to engineer the escape of thousands of British forces - commanded by Sir Charles Townshend, and under siege at the city of Kut-al-Amara in Mesopotamia - through a secret negotiation with the Turkish command. The British offered £2 million and promised they would not fight the Ottomans again, in exchange for General Townshend's troops. This offer was rejected, save for release of some of the wounded, and around 13,000 Allied soldiers survived to be made prisoners after the surrender of Kut on April 29.
On This Date In 1927 Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006), American author, activist, and civil rights leader, was born in Marion, Alabama. The widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Mrs. King's most prominent role may have been in the years after her husband's 1968 assassination, when she took on the leadership of the struggle for racial equality herself and became active in the Women's Movement.
On This Date In 1940 “An Angel from Texas,” an American comedy/romance film directed by Ray Enright, was released by Warner Bros. Pictures. The movie stars Eddie Albert, Rosemary Lane, Wayne Morris, and Ronald Reagan.
On This Date In 1941 During World War II, the German army entered the Greek capital of Athens, signaling the end of Greek resistance. All mainland Greece and all the Greek Aegean islands except Crete were under German occupation by May 11. In fending off the Axis invaders, the Greeks suffered the loss of 15,700 men. Greece would not be liberated until 1944, by British troops from the Mediterranean theater.
On This Date In 1942 During World War II, the Baedeker Blitz by the German air force in two periods between April and June 1942.devastated a number of English cities. The Norwich raid occurred April 27 - 29.
On This Date In 1942 A tornado swept along Pryor Creek's main street in Oklahoma from the western edge of the business district to the eastern edge of the city, destroying nearly every building and causing extensive damage to the residential section. The storm killed 52 people, according to the U.S. Weather Bureau, but The Associated Press set the total at 60 two days after the storm. More than 400 were injured in the storm that caused damage estimated at $3 million. The Pryor tornado ranks as the fifth deadliest in Oklahoma history.
On This Date In 1956 World heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano retired from boxing at age 31, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Marciano ended his career as the only heavyweight champion with a perfect record: 49 wins in 49 professional bouts, with 43 knockouts.
On This Date In 1963 Margaret Annemarie Battavio's very first single, “I Will Follow Him,” reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts. With her 15th birthday only six weeks behind her, and three more years of high school ahead of her, the singer better known as Little Peggy March became the youngest female performer ever to top the Billboard Hot 100.
On This Date In 1965 Edward Roscoe Murrow (April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965), an American broadcast journalist first coming to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada, died at his home from lung cancer two days after his 57th birthday. A chain smoker throughout his life, Murrow developed lung cancer and lived for two years after an operation to remove his left lung.
On This Date In 1972 During the Vietnam War, the northern-most front of the North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive - launched on March 30, when more than 120,000 North Vietnamese troops invaded South Vietnam - shattered South Vietnamese defenses north of Quang Tri and moved to within 2.5 miles of the city. Using Russian-built tanks, they took Dong Ha, 7 miles north of Quang Tri, the next day and continued to tighten their ring around Quang Tri, shelling it heavily. South Vietnamese troops suffered their highest casualties for any week in the war in the bitter fighting.
On This Date In 1977 “The Man Who Loved Women,” a French comedy/drama film directed by François Truffaut and starring Charles Denner, Brigitte Fossey and Nelly Borgeaud, was released. In 1983, it was remade in Hollywood under the same title. The film had a total of 955,262 admissions in France.
On This Date In 1978 The Saur Revolution is the name given to the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) takeover of political power from the government of Afghanistan on April 28, 1978. The word 'Saur', i.e. Taurus, refers to the Dari name of the second month of the Persian calendar, the month in which the uprising took place. According to an eyewitness, the first signs of the impending coup in Kabul, about noon on April 27, were reports of a tank column headed toward the city, smoke of unknown origin near the Ministry of Defense, and armed men, some in military uniform and others not, guarding Pashtunistan Circle, a major intersection. Afghanistan President Sardar Mohammed Daoud was overthrown and murdered in this coup led by procommunist rebels. The brutal action marked the beginning of political upheaval in Afghanistan that resulted in intervention by Soviet troops less than two years later.
On This Date In 1978 The Willow Island disaster was the collapse of a cooling tower under construction at a power station at Willow Island, West Virginia. A crane cable hoisting concrete went slack, causing the crane to fall toward the inside of the tower, collapsing the scaffolding and the structure. 51 construction workers were killed. It is thought to be the largest construction accident in American history.
On This Date In 1987 “Never Let Me Down,” an album by David Bowie, was released through EMI America. Written and recorded in Switzerland, Bowie regarded the album at the time as a “move back to rock 'n roll music. Very directly.” Bowie described the tracks from Never Let Me Down as being written for being performed on stage, and they formed the backbone of his highly theatrical Glass Spider world tour in 1987.
On This Date In 1994 More than 22 million South Africans turned out to cast ballots in the country's first multiracial parliamentary elections. An overwhelming majority chose anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela to head a new coalition government that included his African National Congress Party, former President F.W. de Klerk's National Party, and Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party. In May, Mandela was inaugurated as president, becoming South Africa's first black head of state.
On This Date In 1998 “Nightfall in Middle-Earth,” a concept album by Blind Guardian, was released through Virgin/Century Media. It is Blind Guardian's sixth studio album. The album is based upon J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, a book of tales from the First Age of Middle-earth, recounting the War of the Jewels. The album contains not only songs but also spoken parts narrating parts of the story. Nightfall in Middle-Earth was the first album by Blind Guardian to be released in the U.S. The sales encouraged Century Media to release their entire back catalog in the U.S. In 2007, it was remastered and re-released, with one bonus track.
On This Date In 2004 “City of Heroes” (CoH), a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the superhero comic book genre, developed by Cryptic Studios and published by NCsoft, was launched in North America, and in Europe (by NCsoft Europe) on February 4, 2005 with English, German and French language servers. Twenty-one free major updates for City of Heroes have been released since its launch. The newest update, “Convergence”, was released on September 13, 2011.
On This Date In 2008 Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan attacked a military parade that President Hamid Karzai was attending in Kabul. During the national anthem, 3 Taliban attackers opened fire. Live television coverage of the event was cut off shortly afterward. Karzai was unhurt, but at least three people were killed, including parliamentarian Fazel Rahman Samkanai, a ten-year-old girl, Nasir Ahmad Latifi, minority leader, and ten injured. Others attending the event included government ministers, former leaders, diplomats and the military top brass, all of whom had gathered to mark the 16th anniversary of the fall of the Afghan communist government to the mujahideen.
On This Date In 2009 The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first official US death of swine flu on April 28. Tests confirmed that a 23-month old toddler from Mexico - the epicentre of the outbreak, with 159 deaths at the time - who was probably infected there, died on April 27 from the flu while visiting Texas.
On This Date In 2009 The struggling American auto giant General Motors (GM) stated its plan to discontinue production of its more than 80-year-old Pontiac brand. Pontiac's origins date back to the Oakland Motor Car, which was founded in 1907 in Pontiac, Michigan, by Edward Murphy, a horse-drawn carriage manufacturer. In 1909, Oakland became part of General Motors, a conglomerate formed the previous year by another former buggy company executive, William Durant.
On This Date In 2010 A North Korean Party cadre had announced his country was responsible for the sinking of an unnamed South Korean vessel presumed to be the Cheonan. The ROKS Cheonan sinking occurred on March 26, 2010, when the Cheonan, a Republic of Korea Navy ship carrying 104 personnel, sank off the country's west coast near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 seamen. http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=6286
Happy Birthday Brigitte Auber (1928), Casey Kasem (1932), Judy Carne (1939), Cuba Gooding Sr (1944), Kate Pierson (1948), Ace Frehley (1951), George Gervin (1952), Kevin McNally (1956), Arielle Dombasle (1958), Sheena Easton (1959), Anna Chancellor (1965), Maura West (1972), David Lascher (1972), Nigel Barker (1972), Ari Graynor (1983), Dinara Safina (1986)
RIP Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797), Samuel F. B. Morse (1791 – 1872), Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903), Cecil Day-Lewis (1904 – 1972), Lim Bo Seng (1909 – 1944), Coretta Scott King (1927 – 2006), Sandy Dennis (1937 – 1992), Earl Anthony (1938 – 2001), Keith Magnuson (1947 – 2003)
The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission. John Fitzgerald Kennedy
America's abundance was not created by public sacrifices to "the common good", but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. Ayn Rand
The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Every hardship; every joy; every temptation is a challenge of the spirit; that the human soul may prove itself. The great chain of necessity wherewith we are bound has divine significance; and nothing happens which has not some service in working out the sublime destiny of the human soul. Elias A. Ford
Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing. G. M. Trevelyan
All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion and desire. Aristotle
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha
I was excited to invite Grace Bawden on this journey with me and my sister to remake a timeless rock classic originally done by the Scorpions. We met through youtube a few years ago after we had discovered we recorded the same Josh Groban song. When I had an opportunity to record in Nashville, 'Send Me An Angel" I decided to do it as a duet and Grace was the first person I thought of. I believe she and I along with my sister Abigail (Abby) Stahlschmidt on violin/ harmony are the first to create a classical rock orchestration by recording/filming/producing in 2 different countries and bringing the music and footage together to make something outstanding. What makes it more remarkable is we have never met one another YET in person. (The music of the future) We hope you enjoy Please share and support us all by buying a copy of the track. Thank You!
All necessary licensing have been acquired- Available now on iTunes
The Enterprise - the first US shuttle ever built - swept across the Manhattan skyline for a historic final flyover. It left the Washington DC atop a Boeing 747 jet and was filmed flying past landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty.
Chief Musician Yolanda Pelzer sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 2012 Virginia International Tattoo in Norfolk, Va. She's accompanied by the United States Navy Band, the Albanian Armed Forces Band, the Royal Band of the Belgian Navy, the U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command Band, the U.S. Marine Corps Band (Quantico), and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, Sing, Heavenly Muse. John Milton, from Paradise Lost
I shall on all subjects have a policy to recommend, but none to enforce against the will of the people. Laws are to govern all alike—those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution. Ulysses S. Grant, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1869.
Rep. Darrell Issa and the GOP House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are asking Attorney General Eric Holder to produce all communications and documentation between the Justice Department and IRS official Lois Lerner, dating back to January 2009. The letter asks AG Holder to produce all docs/communications between/among Lois Lerner & employees of #DOJ from Jan '09 […]
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Wednesday signed legislation banning abortions beyond 20 weeks gestation. The bill takes effect July 1. “Medical research shows that an unborn child can feel pain by not later than 20 weeks gestation, and research also shows that the risk of death and complications from an abortion increases significantly as a pregnancy […]