This Day in History – January 27
Today is the 27th day of 2012. There are 339 days left in the year.
2006: Bolivian President Evo Morales cuts his salary in half and orders that no Cabinet minister collect a higher wage than his own, with the savings being used to hire more public school teachers.
1340: Edward III of England declares himself king of France, a claim that leads to the Hundred Years’ War. The kings of England call themselves kings of France until 1801.
1695: Mustafa II becomes Sultan of Turkey on death of Ahmad II.
1822: Greek independence is formally proclaimed.
1865: Treaty between Spain and Peru virtually recognises Peru’s independence.
1880: Thomas Edison receives a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.
1888: The National Geographic Society is incorporated in the United States.
1914: Haiti’s President Oreste abdicates during revolt, and US Marines land to preserve order.
1943: US bombers stage first all-out US air raid on Germany in World War II, a daylight attack on Wilhelmshaven; Germany begins civil conscription of women.
1944: The German and Finnish siege of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, is lifted. At least 650,000 people died during the 872-day siege.
1945: Soviet troops liberate the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
1951: An era of US atomic testing in the Nevada desert begins as an Air Force plane drops a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
1964: France establishes diplomatic relations with China.
1967: Three US Apollo astronauts die in flash fire aboard space capsule; United States, Soviet Union and 60 other nations sign treaty to limit military activities in outer space.
1973: Accords are signed in Paris, providing for the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam, leading to the collapse of South Vietnam in 1975.
1977: The Vatican reaffirms the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on female priests.
1981: Indonesia’s Tampo Mas II passenger ship catches fire and sinks in Java Sea, killing 580 people.
1991: President Mohammed Siad Barre of Somalia flees the capital, Mogadishu, as a coalition of rebels seize power. The country plunges into virtual anarchy.
1991: Allied aircraft bomb Iraq’s second city, Basra.
1992: Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s government survives no-confidence motions in Israeli parliament.
1993: Police in New Delhi lob tear gas shells to disperse rioting mobs of Hindus and Muslims who attack a mosque and a temple and burn down dozens of shops.
1994: Terrorists strike three times in Northern Ireland, killing the first two victims of the new year and wounding two others.
1995: Burmese soldiers win a key battle against one of the world’s oldest insurgencies, capturing the base of Burma’s largest Karen rebel army in the Burmese jungle.
1996: Niger’s first democratically elected president, Mahamane Ousmane, is ousted in a coup and army Colonel Barre Mainassara Ibrahim takes over as head of state.
1997: The people of Chechnya go to the polls to elect Aslan Maskhadov for president, only months after Russian forces turned most of the capital to rubble.
1998: Bowing to the wish of the pope, the Catholic Church in Germany stops issuing certificates allowing abortion.
1999: Eamon Collins, a former Irish Republican Army intelligence officer and author of an expose of life inside the Irish Republican Army, is found dead near the Northern Ireland town of Newry.
2000: Human rights officials announce that they have unearthed the remains of 50 people at a clandestine cemetery in Zacualpa, a village 64 kilometres (40 miles) northwest of Guatemala City. The victims, including two children, were apparent casualties of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war.
2001: Police fire tear gas and warning shots as thousands of rock-throwing students in Jakarta storm the gates of Indonesia’s Parliament in the largest protest yet against the country’s president.
2002: Munitions at an army base in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, explode, sending fireballs and shrapnel into the air forcing hundreds of area residents to flee. As many as 600 people drown in a canal that blocked their way to safety.
2003: UN weapons inspectors report that although the Iraqi government had given inspectors access to suspected weapons sites, it had not provided sufficient information about its weapons programs and stockpiles. This report is seen as bolstering the US. case for military action to disarm Iraq.
2005: A court sentences Peru’s former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos to eight years in prison for paying tabloids hundreds of thousands of dollars to run smear campaigns against opponents of ex-President Alberto Fujimori.
2007: Suspected Muslim separatists ambush police patrols and torch a school in southern Thailand a day after killing a police sergeant and setting fire to a government school.
2008: Guyana deploys security forces in villages and forests surrounding Lusignan, where on Jan. 26 rampaging gunmen killed 11 people, including five children.
2009: A cruise ship carrying 300 passengers that became lodged in thick ice in the St Lawrence River near Montreal for more than 30 hours is freed with the help of an ice breaking vessel.
2010: An Ethiopian Airlines jet crashes just minutes after takeoff from Beirut in a fierce storm and international ships search along Lebanon’s coast for the bodies of the 90 people on board and the black boxes that may provide the cause of the disaster.
2011: Chilean judicial officials vow to investigate the death of President Salvador Allende for the first time, 37 years after the socialist leader was found shot through the head with a machine gun during a withering attack on the presidential palace.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer (1756-1791); Edouard Lalo, French composer (1823-1892); Lewis Carroll, English mathematician and writer (1832-1898); Jerome Kern, US composer (1885-1945); Canadian novelist Mordecai Richler (1931-2001); James Cromwell, US actor (1940–); Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian ballet dancer (1948–).