A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  Feb. 27, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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Today is Feb. 27.

U.S.-led allied forces liberated Kuwait City on this date in 1991, only days after launching a ground assault against occupying Iraqi troops. President Bush declared Kuwait liberated and then ordered a halt to all military operations in the Gulf War. The end of the ground fighting came 100 hours after the beginning of the land battle.

It was on this date in 1933 that Adolf Hitler's Nazis set fire to the German parliament building in Berlin. Hitler then blamed the fire on the communists and made that an excuse to suspend German civil liberties and freedom of the press.

Remember the Atlanta child murders? On this date in 1982, a jury convicted a seemingly mild-mannered young man named Wayne Williams of murdering two of the 28 black children and young people whose bodies had been found in Atlanta over a two-year period. Williams was sentenced to life in prison.

The opening salvos were fired in the Battle of the Java Sea on this date in 1942 during the dark, early days of U.S. involvement in World War II. The Americans lost 13 warships to the Japanese, who only lost two.

The Italian government asked for suggestions on this date in 1964 on how to save a national treasure. The renowned Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning too much and in danger of collapse. The top of the 180-foot tower was hanging 17 feet south of the base, and studies showed that the tilt was increasing by a fraction every year.

Billboard magazine reported on this date in 1955 that, for the first time, the recently introduced 7-inch 45-rpm single had outsold the heavier 10-inch 78-rpm.

And in 1992, Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her 60th birthday by closing Disneyland for an elaborate private party with her celebrity friends. Ah, the perks of movie-stardom!

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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