UPI Almanac for Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Sultana disaster, the first Social Security payment, devastating tornadoes ... on this date in history.

United Press International
A view of destruction in Alabama after a series of tornadoes in late April 2011. UPI/Adam DuBrowa/FEMA
A view of destruction in Alabama after a series of tornadoes in late April 2011. UPI/Adam DuBrowa/FEMA | License Photo

Today is Sunday, April 27, the 117th day of 2014 with 248 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Mars and Mercury.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include English historian Edward Gibbon in 1737; philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft in 1759; Samuel F.B. Morse, American artist and inventor of magnetic telegraphy, in 1791; Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War general and 18th president of the United States, in 1822; Wallace Carothers, inventor of nylon, and baseball Hall of Fame member Rogers Hornsby, both in 1896; cartoonist Walter Lantz in 1899; English poet C. Day-Lewis in 1904; baseball Hall of Fame member Enos Slaughter in 1916; actor Jack Klugman in 1922; Coretta Scott King, wife of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., in 1927; radio/TV host Casey Kasem in 1932 (age 82), actor Sandy Dennis in 1937; champion bowler Earl Anthony in 1938; playwright August Wilson in 1945; rock musician Ace Frehley in 1951 (age 63); basketball Hall of Fame member George Gervin in 1952 (age 62); pop singer Sheena Easton in 1959 (age 55); and political journalist Dana Milbank in 1968 (age 46).


On this date in history: In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives of the Philippine islands during his attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the world. His co-leader, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, completed the voyage in 1522.

In 1749, George Frideric Handel's "Fireworks Music" was first performed.

In 1810, Ludwig van Beethoven composed "Fur Elise."

In 1865, the steamship Sultana, heavily overloaded with an estimated 2,300 passengers, most of them Union soldiers en route home, exploded on the Mississippi River just north of Memphis. (The death toll in the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history was set at 1,450.)

In 1897, the cornerstone was laid for Grant's Tomb in New York City's Riverside Park. A holiday had been declared for the occasion and an enormous crowd turned out in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president and Civil War general who died 12 years earlier.

In 1937, the first Social Security payment was made in the United States.

In 1991, an estimated 70 tornadoes hit Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, killing 23 people and leaving thousands homeless.

In 1993, Kuwait said it foiled an Iraqi plot to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush during his visit earlier in the month.


In 1994, Virginia executed a condemned killer in the first case in which DNA testing was used to obtain a conviction.

In 2008, police said a 73-year-old Austrian man, Josef Fritzl, had been accused of fathering several children with his daughter while holding her captive in a cellar for 24 years. (Fritzl was eventually sentenced to life in prison.)

In 2009, General Motors announced it would drop the Pontiac line.

In 2010, banking giant Goldman Sachs, going into a U.S. Senate inquiry, was accused of helping set up the mortgage meltdown that led to a global financial crisis by boosting the market for profitable toxic mortgage-related securities.

In 2011, a record outbreak of 358 tornadoes carved a devastating path through parts of 21 states from Texas to New York and on into Canada, hitting southern states hard. (Nearly 300 fatalities were reported, mostly in Alabama, over a four-day period.)

In 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama said the nation had made "extraordinary progress" in recovering from an economic crisis, which he called the worst since the 1930s.

In 2013, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, long a gun-safety advocate, would tap into his own resources and help as a "political counterweight" to the National Rifle Association, a mayoral aide said.


A thought for the day: "We can let circumstances rule us or we can take charge and rule our lives from within." -- Earl Nightingale

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