Today in History – April 27

1813 – War of 1812: American troops capture York, the capital of Upper Canada, in the Battle of York.
1861 – American President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus.
1865 – The Sultana explodes and sinks in the United States’ worst maritime disaster.
1865 – The New York State Senate creates Cornell University as the state’s land grant institution.
1906 – The State Duma of the Russian Empire meets for the first time.
1909 – Sultan of Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid II is overthrown, and is succeeded by his brother, Mehmed V.
1911 – Following the resignation and death of William P. Frye, a compromise is reached to rotate the office of President pro tempore of the United States Senate.
1927 – Carabineros de Chile (Chilean national police force and gendarmerie) are created.
1936 – The United Auto Workers (UAW) gains autonomy from the American Federation of Labor.
1940 – Mandatory Palestine and Lebanon play an association football friendly; it is Lebanon’s first official match, and Mandatory Palestine’s last before they became Israel in 1948.
1941 – World War II: German troops enter Athens.
1941 – World War II: The Communist Party of Slovenia, the Slovene Christian Socialists, the left-wing Slovene Sokols (also known as “National Democrats”) and a group of progressive intellectuals establish the Liberation Front of the Slovene Nation.
1945 – World War II: The last German formations withdraw from Finland to Norway. The Lapland War and thus, World War II in Finland, comes to an end and the Raising the Flag on the Three-Country Cairn photograph is taken.
1945 – World War II: Benito Mussolini is arrested by Italian partisans in Dongo, while attempting escape disguised as a German soldier.
1953 – On April 27, 1953, Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4005 was pulling a freight train through southern Wyoming when it jumped a switch track at 50 mph (80 kmh). The engineer and fireman were killed on impact; the brakeman died of severe burns in a hospital a few days later. The tender destroyed the cab of the locomotive, and the loads from the 18 derailed cars were scattered. The locomotive was repaired by Union Pacific at its Cheyenne facility and returned to service.
1953 – Operation Moolah offers $50,000 to any pilot who defected with a fully mission-capable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 to South Korea. The first pilot was to receive $100,000.
1960 – Togo gains independence from French-administered UN trusteeship.
1961 – Sierra Leone is granted its independence from the United Kingdom, with Milton Margai as the first Prime Minister.
1967 – Expo 67 officially opens in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with a large opening ceremony broadcast around the world. It opens to the public the next day.
1974 – Ten thousand march in Washington, D.C., calling for the impeachment of U.S. President Richard Nixon.
1978 – Former United States President Nixon aide John D. Ehrlichman is released from an Arizona prison after serving 18 months for Watergate-related crimes.
1978 – The Saur Revolution begins in Afghanistan, ending the following morning with the murder of Afghan President Mohammed Daoud Khan and the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
1981 – Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse.
1986 – The city of Pripyat and surrounding areas are evacuated due to Chernobyl disaster.
1987 – The U.S. Department of Justice bars Austrian President Kurt Waldheim (and his wife, Elisabeth, who had also been a Nazi) from entering the US, charging that he had aided in the deportations and executions of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.
1989 – The April 27 demonstrations, student-led protests responding to the April 26 Editorial, during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
1992 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro, is proclaimed.
1992 – Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.
1992 – The Russian Federation and 12 other former Soviet republics become members of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
1993 – Most of the Zambia national football team lose their lives in a plane crash off Libreville, Gabon en route to Dakar, Senegal to play a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Senegal.
1994 – South African general election: The first democratic general election in South Africa, in which black citizens could vote. The Interim Constitution comes into force.