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Today in History - Wednesday Edition

Today is Wednesday, April 27, the 118th day of 2016. There are 248 days left in the year.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Ulysses S. Grant (Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers)

    Today's Highlight in History:

    On April 27, 1986, a video pirate calling himself "Captain Midnight" interrupted a movie on HBO with a printed onscreen message protesting home satellite de-scrambling fees. (Captain Midnight turned out to be John R. MacDougall of Florida, who was fined and placed on probation.)

    On this date:

    In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.

    In 1791, the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel Morse, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

    In 1822, the 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.

    In 1865, the steamer Sultana, carrying freed Union prisoners of war, exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee; death toll estimates vary from 1,500 to 2,000.

    In 1891, Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev was born in present-day Ukraine.

    In 1925, the song "Yes, Sir! That's My Baby" by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn was published by Irving Berlin, Inc. of New York.

    In 1938, King Zog I of the Albanians married Countess Geraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi.

    In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.

    In 1967, Expo '67 was officially opened in Montreal by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

    In 1973, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after it was revealed that he'd destroyed files removed from the safe of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.

    In 1982, the trial of John W. Hinckley Jr., who had shot four people, including President Ronald Reagan, began in Washington. (The trial ended with Hinckley's acquittal by reason of insanity.)

    In 1992, the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed in Belgrade by the republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro. Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of Britain's House of Commons.

    Ten years ago: Construction began on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. The publisher of the teen novel "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life" pulled the book off the market after its author, a Harvard student, said she had unintentionally lifted numerous passages from another writer.

    Five years ago: Powerful tornadoes raked the South and Midwest; according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 120 twisters resulted in 316 deaths. An Afghan officer, Col. Ahmed Gul, killed eight U.S. airmen and one U.S. civilian during a routine meeting at an Afghan air force headquarters compound in Kabul; Gul died in an exchange of fire that followed his attack. Responding to critics' relentless claims, President Barack Obama produced a detailed Hawaii birth certificate in an extraordinary attempt to bury the issue of where he'd been born and confirm his legitimacy to hold office. Tony Award-winning "Promises, Promises" actress Marian Mercer, 75, died in Thousand Oaks, California.

    One year ago: Rioters plunged part of Baltimore into chaos, torching a pharmacy, setting police cars ablaze and throwing bricks at officers hours after thousands attended a funeral for Freddie Gray, who died from a severe spinal injury he'd suffered in police custody; the Baltimore Orioles' home game against the Chicago White Sox was postponed because of safety concerns. Opening statements took place in Centennial, Colorado, at the trial of movie theater shooter James Holmes. Loretta Lynch was sworn in as the 83rd U.S. attorney general, the first African-American woman to serve as the nation's top law enforcement official.

    Today's Birthdays: Actress Anouk Aimee is 84. Rock musician Jim Keltner is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cuba Gooding is 72. Singer Ann Peebles is 69. Rock singer Kate Pierson (The B-52's) is 68. Rhythm-and-blues singer Herbie Murrell (The Stylistics) is 67. Actor Douglas Sheehan is 67. Rock musician Ace Frehley is 65. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 57. Actor James Le Gros (groh) is 54. Rock musician Rob Squires (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 51. Singer Mica Paris is 47. Actor David Lascher is 44. Actress Maura West is 44. Actress Sally Hawkins is 40. Rock singer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) is 38. Rock musician Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) is 38. Rock singer-musician Travis Meeks (Days of the New) is 37. Neo-soul musician Joseph Pope III (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 37. Country musician John Osborne (Brothers Osborne) is 34. Actress Ari Graynor is 33. Rock singer-musician Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) is 32. Pop singer Nick Noonan (Karmin) is 30. Actor William Moseley is 29. Actress Emily Rios is 27. Singer Allison Iraheta is 24.

    Thought for Today: "Fear not those who argue but those who dodge." — Dale Carnegie, American writer-lecturer (1888-1955).