Monday, August 27, 2007

Today in History....August 27

On this day in …

* 1859, Col. Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the United States, near Titusville, Pa.

* 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa blew up; the resulting tidal waves in Indonesia's Sunda Strait claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra

* 1894, Congress passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, which contained a provision for a graduated income tax that was later struck down by the Supreme Court

* 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in Paris, outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlement of disputes

* 1962, the United States launched the Mariner 2 space probe, which flew past Venus in December

* 1975, Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia's 3,000-year-old monarchy, died in Addis Ababa at age 83 almost a year after being overthrown

* 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army

* 2002, a Tokyo court acknowledged for the first time Japan's use of biological weapons before and during World War II, but rejected demands for compensation by 180 Chinese who claimed they were victims of the germ warfare program

* 2006, two Fox News journalists, Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig, were freed by practitioners of that "religion of peace" nearly two weeks after being kidnapped in Gaza City

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