This day in history

Today is Wednesday, May 27, the 148th day of 2020. There are 218 days left in the year.

► Birthdays: Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 97. Former FBI Director William Sessions is 90. Author John Barth is 90. Actress Lee Meriwether is 85. Musician Ramsey Lewis is 85. Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is 84. The Persuasions singer Raymond Sanders is 81. Actor Bruce Weitz is 77. Former senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut is 76. Singer Bruce Cockburn is 75. Singer-actress Dee Dee Bridgewater is 70. Actor Richard Schiff is 65. Singer Siouxsie Sioux is 63. Actress Peri Gilpin is 59. Comedian Adam Carolla is 56. Actor Todd Bridges is 55. Actor Jack McBrayer is 47. Rapper Andre 3000 (Outkast) is 45. Rapper Jadakiss is 45. TV chef Jamie Oliver is 45.


In 1692, a Court of Oyer and Terminer (“to hear and determine”) was established by the governor of Massachusetts Bay colony to hear accusations of witchcraft.

In 1861, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal circuit court judge in Baltimore, ruled that President Lincoln lacked the authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus (Lincoln disregarded the ruling).

In 1896, 255 people were killed when a tornado struck St. Louis and East St. Louis.

In 1912, author John Cheever was born in Quincy.

In 1933, Walt Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated short ‘‘The Three Little Pigs’’ was first released.

In 1935, the US Supreme Court, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, unanimously struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act, a key component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘‘New Deal’’ legislative program.

In 1941, the British Royal Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off France with a loss of some 2,000 lives, three days after the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with the loss of more than 1,400 lives.


In 1942, Doris ‘‘Dorie’’ Miller, a cook aboard the USS West Virginia, became the first African-American to receive the Navy Cross for displaying ‘‘extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety’’ during Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1968, the Supreme Court, in United States v. O’Brien, upheld the conviction of David O’Brien for destroying his draft card outside a Boston courthouse, ruling that the act was not protected by freedom of speech.

In 1995, actor Christopher Reeve was left paralyzed when he was thrown from his horse during a jumping event in Charlottesville, Va.

In 2010, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the full House approved measures to repeal the 1993 ‘‘don’t ask, don’t tell’’ law that allowed gay people to serve in the armed services provided they hid their sexual orientation.

In 2015, the US government launched an attack on what it called deep-seated and brazen corruption in soccer’s global governing body, FIFA, indicting 14 influential figures on charges of racketeering and taking bribes.

Last year, former Red Sox star and batting champion Bill Buckner died at the age of 69.