Today's History Trivia for May 27
1995 Superman Paralized The actor Christopher Reeve, known for playing Superman, is paralyzed from the neck down after being thrown from a horse. He had been scheduled to pose for an equestrian safety poster.
1975 Marijuana The Alaskan Supreme Court legalizes its use in the privacy of one's home. It was the first state or federal court to announce a constitutional privacy right that protects some level of marijuana use and possession, ruling: "…we conclude that no adequate justification for the state's intrusion into the citizen's right to privacy by its prohibition of possession of marijuana by an adult for personal consumption in the home has been shown. The privacy of the individual's home cannot be breached absent a persuasive showing of a close and substantial relationship of the intrusion to a legitimate governmental interest. Here, mere scientific doubts will not suffice. The state must demonstrate a need based on proof that the public health or welfare will in fact suffer if the controls are not applied."
1994 New Catechism The Roman Catholic Church releases the English version of its first revision to its catechism in 426 years. It was more tolerant toward gays and maintained the Church's position against birth control and abortion. Its release was delayed 18 months due to debates over gender-neutral language.
1992 Religious leader Yahweh Ben Yahweh is convicted of conspiring to kill, maim, and burn to intimidate both members and non-members of his religious sect.
1977 First Woman to Race in the Indianapolis 500 Janet Guthrie finishes 29th of 33. Source: Famous First Facts
1964 James Bond From Russia with Love premiers in the U.S., 2nd in the James Bond series, it starred Sean Connery as 007.
1941 World War II Germany's largest battleship of the war, the Bismarck, is sunk off the coast of France.
1939 Voyage of the Damned The German liner St. Louis arrives in Cuba after carrying more than 900 Jews fleeing from the Nazis. All but 28 passengers were turned away by the Cuban, U.S., and Canadian governments and returned to Europe where many died in the Holocaust. These events were the basis of the 1976 film Voyage of the Damned.
1931 First men in the stratosphere Swiss scientists Auguste Piccard and Charles Kipfer reach 51,775 feet in a sealed-gondola balloon flight in Germany.
???? The $280 million diamond ransom must be delivered by 8:00 P.M., in the movie Thunderball.
Today's Birthdays for May 27
1837 Wild Bill Hickok d. 1876 (James Butler Hickok), American frontiersman, U.S. marshal, and famous citizen of Deadwood, South Dakota. He was shot in the back during a poker game while holding two pair (black aces and black eights), since known as a "dead man's hand."
1818 Amelia Jenks Bloomer d. 1894 American women's rights advocate. She advocated the wearing of bloomers in The Lily, the first major women's rights newspaper (1849), which she published. Bloomers are women's garments that are divided for the lower body. They were considered "not so harmful to women's health as the current fashion." They also represented unrestricted movement that allowed for greater freedom, both metaphorical and physical.
1965 Todd Bridges American actor. TV: Diff'rent Strokes (Willis). He was acquitted of the attempted murder of a drug dealer at a crack house (1989). In a separate incident, he plead guilty to possession of drugs and a loaded gun (1993).
1961 Cathy Silvers American actress. TV: Happy Days (Jenny Piccalo).
1936 Louis Gossett Jr American Oscar-Emmy-winning actor. Film: An Officer and a Gentleman (1982, Oscar).
1935 Lee Meriwether American actress. TV: Batman (one of the Catwomen) and The New Munsters (Lily).
1923 Henry Alfred Kissinger (Heinz Alfred Kissinger), former U.S. Secretary of State, winner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize.
1922 Christopher Lee d. 2015 English actor. Film: The monster in numerous horror movies - including Frankenstein and Dracula - and as Bond's nemesis Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). He was also author Ian Fleming's cousin.
1915 Herman Wouk American Pulitzer-winning author. Writings: The Caine Mutiny (1951, Pulitzer) and The Winds of War (1971).
1912 Sam Snead d. 2002 American Hall of Fame golfer. 3-time Masters winner (1949, 52, 54), 3-timer winner of the PGA Championship (1942, 49, 51), and winner of the British Open (1946), 6-time winner of the Seniors Championship (1964-65, 67, 70, 72-73).
1911 Vincent Price d. 1993 American horror actor. Film: House of Wax (1953) , The Fly (1958), The Last Man on Earth (1964). TV: Batman (as Egghead) and Mystery (as host).
1907 Rachel Louise Carson d. 1964 American biologist, conservationist. Her 1962 book Silent Spring alerted the nation to the dangers of pesticides.
1897 Sir John Cockcroft d. 1967 British nuclear physicist. He and Ernest Walton became the first to use a particle accelerator to split an atom (1932), for which they were awarded the 1951 Nobel Prize.
1894 Dashiell Hammett d. 1961 American author. Writings: The Maltese Falcon (1930) and Adventures of Sam Spade (1944).
1819 Julia Ward Howe d. 1910 American poet. She wrote the lyrics to The Battle Hymn of the Republic (1861).
1794 Cornelius Vanderbilt d. 1877 American railroad magnate, and for whom Vanderbilt University is named.
1756 Maximilian I d. 1825 King of Bavaria (1806-25).
1738 Nathaniel Gorham d. 1796 14th president of the Continental Congress (1786-87).
Deaths for May 27
1949 Robert LeRoy Ripley b. 1890 American cartoonist. Created Believe-It-or-Not (1918) and "Odditoriums" to house his unusual collection of oddities. Note: He claimed his birthday was December 25, even though it was actually December 26 - Believe It or Not.
2017 Gregg Allman b. 1947 American singer, with the Allman Brothers Band. Music: Ramblin' Man.
Victor Kermit Kiam II
president of Remington Products Inc. Bought the NFL's New England Patriots for US$84 million (1988).
1991 Edward Benton Dodd b. 1902 American cartoonist. Created Mark Trail (1946).
1980 Bubble Boy b. 1962 (Ted DeVita). He spent most of his life inside a sterile hospital room due to aplastic anemia. The film The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976, starring John Travolta) was inspired by the lives of he and David Vetter, who lived in a plastic bubble.
1969 Jeffrey Hunter b. 1926 (Henry H. McKinnies, Jr.), American actor. Film: King of Kings (1961, Christ). TV: Star Trek (Capt. Pike, the first commander of the Enterprise).
1964 Jawaharlal Nehru b. 1889 Indian statesman, first prime minister of the Republic of India (1947-64).
1960 James Montgomery Flagg b. 1877 American artist, creator of the "I Want You" Uncle Sam recruiting poster (1917). He used his own face as the model for the poster.
1960 George Zucco b. 1886 British actor, noted for his villainous roles. Film: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939, Prof. Moriarty), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), House of Frankenstein (1944).
1914 Joseph Wilson Swan b. 1828 English inventor, chemist. Known for his development of dry photographic plates, he also invented a carbon element electric light (1860), which was the basis of Edison's light 20 years later. Swan patented his incandescent light in 1879, a year before Edison patented his.
1910 Robert Koch b. 1843 German Nobel Prize-winning physician. He was the first to prove that a bacterium could cause disease (1877, anthrax). He also discovered the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (1882) and the bacterium that causes cholera (1883).
1840 Nicolo Paganini b. 1782 Italian violin virtuoso, considered the greatest violinist of all time.