On This Day April 27
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1791 – Inventor and painter Samuel Morse, most famous for creating the telegraph (d. 1872)
1822 – 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, who helped lead the Union forces to victory during the Civil War (d. 1885)
1922 – Actor Jack Klugman (“The Odd Couple,” “Quincy, M.E.”) (d. 2012)
1927 – Civil rights leader Coretta Scott King, wife of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (d. 2006)
1932 – Radio personality Casey Kasem, co-founder and former host of “American Top 40” and the voice of Shaggy from “Scooby-Doo” (d. 2014)
1951 – Guitarist and Kiss co-founder Ace Frehley
1959 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sheena Easton (“Morning Train,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “Sugar Walls”)
1986 – Actress Jenna Coleman (“Doctor Who,” “Victoria,” “The Cry”)
1988 – Grammy-winning pop superstar Lizzo, born Melissa Viviane Jefferson
1865 – After surviving the horrors of the Civil War, some Union soldiers — many former prisoners of war — are crammed aboard the steamboat Sultana, heading home along the Mississippi River, when the ship’s boilers explode. More than 1,800 passengers die as the ship burns and sinks, resulting in the worst maritime disaster in American history — with more lives lost than in the 1912 Titanic sinking.
1936 – The United Auto Workers (UAW) gains autonomy from the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
1956 – Rocky Marciano retires from boxing at age 31, ending his career as the only undefeated world heavyweight champion: 49 wins in 49 professional bouts, with 43 knockouts.
1974 – Some 10,000 demonstrators march in Washington, D.C. calling for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
1982 – Jury selection begins in the trial of John Hinckley, Jr., charged with the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
1993 – Authorities in North Carolina determine that film crew negligence is to blame for the death of actor Brandon Lee, who was accidentally shot and killed a month earlier on the set of the action-adventure movie “The Crow.” Brandon was the son of legendary martial arts star Bruce Lee.
2009 – General Motors (GM) announces plans to discontinue production of its 80-year-old Pontiac line of cars in 2010.
1963 – High school freshman Little Peggy March (born Margaret Annemarie Battavio) marches to the top of the Billboard singles chart with “I Will Follow Him.” The song remains at No. 1 for three weeks and makes March, at age 15, the youngest female singer to ever have a chart-topping hit.
1967 – Motown Records releases the Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell duet, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” which becomes a Top 20 hit. Diana Ross’ 1970 version rockets to the top of the pop chart, becoming her first No. 1 since leaving The Supremes.
1974 – “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” by MFSB and The Three Degrees, is the No. 1 single.
1981 – Singer-songwriter and legendary Beatles drummer Ringo Starr weds actress Barbara Bach, best known for her roles in the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Force 10 from Navarone.”
1985 – “We Are The World,” the musical collaboration produced under the baton of Quincy Jones as a fundraiser for African famine relief, is in the middle of a four-week reign over the Billboard Hot 100.
1991 – Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby begins two weeks as the most popular single in the U.S.
1999 – British rockers The Verve, best known for their Grammy-nominated hit “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and the chart-topping singles “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “Lucky Man,” announce their second breakup. The band re-forms in 2007, but by 2009, the musicians truly go their separate ways.
2002 – “Foolish,” off Ashanti’s self-titled debut album, tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains at No. 1 for 10 weeks. The accompanying music video features actor Terrence Howard.