On This Day April 27
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.