Valdosta Daily Times

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February 27, 2012

Today in History for Monday, Feb. 27, 2012

-- — Highlight in History

On Feb. 27, 1942, the Battle of the Java Sea began during World War II; Imperial Japanese naval forces scored a major victory over the Allies.

On this date

In 1801, the District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

In 1911, inventor Charles F. Kettering demonstrated his electric automobile starter in Detroit by starting a Cadillac’s motor with just the press of a switch, instead of hand-cranking.

In 1933, Germany’s parliament building, the Reichstag, was gutted by fire. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, used the fire as justification for suspending civil liberties.

In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.

In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. (The occupation lasted until May.)

In 1982, Wayne Williams was found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period. (Williams, who was also blamed for 22 other deaths, has maintained his innocence.)

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared that “Kuwait is liberated, Iraq’s army is defeated,” and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight, Eastern time.

Ten years ago

U.S. officials announced a $5 million reward for information in the kidnap-murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. A mob of Muslims set fire to a train carrying hundreds of Hindu nationalists in Godhra, India; some 60 people died. At the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Alicia Keys won five prizes, including song of the year for “Fallin”’; Irish rockers U2 won four Grammys, including record of the year for “Walk On”; album of the year went to the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack. Comedian Spike Milligan died in Rye, East Sussex, England, at age 83.

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