Hoosier History: On This Day, January 27


The prime crew of NASA’s first manned Apollo space flight, are pictured during training in Florida: Virgil I. Grissom (L), Edward H. White II (C) and Roger B. Chaffee. (File Photo by NASA)

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Today is Sunday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2019.

Today’s Hoosier Highlights in History:

On Jan. 27, 1967, a flash launch pad fire aboard the Apollo I test capsule spacecraft took the lives of Hoosier astronaut Gus Grissom and two fellow astronauts. Grissom from Mitchell, Indiana, was one of the seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA in 1959. The Purdue alumnus piloted the Liberty Bell & spacecraft in 1961; he was also the command pilot on the first manned Gemini flight in 1965. (Source: Hoosier History Highlights from the Indiana Department of Administration; Watch the CBS News special report from that day in the video player below.)

Historical marker at the sorority house. (Photo: DePauw Univ.)

On Jan. 27, 1870, the first college sorority in the nation, Kappa Alpha Theta, is founded by four women at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in Greencastle. The founders of Kappa Alpha Theta were among the first women enrolled and first female graduates of Indiana Asbury.

Gen. Robert Foster. (Photo: Library of Congress)

On Jan. 27, 1834, Robert Sanford Foster, a prominent Union general during the Civil War, is born in Vernon, Indiana, but spent his teenage years in Indianapolis. As a Union general, he played a key role in the Siege of Petersburg and the Appomattox Campaign.

Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

On Jan. 27, 1863, philosopher and author Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers a lecture at the Masonic Hall in Indianapolis. The author of Self-Reliance and founder of transcendentalism had been in the city for several days, staying at the Bates House Hotel. The topic of his talk was “Clubs and Conversation.” It was one of two lectures he would deliver at Indianapolis’ Masonic Hall. He would return to Indy to deliver the second lecture three years later in February 1866. (Source: Hoosier History Highlights from the Indiana Department of Administration)

On this date elsewhere:

In 1756, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.

In 1832, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” under the pen name Lewis Carroll, was born in Cheshire, England.

In 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.

In 1943, some 50 bombers struck Wilhelmshaven in the first all-American air raid against Germany during World War II.

In 1945, during World War II, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.

In 1951, an era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flat.

In 1967, more than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the deploying of nuclear weapons in outer space.

In 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.

In 1977, the Vatican issued a declaration reaffirming the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on female priests.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, greeted the 52 former American hostages released by Iran at the White House.

In 1984, singer Michael Jackson suffered serious burns to his scalp when pyrotechnics set his hair on fire during the filming of a Pepsi-Cola TV commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

In 1998, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, on NBC’s “Today” show, charged the sexualmisconduct allegations against her husband, President Bill Clinton, were the work of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

Ten years ago: Saying, “The American people expect action,” President Barack Obama held closed-door meetings with House and Senate Republicans on the eve of a key vote on an economic stimulus package. Ervin Lupoe of Wilmington, Calif., fatally shot himself a day after killing his wife Ana, their 8-year-old daughter and two sets of twins, 2-year-old boys and 5-year-old girls; he’d faxed a note to a TV station saying the couple had just been fired from their hospital jobs. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Updike died in Danvers, Mass. at age 76.

Five years ago: Mexico essentially legalized the country’s growing “self-defense” groups, reaching an agreement with vigilante leaders to incorporate the armed civilian outfits into old and largely forgotten quasi-military units called the Rural Defense Corps. Folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, 94, died in New York.

One year ago: A suicide bombing in the Afghan capital of Kabul killed more than 100 people; the attacker was driving an ambulance full of explosives and raced through a security checkpoint after saying he was transferring a patient to a hospital. Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Comic strip artist Mort Walker, a World War II veteran who satirized the Army with the antics of the lazy private “Beetle Bailey,” died in Connecticut at the age of 94. Caroline Wozniacki won the women’s final at the Australian Open, her first victory in a Grand Slam tournament after 43 tries, beating top-seeded Simona Halep.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor James Cromwell is 79. Actor John Witherspoon is 77. Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) is 73. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 71. Latin singer-songwriter Djavan s 70. Political commentator Ed Schultz is 65. Chief U.S. Justice John Roberts is 64. Country singer Cheryl White is 64. Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) is 64. Actress Mimi Rogers is 63. Rock musician Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) is 62. Actress Susanna Thompson is 61. Political and sports commentator Keith Olbermann is 60. Rock singer Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 58. Rock musician Gillian Gilbert is 58. Actress Tamlyn Tomita is 56. Actress Bridget Fonda is 55. Actor Alan Cumming is 54. Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 51. Rock singer Mike Patton is 51. Rapper Tricky is 51. Rock musician Michael Kulas (James) is 50. Actor-comedian Patton Oswalt is 50. Actor Josh Randall is 47. Country singer Kevin Denney is 41. Tennis player Marat Safin is 39. Neo-soul musician Andrew Lee (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 33. Rock musician Matt Sanchez (American Authors) is 33. Actor Braeden Lemasters is 23.

(The Indiana State Museum and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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