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This Day in History: October 27


1682 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is founded.

1795 – The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of Madrid, which establishes the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1810 – United States annexes the former Spanish colony of West Florida.

1838 – Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1904 – The first underground New York City Subway line opens; the system becomes the biggest in United States, and one of the biggest in world.

1954 – Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

1961 – NASA tests the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962 – Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force becomes the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane is shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964 – Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of the Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launches his political career and comes to be known as "A Time for Choosing".

1967 – Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the 'Baltimore Four' protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1988 – Ronald Reagan decides to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1992 – United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is brutally murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay, precipitating first military, then national, debate about gays in the military that resulted in the United States "Don't ask, don't tell" military policy.

1997 – October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 554.26 points to 7,161.15.


1811 – Isaac Singer, American actor and businessman, founded the Singer Corporation (d. 1875)

1858 – Theodore Roosevelt, American colonel and politician, 26th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1919)

1872 – Emily Post, American author, founded The Emily Post Institute (d. 1960)

1913 – Joe Medicine Crow, American anthropologist, historian, and author (d. 2016)

1926 – H. R. Haldeman, American businessman and diplomat, 4th White House Chief of Staff (d. 1993)

1932 – Sylvia Plath, American poet and author (d. 1963)


1977 – James M. Cain, American journalist and author (b. 1892)

1980 – John Hasbrouck Van Vleck, American physicist and mathematician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1899)

1990 – Elliott Roosevelt, American general and author (b. 1910)

2013 – Lou Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1942)