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This Day in History: September 27

Events

1777 – Lancaster, Pennsylvania is the capital of the United States, for one day.

1854 – The steamship SS Arctic sinks with 300 people on board. This marks the first great disaster in the Atlantic Ocean.

1875 – The merchant sailing ship Ellen Southard is wrecked in a storm at Liverpool; the United States Congress subsequently awards 27 gold Lifesaving Medals to the lifeboat men who went to rescue her crew.

1903 – Wreck of the Old 97, a train crash made famous by the song of the same name.

1908 – The first production of the Ford Model T automobile was built at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, Michigan.

1930 – Bobby Jones wins the U.S. Amateur Championship to complete the Grand Slam of golf. The old structure of the grand slam was the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur, and British Amateur.

1941 – The SS Patrick Henry is launched becoming the first of more than 2,700 Liberty ships.

1944 – The Kassel Mission results in the largest loss by a USAAF group on any mission in World War II.

1954 – The nationwide debut of Tonight Starring Steve Allen (The Tonight Show) hosted by Steve Allen on NBC.

1956 – USAF Captain Milburn G. Apt becomes the first man to exceed Mach 3 while flying the Bell X-2. Shortly thereafter, the craft goes out of control and Captain Apt is killed.

1977 – A U.S. Navy McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II crashes into a residential neighborhood in Yokohama, Japan, killing two children on the ground and injuring seven other people.

1979 – The United States Department of Education receives final approval from the U.S. Congress to become the 13th US Cabinet agency.

1996 – Tanker ship Julie N. spills thousands of gallons of oil after crashing into the Million Dollar Bridge in Portland, Maine.

1997 – Communications are suddenly lost with the Mars Pathfinder space probe.

1998 – The Google internet search engine retrospectively claims this as its birthday.

2005 – After 162 episodes, Tom and Jerry airs its final episode, "The Karate Guard".

2007 – NASA launches the Dawn probe.

2012 – A mass shooting takes place at Accent Signage Systems, in Minneapolis, killing 6 people, including the gunman who committed suicide, and wounding 2 others.

2015 – A total lunar eclipse takes place during a supermoon visible across much of the world.

Births

1643 – Solomon Stoddard, American pastor and librarian (d. 1729)

1722 – Samuel Adams, American philosopher and politician, 4th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1803)

1772 – Martha Jefferson Randolph, American wife of Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr. (d. 1836)

1840 – Thomas Nast, German-American cartoonist (d. 1902)

1885 – Harry Blackstone, Sr., American magician (d. 1965)

1917 – Carl Ballantine, American magician and actor (d. 2009)

1919 – James H. Wilkinson, American mathematician and computer scientist (d. 1986)

1936 – Don Cornelius, American television host and producer, created Soul Train (d. 2012)

1947 – Meat Loaf, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor

1972 – Gwyneth Paltrow, American actress and businesswoman

1982 – Lil Wayne, American rapper, producer, and actor

Deaths

1876 – Braxton Bragg, American general (b. 1817)

1956 – Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American basketball player and golfer (b. 1911)

1993 – Jimmy Doolittle, American general, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1896)

2014 – James Traficant, American lawyer and politician (b. 1941)