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This Day in History: August 27


1776 – Battle of Long Island: In what is now Brooklyn, New York, British forces under General William Howe defeat Americans under General George Washington.

1832 – Black Hawk, leader of the Sauk tribe of Native Americans, surrenders to U.S. authorities, ending the Black Hawk War.

1859 – Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well.

1928 – The Kellogg–Briand Pact outlawing war is signed by fifteen nations. Ultimately sixty-one nations will sign it.

1943 – World War II: Japanese forces evacuate New Georgia Island in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.

1962 – The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA.

1980 – A massive bomb planted by extortionist John Birges explodes at Harvey's Resort Hotel in Stateline, Nevada after a failed disarming attempt by the FBI. Although the hotel is damaged, no one is injured.

2003 – The first six-party talks, involving South and North Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, convene to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

2006 – Comair Flight 5191 crashes on takeoff from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky bound for Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. Of the passengers and crew, 49 of 50 are confirmed dead in the hours following the crash.

2011 – Hurricane Irene strikes the United States east coast, killing 47 and causing an estimated $15.6 billion in damage.


1803 – Edward Beecher, American minister and theologian (d. 1895)

1809 – Hannibal Hamlin, American publisher and politician, 15th Vice President of the United States (d. 1891)

1865 – James Henry Breasted, American archaeologist and historian (d. 1935)

1865 – Charles G. Dawes, American general and politician, 30th Vice President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1951)

1871 – Theodore Dreiser, American journalist and author (d. 1945)

1875 – Katharine McCormick, American biologist, philanthropist, and activist (d. 1967)

1906 – Ed Gein, American murderer (d. 1984)

1908 – Lyndon B. Johnson, American commander and politician, 36th President of the United States (d. 1973)

1915 – Norman Foster Ramsey, Jr., American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2011)

1924 – Rosalie E. Wahl, American lawyer and jurist (d. 2013)

1928 – Joan Kroc, American philanthropist (d. 2003)

1929 – Ira Levin, American author, playwright, and composer (d. 2007)

1948 – Sgt. Slaughter, American wrestler and actor

1949 – Leah Jamieson, American computer scientist, engineer, and academic


1931 – Frank Harris, Irish-American journalist and author (b. 1856)

1948 – Charles Evans Hughes, American lawyer and politician, 11th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1862)

1958 – Ernest Lawrence, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1901)

1963 – W. E. B. Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, and activist (b. 1868)

1964 – Gracie Allen, American actress and singer (b. 1895)

1971 – Bennett Cerf, American publisher, co-founded Random House (b. 1898)

1971 – Margaret Bourke-White, American photographer and journalist (b. 1906)