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This Day in U.S. History: March 27


1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León reaches the northern end of The Bahamas on his first voyage to Florida.

1794 – The United States Government establishes a permanent navy and authorizes the building of six frigates.

1814 – War of 1812: In central Alabama, U.S. forces under General Andrew Jackson defeat the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

1836 – Texas Revolution: Goliad massacre: On the orders of General Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican army butchers 342 Texas POWs at Goliad, Texas.

1866 – President Andrew Johnson vetoes the Civil Rights Act of 1866. His veto is overridden by Congress and the bill passes into law on April 9.

1884 – A mob in Cincinnati, Ohio, attacks members of a jury who had returned a verdict of manslaughter in a clear case of murder, and then over the next few days would riot and destroy the courthouse.

1886 – Famous Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.

1890 – A tornado strikes Louisville, Kentucky, killing 76 and injuring 200.

1899 – Emilio Aguinaldo leads Filipino forces for the only time during the Philippine–American War at the Battle of Marilao River.

1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

1943 – World War II: Battle of the Komandorski Islands: In the Aleutian Islands the battle begins when United States Navy forces intercept Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska.

1945 – World War II: Operation Starvation, the aerial mining of Japan's ports and waterways begins. Argentina declares war on the Axis Powers.

1958 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union.

1964 – The Good Friday earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 strikes Southcentral Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

1975 – Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.

1976 – The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opens.

1990 – The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí, an anti-Castro propaganda network, to Cuba.

1998 – The Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.


1813 – Nathaniel Currier, American illustrator, co-founded Currier and Ives (d. 1888)

1844 – Adolphus Greely, American general and explorer, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1935)

1879 – Miller Huggins, American baseball player and manager (d. 1929)

1924 – Sarah Vaughan, American singer (d. 1990)

1958 – Susan Molinari, American journalist and politician

1970 – Mariah Carey, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress


1900 – Joseph A. Campbell, American businessman, founded the Campbell Soup Company (b. 1817)

1918 – Henry Adams, American journalist, historian, and author (b. 1838)

1940 – Madeleine Astor, American survivor of the Sinking of the RMS Titanic (b. 1893)

1945 – Vincent Hugo Bendix, American engineer and businessman, founded Bendix Corporation (b. 1881)

1992 – Easley Blackwood, Sr., American bridge player and author (b. 1903)

2002 – Milton Berle, American comedian and actor (b. 1908)

2002 – Billy Wilder, Austrian-born American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1906)

2005 – Bob Casey, American sportscaster (b. 1925)

2009 – Irving R. Levine, American journalist and author (b. 1922)

2016 – Mother Angelica, American Roman Catholic religious leader and media personality (b. 1923)