On this date: Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire

Published 5:15 am Sunday, January 27, 2019

Today is Sunday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2019. There are 338 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 27, 1967, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo spacecraft.

On this date:

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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 sexual misconduct 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 is 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.

Thought for Today: “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” — Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist (1667-1745).