Death toll 51 after scaffolding plunges 168 feet to the ground at the West Virginia power station site in 1978
By The Associated Press
Today is Saturday, April 27, the 117th day of 2019. There are 248 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 27, 1978, 51 construction workers plunged to their deaths when a scaffold inside a cooling tower at the Pleasants Power Station site in West Virginia fell 168 feet to the ground.
On this date:
In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.
In 1791, the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel Morse, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
In 1865, the steamer Sultana, carrying freed Union prisoners of war, exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee; death toll estimates vary from 1,500 to 2,000.
In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.
In 1950, Britain formally recognized the state of Israel.
In 1965, broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow died in Pawling, New York, two days after turning 57.
In 1968, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president, less than a month after President Lyndon B. Johnson said he would not run for re-election.
In 1978, convicted Watergate defendant John D. Ehrlichman was released from an Arizona prison after serving 18 months.
In 1982, the trial of John W. Hinckley Jr., who shot four people, including President Ronald Reagan, began in Washington. (The trial ended with Hinckley’s acquittal by reason of insanity.)
In 1992, the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed in Belgrade by the republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro. Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of Britain’s House of Commons.
In 2006, construction began on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
In 2011, powerful tornadoes raked the South and Midwest; according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 120 twisters resulted in 316 deaths.
Ten years ago: A 23-month-old Mexico City toddler died at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, becoming the first swine-flu death on U.S. soil. A strong earthquake struck central Mexico, rattling nerves among residents already tense from a swine flu outbreak. One of President Barack Obama’s Air Force One jets, a Boeing 747, and an F-16 fighter jet panicked New Yorkers as they circled over lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty for what turned out to be a photo op. General Motors announced plans to cut 21,000 hourly jobs and scrap the Pontiac brand.
Five years ago: Two 20th-century popes who’d changed the course of the Roman Catholic church become saints as Pope Francis honored John XXIII and John Paul II; Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI joined him in the first celebration of Mass by a serving and retired pontiff in the church’s 2,000-year history. In a rare acknowledgement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the Nazi Holocaust “the most heinous crime” of modern history. A tornado tore through parts of Arkansas, killing 16 people. Lydia Ko birdied the final hole for her third LPGA Tour victory and first as a professional in the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, three days after celebrating her 17th birthday.
One year ago: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history by crossing over to South Korea to meet with President Moon Jae-in; it was the first time a member of the Kim dynasty had set foot on southern soil since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released a lengthy report concluding that it found no evidence that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign. The members of the Swedish pop supergroup ABBA announced that they had recorded new material for the first time in 35 years, with two new songs.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Anouk Aimee is 87. Rock musician Jim Keltner is 77. Rock singer Kate Pierson (The B-52’s) is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Herbie Murrell (The Stylistics) is 70. Actor Douglas Sheehan is 70. Rock musician Ace Frehley is 68. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is 68. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 60. Actor James Le Gros (groh) is 57. Rock musician Rob Squires (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 54. Singer Mica Paris is 50. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is 50. Actor David Lascher is 47. Actress Maura West is 47. Actress Sally Hawkins is 43. Rock singer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) is 41. Rock musician Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) is 41. Rock singer-musician Travis Meeks (Days of the New) is 40. Actor Francis Capra is 36.