Historical Political Events for April 27

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Year Event
1861 Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus for border states. Some civil libertarians object -- including judges, which are ignored. Lincoln orders Chief Justice Roger B. Taney be arrested (never carried out).
1865 The steamboat Sultana, carrying 2,300 passengers (with a legal capacity of only 376), explodes and sinks in the Mississippi River just north of Memphis, killing 1,700, most of whom were Union survivors of the Andersonville Prison.
1937 Devastation of the town of Guernica, Spain, which was bombed by Nazi planes on this date during the Spanish Civil War (see Guernica, 1937, Hidden from View for an amusing consequence). Fires in the town raged for several days, and 1,600 people either died or were injured. The self-evident barbarism of the event – the first massively publicized bombing of a civilian population – caused international horror. The Germans reputedly dropped about 100,000 pounds of explosives on the town.
1937 First Social Security checks distributed. Some statistics are here at Grandpa Hodges site.
1946 The International Military Tribunal for the Far East opens its war crimes trial in Tokyo, Japan. It continues until November 12, 1948, indicting Hideki Tojo, the former prime minister, and 27 associates. (from The Encarta® 2000 New World Timeline © Copyright 1998, Helicon Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)
1961 Sierra Leone wins independence, becoming the latest West African state to win independence, after more than 150 years of British colonial rule.
1997 A standoff in the Davis Mountains, Texas, between federal officials and the self-declared “Republic of Texas” group ends peacefully. On November 3 the group leader Richard McLaren is found guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap, and sentenced to 99 years in prison. (from The Encarta® 2000 New World Timeline © Copyright 1998, Helicon Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; . . .Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities . . .
    — A few items from the long list in the Rome Statute, Article 8 defining war crimes under the Geneva Convention
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