Mozart painting

This posthumous portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was painted by Barbara Kraft at the request of Joseph Sonnleithner in 1819, long after Mozart died. On Jan. 27, 1756, Mozart was born. 

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

In 1756: Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.

In 1880: Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.

In 1888: The National Geographic Society was incorporated in Washington, D.C.

In 1944: During World War II, the Soviet Union announced the complete end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for more than two years.

In 1945: During World War II, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.

In 1973: The Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.

In 1981: President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, greeted at the White House the 52 former American hostages released by Iran.

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 2006: Western Union delivered its last telegram.

In 2010: Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad tablet computer during a presentation in San Francisco. J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of “The Catcher in the Rye,” died in Cornish, N.H., at age 91.

In 2013: Flames raced through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil, killing 242 people.

In 2017: President Donald Trump barred all refugees from entering the United States for four months — and those from war-ravaged Syria indefinitely — declaring the ban necessary to prevent “radical Islamic terrorists” from entering the nation.

In 2020: China confirmed more than 2,700 cases of the new coronavirus with more than 80 deaths in that country; authorities postponed the end of the Lunar New Year holiday to keep the public at home. U.S. health officials said they believed the risk to Americans remained low and that they had no evidence that the new virus was spreading in the United States; they advised Americans to avoid non-essential travel to any part of China.

Ten years ago: Flames raced through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil, killing 242 people. Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 to become the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian Open titles. The CIA thriller “Argo” won top honor for overall cast performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards; Jennifer Lawrence won leading actress for “Silver Linings Playbook” while Daniel Day-Lewis won leading actor for “Lincoln.”

Five years 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. 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.

One year ago: Liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer confirmed that he would step down from the court later in the year. President Joe Biden strongly affirmed that he would nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court to replace Breyer, declaring that such historic representation is “long overdue.” (Biden’s nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, would be confirmed in April.) Millions of health care workers across the country were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as a mandate from the Biden administration took effect in about half the states. Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement after 18 seasons and two Super Bowl wins.