Today’s Highlight in History
On Sept. 27, 1996: In Afghanistan, the Taliban, a band of former seminary students, drove the government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani out of Kabul, captured the capital and executed former leader Najibullah.
Also on this date ...
In 1779: John Adams was named by Congress to negotiate the Revolutionary War’s peace terms with Britain.
In 1825: The first locomotive to haul a passenger train was operated by George Stephenson in England.
In 1854: The first great disaster involving an Atlantic Ocean passenger vessel occurred when the steamship SS Arctic sank off Newfoundland; of the more than 400 people on board, only 86 survived.
In 1928: The United States said it was recognizing the Nationalist Chinese government.
In 1939: Warsaw, Poland, surrendered after weeks of resistance to invading forces from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II.
In 1956: Olympic track and field gold medalist and Hall of Fame golfer Babe Didrikson Zaharias died in Galveston, Texas, at age 45.
In 1964: The government publicly released the report of the Warren Commission, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy.
In 1979: Congress gave its final approval to forming the U.S. Department of Education.
In 1991: President George H.W. Bush announced in a nationally broadcast address that he was eliminating all U.S. battlefield nuclear weapons, and called on the Soviet Union to match the gesture. The Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked, 7-7, on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1994: More than 350 Republican congressional candidates gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to sign the “Contract with America,” a 10-point platform they pledged to enact if voters sent a GOP majority to the House.
In 1999: Sen. John McCain of Arizona officially opened his campaign for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, the same day former Vice President Dan Quayle dropped his White House bid.
In 2018: During a day-long hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Christine Blasey Ford said she was “100 percent” certain that she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when they were teenagers, and Kavanaugh then told senators that he was “100 percent certain” he had done no such thing; Republicans quickly scheduled a recommendation vote for the following morning.
Ten years ago: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly that the world had only a matter of months to stop Iran before it could build a nuclear bomb. NFL referees returned to the field after a tentative deal with the league ended a lockout; games had been marred by controversy, blown calls and confusion as substitute referees officiated during the first three weeks of the season.
Five years ago: President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled the first major revamp of the nation’s tax code in a generation, a plan that included deep tax cuts for corporations, simplified tax brackets and a near-doubling of the standard deduction. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died at the age of 91.
One year ago: A Texas judge found Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones liable for damages in defamation lawsuits brought by the parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre over his claims that the shooting was a hoax; the cases would head to trial for juries to determine the amount of damages Jones and the other defendants would have to pay the families. (In August 2022, a jury ordered Jones to pay more than $49 million to the parents of one child who was killed.) R&B superstar R. Kelly was convicted in a sex trafficking trial in New York, after decades of avoiding criminal responsibility for numerous allegations of misconduct with young women and children. (Kelly was sentenced in June 2022 to 30 years in prison.) Ford and a partner company announced plans to build three major electric-vehicle battery factories and an auto assembly plant by 2025 in Kentucky and Tennessee.