The Steamship Sultana's steam boiler exploded on April 27, !865 on the MIssissippi near Memphis, killing 1400 people - mainly freed Union prisoners-of-war returning home. The Sultana was grossly overloaded and poorly maintained.
Today is Sunday, April 27, the 117th day of 2014. There are 248 days left in the year.
On April 27 –
In 1509, Pope Julius II placed the Republic of Venice under an interdict following its refusal to give up lands claimed by the Papal States. (The pope lifted the sanction in February 1510.)
In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines
In 1777, the only land battle in Connecticut during the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Ridgefield, took place, resulting in a limited British victory.
In 1805, during the First Barbary War, an American-led force of Marines and mercenaries captured the city of Derna, on the shores of Tripoli.
In 1813, the Battle of York took place in Upper Canada during the War of 1812 as a U.S. force defeated the British garrison in present-day Toronto before withdrawing.
In 1822, the 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.
In 1865, the steamer Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., killing more than 1,400 people, mostly freed Union prisoners of war.
In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.
In 1967, Expo '67 was officially opened in Montreal by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.
In 1973, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after it was revealed that he'd destroyed files removed from the safe of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.
In 1982, the trial of John W. Hinckley Jr., who had shot four people, including President Ronald Reagan, began in Washington. (The trial ended with Hinckley's acquittal by reason of insanity.)
In 1994, former President Richard M. Nixon was remembered at an outdoor funeral service attended by all five of his successors at the Nixon presidential library in Yorba Linda, Calif.
In entertainment history on Apr 27 –
In 1964, John Lennon's book, "In His Own Write," was published in the U.S.
In 1968, Simon and Garfunkel released the single "Mrs. Robinson."
In 1981, Ringo Starr and actress Barbara Bach got married. Paul McCartney and George Harrison attended the ceremony.
In 1990, David Bowie began the U.S. leg of his "Sound and Vision" world tour. He said the tour would mark the last time he performed his old hits.
Also in 1990, singer Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses married Erin Everly, Don Everly's daughter. The marriage lasted 27 days.
In 1999, trumpeter Al Hirt died of liver failure at his home in New Orleans. He was 76.