On June 27, 1963, President John F. Kennedy spent the first full day of a visit to Ireland, the land of his ancestors, stopping by the County Wexford home of his great-grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, who had emigrated to America in 1848.
On this date:
In 1787, English historian Edward Gibbon completed work on his six-volume work, "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."
In 1844, Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, were killed by a mob in Carthage, Ill.
In 1846, New York and Boston were linked by telegraph wires.
In 1893, the New York stock market crashed.
In 1922, the first Newberry Medal, recognizing excellence in children's literature, was awarded in Detroit to "The Story of Mankind" by Hendrik Willem van Loon.
In 1942, the FBI announced the arrests of eight Nazi saboteurs put ashore in Florida and Long Island, N.Y. (All were tried and sentenced to death; six were executed while two were spared for turning themselves in and cooperating with U.S. authorities.)
In 1944, during World War II, American forces liberated the French port of Cherbourg from the Germans.
In 1950, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling on member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North.
In 1957, more than 500 people were killed when Hurricane Audrey slammed through coastal Louisiana and Texas.
In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws and bar association rules that prohibited lawyers from advertising their fees for routine services.
In 1988, at least 56 people were killed when a commuter train ran into a stationary train at the Gare de Lyon terminal in Paris.
In 1991, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black jurist to sit on the nation's highest court, announced his retirement. (His departure led to the contentious nomination of Clarence Thomas to succeed him.)
Ten years ago: More than 735,000 phone numbers were registered on the first day of a national do-not-call list aimed at blocking unwelcome solicitations from telemarketers.
Five years ago: North Korea destroyed the most visible symbol of its nuclear weapons program, the cooling tower at its main atomic reactor at Yongbyon. (However, North Korea announced in September 2008 that it was restoring its nuclear facilities.) In Zimbabwe, roaming bands of government supporters heckled, harassed or threatened people into voting in a runoff election in which President Robert Mugabe was the only candidate.
One year ago: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness offered each other the hand of peace during a private meeting inside Belfast's riverside Lyric Theatre. A 22-year-old former Texas Tech University student from Saudi Arabia, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari (KAH'-lihd ah-lee-EHM' al-duh-SAHR'-ee), was convicted in Amarillo of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. (He later received life in prison.)
Today's Birthdays: Business executive Ross Perot is 83. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is 75. Singer-musician Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys) is 71. Fashion designer Vera Wang is 64. Actress Julia Duffy is 62. Actress Isabelle Adjani is 58. Country singer Lorrie Morgan is 54. Actor Brian Drillinger is 53. Writer-producer-director J.J. Abrams is 47. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is 45. Olympic gold and bronze medal figure skater Viktor Petrenko is 44. TV personality Jo Frost (TV: "Supernanny") is 43. Actor Yancey Arias is 42. Actor Christian Kane is 39. Actor Tobey Maguire is 38. Gospel singer Leigh Nash is 37. Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian (kar-DASH'-ee-uhn) is 29. Actor Drake Bell is 27. Actor Ed Westwick is 26. Actress Madylin Sweeten is 22. Actor Chandler Riggs is 14.
Thought for Today: "A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean question: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well — or ill?" — John Steinbeck, American author (1902-1968).