April 27

1521

Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in a fight with natives of the Philippines.

1805

The U.S. Marines captured Derna, on the shores of Tripoli.

1865

The worst steamship disaster in the history of the United States occurred when there was an explosion aboard the Sultana; more than 1,400 people were killed.

1956

Rocky Marciano retired as undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion.

1961

Sierra Leone gained independence from Great Britain.

1983

Pitcher Nolan Ryan surpassed Walter Johnson’s strikeout record—one that had held since 1927.

1987

Austrian president Kurt Waldheim was barred from entering the United States. He was accused of aiding in the execution of thousands of Jews in World War II.

1993

Eritrea declared itself independent.

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