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On This Day, April 27: Popes John XXIII, John Paul II canonized


In an canonization mass, Pope Francis honors Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II by declaring them saints in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Vatican City on April 27, 2014. File Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | License Photo

April 26 (UPI) — On this date in history:

In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives of the Philippine Islands during his attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the world. His co-leader, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, completed the voyage in 1522.

In 1749, George Frideric Handel’s “Fireworks Music” was first performed.

In 1810, Ludwig van Beethoven composed “Fur Elise.”

In 1865, the steamboat Sultana, heavily overloaded with an estimated 2,300 passengers, most of them Union soldiers on their way home, exploded on the Mississippi River just north of Memphis. The death toll in the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history was set at 1,450.

In 1897, the cornerstone was laid for Grant’s Tomb in New York City’s Riverside Park. A holiday had been declared for the occasion and an enormous crowd turned out in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president and Civil War general who died 12 years earlier.

File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

In 1932, prohibition and birth control were to be raised during the formal business meeting of the League of Women Voters in the run-up to the 1932 elections.

In 1937, the first Social Security payment was made in the United States.

In 1978, communist rebels overthrew and killed Afghan President Mohammed Daoud Khan, a precursor to the Soviet-Afghan War.

In 1991, an estimated 70 tornadoes hit Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, killing 23 people and leaving thousands homeless.

In 1993, Kuwait said it foiled an Iraqi plot to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush during his visit earlier in the month.

In 1994, Virginia executed a condemned killer in the first case in which DNA testing was used to obtain a conviction.

In 2008, police said a 73-year-old Austrian man, Josef Fritzl, had been accused of fathering several children with his daughter while holding her captive in a cellar for 24 years. Fritzl was eventually sentenced to life in prison.

In 2009, General Motors announced it would drop the Pontiac line.

File Photo by Roger Williams/UPI

In 2011, a record outbreak of 358 tornadoes carved a devastating path through parts of 21 states from Texas to New York and on into Canada, hitting southern states hardest. Nearly 300 fatalities were reported, mostly in Alabama, over a four-day period.

In 2014, tens of thousands of people gathered at the Vatican for the canonization of two former popes, John XXIII and John Paul II.

In 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met during a historic summit to discuss full denuclearization.

In 2019, a shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego left one person dead and three others injured.

File Photo by Ariana Drehsler/UPI


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