— Today is Wednesday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2013. There are 307 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 27, 1933, Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag (RYKS'-tahg), was gutted by fire. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, used the fire as justification for suspending civil liberties.
On this date:
Ten years ago: The Bush administration lowered the national terror alert from orange to yellow. Iraq agreed in principle to destroy its Al Samoud II missiles, two days before a U.N. deadline. Former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavsic (BIHL'-yah-nah PLAHV'-shich) was sentenced by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, to eleven years in prison for war crimes. (She was released in 2009.) Children's television host Fred Rogers died in Pittsburgh at age 74.
Five years ago: William F. Buckley Jr., the author and conservative commentator, was found dead at his home in Stamford, Conn.; he was 82. Civil rights leader John Lewis dropped his support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton in favor of Barack Obama. A judge in Canton, Ohio, sentenced former police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. to life in prison with a chance of parole after 57 years for killing his pregnant lover, Jessie Davis, and their unborn child.
One year ago: President Barack Obama urged the nation's governors at the White House to invest more state resources in education, saying a highly skilled workforce was crucial for the U.S. to remain competitive with other countries. Three students were shot to death in a Chardon, Ohio, high school cafeteria, allegedly by a 17-year-old who was charged with aggravated murder. Matt Kenseth won his second Daytona 500, holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. a day after rain had postponed the race for the first time in its 54-year history from Sunday to Monday.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 83. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 79. Opera singer Mirella Freni is 78. Actress Barbara Babcock is 76. Actor Howard Hesseman is 73. Actress Debra Monk is 64. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 59. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 56. Actor Timothy Spall is 56. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 53. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 53. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 52. Basketball Hall-of-Famer James Worthy is 52. Actor Adam Baldwin is 51. Actor Grant Show is 51. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 48. Actor Donal Logue (DOH'-nuhl LOHG) is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 42. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 40. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers) is 35. Actor Brandon Beemer is 33. Chelsea Clinton is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino is 33. Singer Josh Groban is 32. Rock musician Jared Champion (Cage the Elephant) is 30. Actress Kate Mara is 30.
Thought for Today: "Reasoning with a child is fine, if you can reach the child's reason without destroying your own." — John Mason Brown, American essayist (1900-1969).