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February 27th

1933 Adolf Hitler's Nazis set fire to the German parliament building in Berlin, blamed it on the communists and made that an excuse to suspend German civil liberties and freedom of the press.
1942 Opening salvos were fired in the Battle of the Java Sea, during which 13 U.S. warships were sunk by the Japanese, who lost two.
1964 The Italian government asked for suggestions on how to save the renowned 180-foot Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.
1982 An Atlanta jury convicted Wayne Williams of killing two of 28 young blacks whose deaths over a two-year period had shaken the city. Williams was sentenced to life in prison.
1990 The Soviet Parliament approved creation of a U.S.-style presidential system that gave Mikhail Gorbachev broad new powers and established direct popular elections for the post.
1990 A federal grand jury in Anchorage, Alaska, indicted Exxon Corp. and its shipping subsidiary over the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
1991 Allied troops liberated Kuwait City.
1992 Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her 60th birthday by closing Disneyland for an elaborate private party with her celebrity friends.
1994 The 17th Winter Olympic Games ended in Lillehammer, Norway.
1998 The Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high of 8,545.72, the first time it closed at more than 8,500.
1999 Nigeria's transition to civilian rule was nearly completed with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military leader, as president.
2003 Iraqi President Saddam Hussein denied Baghdad had any connection with al-Qaida or its leader Osama bin Laden and that Iraq would set fire to its oil fields and blow up its dams in response to a U.S.-led invasion.
2003 Amnesty International reported that the Ivory Coast's main rebel group slaughtered dozens of Ivorian policemen and their children during a horrific October rampage.
2004 Two studies commissioned by the U.S. Roman Catholic church showed at least 4 percent of priests were involved in child sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002, with the peak year 1970 in which one of every 10 priests eventually was accused of abuse.
2005 The United Nations took a first step aimed at curtailing worldwide smoking by announcing its tough tobacco control treaty had gone into effect.
2006 More than 1,300 Iraqis were reported killed in sectarian violence since the bombing of a major Shiite shrine in Baghdad.
2007 U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, identified as the target by the Taliban, escaped injury when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside U.S. Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Twenty-three people were reported killed in the attack.
2008 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was considering lowering interest rates despite rising inflation and a record low dollar.