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Today’s History Spotlight
US, UK and Soviet Union sign the Outer Space Treaty. The treaty bans the deployment of nuclear weapons in outer space and limits the use of the Moon to peaceful purposes. The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a multilateral treaty that forms the basis of international space law.
Negotiated and drafted under the auspices of the United Nations, it was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, entering into force on 10 October 1967. As of February 2021, 111 countries are parties to the treaty—including all major spacefaring nations—and another 23 are signatories.
What Happened On This Day – January 27
- 1983 The first shaft of the world’s longest tunnel is completed. The Seikan Tunnel, 53.85 km (33.46 mi) in length, connects the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido.
- 1967 Three astronauts die in a cabin fire while preparing for the Apollo 1 mission. The accident was a blow to NASA’s Apollo manned lunar landing program.
- 1945 Soviet forces liberate Auschwitz. The German Nazi regime murdered over 1.1 million people in the extermination camps near Oświęcim, Poland.
- 1944 Soviet forces liberate Leningrad. Die Siege of Leningrad had lasted 872 days and left over 1 million people dead.
Births On This Day – January 27
- 1974 Ole Einar Bjørndalen – Norwegian biathlete
- 1944 Mairead Maguire – Irish activist, Nobel Prize laureate
- 1859 Wilhelm II, German Emperor
- 1832 Lewis Carroll – English author
- 1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Austrian composer
Deaths On This Day – January 27
- 2014 Pete Seeger – American singer-songwriter, guitarist
- 2009 John Updike – American author, poet, critic
- 2008 Suharto – Indonesian soldier, politician, 2nd President of Indonesia
- 1983 Louis de Funès – French actor, comedian
- 1901 Giuseppe Verdi – Italian composer
The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at TimeandDate.com and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.