On this day, May 27 …

1995: Actor Christopher Reeve, best known for his portrayal of Superman, is left paralyzed after he is thrown from his horse during a jumping event in Charlottesville, Va.
Also on this day:

  • 1931: Two Swiss balloonists become the first humans to reach the stratosphere, rising to 53,171 feet
  • 1933: Walt Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated short “The Three Little Pigs” is first released.
  • 1941: The British Royal Navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck off France with a loss of some 2,000 lives, three days after the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with the loss of more than 1,400 lives. Amid rising world tensions, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims an “unlimited national emergency” during a radio address from the White House.
  • 1957: The single “That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly’s group The Crickets is released by Brunswick Records.
  • 1998: Michael Fortier, the government’s star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, is sentenced to 12 years in prison after apologizing for not warning anyone about the deadly plot. (Fortier would be freed in January 2006.)
  • 1999: A U.N. tribunal indicts Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for crimes against humanity.
  • 2016: Barack Obama becomes the first U.S. president to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan.
  • 2018: Danica Patrick ends her auto-racing career at the track that made her famous, losing traction on a slippery surface and crashing out of the Indianapolis 500; the race is won by Will Power.
  • 2019: Bill Buckner, a star hitter who compiled 2,715 hits for five different teams over a 22-year career but became known for making one of the most infamous errors in Major League Baseball history, dies.