July 27, 1953 --- Armistice ends the Korean War
After three years of a bloody and frustrating war, the United States, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea agree to an armistice, bringing the Korean War to an end. The armistice ended America’s first experiment with the Cold War concept of “limited war.”
July 27, 1974 --- House begins impeachment of Nixon
On this day, the House Judiciary Committee recommends that America’s 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Watergate.
The Watergate scandal first came to light following a break-in on June 17, 1972, at the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate apartment-hotel complex in Washington, D.C. A group of men linked to the White House were later arrested and charged with the crime. Nixon denied any involvement with the break-in, but several of his staff members were eventually implicated in an illegal cover-up and forced to resign.
Subsequent government investigations revealed “dirty tricks” political campaigning by the Committee to Re-Elect the President, along with a White House “enemies list.” In July 1973, one of Nixon’s former staff members revealed the existence of secretly taped conversations between the president and his aides. Nixon initially refused to release the tapes, on grounds of executive privilege and national security, but a judge later ordered the president to turn them over. The White House provided some but not all of the tapes, including one from which a portion of the conversation appeared to have been erased.
In May 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began formal impeachment hearings against Nixon. On July 27 of that year, the first article of impeachment against the president was passed. Two more articles, for abuse of power and contempt of Congress, were approved on July 29 and 30.On August 5,Nixon complied with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring that the provide transcripts of the missing tapes, and the new evidence clearly implicated him in a cover up of the Watergate break-in. On August 8, Nixon announced his resignation, becoming the first president in U.S. history to voluntarily leave office.
After departing the White House on August 9, Nixon was succeeded by Vice President Gerald Ford, who, in a controversial move, pardoned Nixon on September 8, 1974, making it impossible for the former president to be prosecuted for any crimes he might have committed while in office. Only two other presidents in U.S. history have been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998.
July 27, 2002 --- Fighter jet crashes into crowd at air show
During an air show in Ukraine, a fighter jet crashes into a crowd of spectators on this day in 2002, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds more. This was the worst air-show accident to that date.
Thousands of spectators, including many children, were enjoying themselves on a summer Saturday afternoon at the Skniliv Airfield in Lviv. They came to mark the 60th anniversary of the formation of a local unit of the Ukrainian air force. A Russian Sukhoi SU-27 jet was performing a complicated maneuver just above the ground when it nicked a plane on the tarmac. The jet somersaulted and crashed directly into the crowd. The fiery explosion created a horrific scene. The two pilots, however, managed to eject themselves from the plane before the crash and survived with minor injuries.
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The president of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, immediately fired the head of the air force, began an investigation into the incident and vowed to end all future air shows. Millions of dollars were set aside to assist the victims and their families. The investigation quickly revealed that the pilots were attempting risky maneuvers that had never before been tried. In addition, there were no safety precautions in place to help the pilots direct the planes away from the crowd below in the event of an emergency.