Good Morning! It’s The Anniversary Of A Massacre That Breathed Fire Into The Fight For Texas Independence

The mission at Goliad. (File)

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, March 27, the 86th day of 2013. There are 279 days left in the year. Temperatures will be in the 30s at the start of the day, but should rise into the upper 60s this afternoon under a mostly sunny sky. Lows overnight should be around 50.

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On March 27, 1836—177 years ago today—Santa Ana’s troops split about 400 Texas prisoners into groups and marched them away from a half-century old Catholic Spanish Church on a hill above the San Antonio River. Before that Palm Sunday ended, the Mexican troops had executed more than 340 of them. After the massacre, "Remember Goliad!" joined "Remember the Alamo!" as battle cries of Gen. Sam Houston's men in their rout of the Mexican army in the battle of San Jacinto to form the short-lived Republic of Texas.

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Today's Highlight in Local History:
On March 27, 1939, contralto Marian Anderson performed in Waco Hall on the Baylor campus. Two weeks later, she gave an historic performance from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the behest of then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt after the DAR refused her permission to perform for an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. More than 75,000 gathered for the Easter Sunday performance. Millions listened on the radio.

Today's Highlight in History:
On March 27, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted present-day Florida.

On This Date:
In 1625, Charles I acceded to the English throne upon the death of James I.
In 1794, Congress approved "An Act to provide a Naval Armament" of six armed ships.
In 1836, the first Mormon temple was dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio.
In 1912, first lady Helen Herron Taft and the wife of Japan's ambassador to the United States, Viscountess Chinda, planted the first two of 3,000 cherry trees given as a gift by the mayor of Tokyo.
In 1933, Japan officially withdrew from the League of Nations.
In 1942, American servicemen were granted free mailing privileges.
In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.
In 1964, Alaska was hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunamis that killed about 130 people.
In 1968, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man to orbit the Earth, died in a plane crash.
In 1973, "The Godfather" won the Academy Award for best picture of 1972, but its star, Marlon Brando, refused to accept his Oscar for best actor. Liza Minnelli won best actress for "Cabaret."
In 1977, 583 people were killed when a KLM Boeing 747, attempting to take off, crashed into a Pan Am 747 on the Canary Island of Tenerife.
In 1980, 123 workers died when a North Sea floating oil field platform, the Alexander Kielland, capsized during a storm.

Ten years ago:
Serbian police killed two major suspects in the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. Russia's Evgeni Plushenko won his second World Figure Skating Championships title, edging American Tim Goebel at the MCI Center in Washington D.C. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Zindel died in New York at age 66.

Five years ago:
The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Robert Gates had ordered a full inventory of all nuclear weapons and related materials after the mistaken delivery of ballistic missile fuses to Taiwan.

One year ago:
A JetBlue Airways captain ran through the cabin of a New York-to-Las Vegas flight yelling about religion and terrorists before he was locked out of the cockpit, and then tackled and restrained by passengers. (Clayton Osbon was charged with interference with a flight crew; he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.) The leaders of South Korea, the United States and China issued stark warnings about the threat of nuclear terrorism during the final day of a nuclear summit in Seoul that was upstaged by North Korea's long-range rocket launch plans. Award-winning poet Adrienne Rich, 82, died in Santa Cruz, Calif. Art critic Hilton Kramer, 84, died in Harpswell, Maine.

Today's Birthdays:
Dance company director Arthur Mitchell is 79. Actor Julian Glover is 78. Actor Jerry Lacy is 77. Hall of Fame racer Cale Yarborough is 74. Actor-director Austin Pendleton is 73. Actor Michael York is 71. Rock musician Tony Banks (Genesis) is 63. Rock musician Andrew Farriss (INXS) is 54. Jazz musician Dave Koz is 50. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 50. Rock musician Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) is 49. Rock musician Johnny April (Staind) is 48. Actress Talisa Soto is 46. Actress Pauley Perrette is 44. Singer Mariah Carey is 43. Rock musician Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) is 43. Actress Elizabeth Mitchell is 43. Actor Nathan Fillion is 42. Hip-hop singer Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) is 38. Actress Megan Hilty is 32. Actress Emily Ann Lloyd is 29. Actress Brenda Song is 25. Pop singer/songwriter Kimbra is 23. Actress Taylor Atelian is 18.

Thought for Today:
"Often the test of courage is not to die but to live." - Vittorio Alfieri, Italian dramatist (1749-1803).