Monday, March 27, 2006

1958: Khrushchev is Soviet premier

On March 27, 1958, Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev replaces Nicolay Bulganin as Soviet premier, becoming undisputed leader of the USSR's party and state. In 1953, Joseph Stalin died and Khrushchev grappled with Stalin's chosen successor, Georgy Malenkov, for the position of first secretary. Khrushchev won the power struggle and Malenkov was made premier, a more ceremonial post. In 1955, Malenkov was replaced by Bulganin, an ally of Khrushchev. Later, Bulganin joined a group that tried to oust Khrushchev from his leadership position, so he removed Bulganin from the premiership and took it on himself. As Soviet leader, Khrushchev denounced Stalin and his totalitarian policies, but the new atmosphere of freedom led to anti-Soviet uprisings in Poland and Hungary. In launching the first cosmonauts, he gave the Soviet Union an early lead in the space race, and by reasonably negotiating with the United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he may have averted World War III. He resigned abruptly in 1964 under pressure from a Communist party critical of his foreign policy and economic record in the USSR.
199740 members of an American cult kill themselves, apparently in the belief that they were going to link up with a UFO near the comet Hale-Bopp.
1991Briton David Icke, former footballer, BBC sports presenter and member of the Green Party, announces that he had been "chosen" to save the world.
1980Oilrig platform Alexander Keiland overturns in North Sea killing 123.
1977Two jumbo jets collide on the ground at a foggy Tenerife Airport killing 574 people.
1963Publication of the Beeching Report on Britain's railways
1958In Russia, Nikita Kruschev ousts Prime Minister Bulganin to take control of running the USSR.
1914The first successful blood transfusion is performed in a hospital in Brussels.
1871Scotland beats England in the first international rugby union match in Edinburgh.
1794Official formation of the United States Navy.
1942British actor Michael York
1912British politician James Callaghan
1901Japanese politician Eisaku Sato.Prime Minister (1964-72). Awarded 1974 Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.
1898Actress Gloria Swanson
1863Auto pioneer Frederick Henry Royce
1931British novelist and writer Arnold Bennett dies of typhoid after a visit to Paris.


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