Today is Monday, April 27, the 117th day of 2015. There are 248 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1509 - Pope Julius II excommunicates the Italian state of Venice.

1521 - Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese navigator, is killed in the Philippines. His ships complete the first trip around the world.

1565 - The first Spanish settlement and Catholic mission in the Philippine archipelago is founded on Cebu.

1650 - Scots under Montrose are defeated by British at Carbisdale.

1830 - Simon Bolivar abdicates as president of Colombia.

1865 - The overloaded steamer Sultana explodes on the Mississippi River, killing as many as 1,800 people, most of them Union prisoners of war released by the newly defeated Confederacy.

1909 - Young Turks depose Sultan Abdul Hamid, who is succeeded by Mohammed V.

1910 - Louis Botha and James Hertzog found South African Party.

1937 - The U.S. Social Security system makes its first benefits payment.

1938 - Greece and Turkey sign treaty of friendship.

1941 - Athens falls to German invaders after 180 days of Greek resistance in World War II.

1945 - Austrian statehood is proclaimed under Allied occupation.

1950 - Communist Party is outlawed in Australia; Britain recognizes Israel.

1960 - Rhee Syngman resigns as president of South Korea; Togo becomes independent republic.

1961 - Sierra Leone becomes independent from Britain.

1978 - Mohammed Daoud is thrown out in a bloody coup and replaced by Afghanistan's first communist ruler, Nur Mohammed Taraki. Daoud and 30 family members, including women and children, are executed.

1987 - The U.S. Justice Department bars Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the United States, saying he aided in the deportation and execution of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.

1989 - Bangladesh officials say at least 500 people die during rash of tornadoes and heavy rains.

1992 - Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics win entry into the International Monetary Fund and World Bank; the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is proclaimed in Belgrade by the Republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro.

1993 - Eritreans overwhelmingly choose independence from Ethiopia in a referendum that ratifies a rebel victory in Africa's longest secessionist struggle; semiofficial representatives of Taiwan and China meet in Singapore for the first time since 1949.

1994 - The United States and six Arab oil nations join to denounce Iraq and pledge to maintain an international squeeze on Saddam Hussein's government.

1996 - Rwandan soldiers kill 38 people in retaliation for the slaying of one of their own in a northwestern Rwanda village two weeks earlier.

1999 - A laser-guided bomb goes astray during a NATO bombing mission over Yugoslavia and strikes the village of Surdulica. Yugoslav authorities say at least 20 civilians are killed.

2000 - Paleontologists unveil the most complete ape-man skull ever excavated, a 1.5-million to 2-million-year-old skull of a female Paranthropus robustus, a cousin of early man. The fossil was found in South Africa.

2001 - Six Red Cross workers are shot and hacked to death in Congo.

2003 - Nicanor Duarte Frutos is elected president of Paraguay, extending the Colorado Party's uninterrupted 55 years of rule.

2008 - Police in Vienna find a woman missing since 1984, who tells authorities that her father had kept her in a cellar for almost 24 years and that she had given birth to at least six children after being repeatedly raped by him. The father, Josef Fritzl, 73, is taken into custody.

2010 - Ratings agency Standard & Poor's pushes Greece to the brink of a financial abyss and downgrades Portugal's debt, too, fueling fears of a continent-wide debt meltdown in Europe.

2012 - New Yorkers and tourists alike watch with joy and excitement as space shuttle Enterprise sails over the skyline on top of a modified jumbo jet on its final flight before it becomes a museum piece.

2013 - Center-left leader Enrico Letta forges a new Italian government in a coalition with former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's conservatives, an unusual alliance of bitter rivals that breaks a two-month political stalemate from inconclusive elections in the recession-mired country.

2014 - Two 20th-century popes who changed the course of the Roman Catholic church become saints as Pope Francis honors John XXIII and John Paul II in a delicate balancing act aimed at bringing together the conservative and progressive wings of the church.

Today's Birthdays:

Edward Gibbon, English historian (1737-1794); Samuel F.B. Morse, U.S. inventor of first practical telegraph (1791-1872); Ulysses S. Grant, U.S. president and general (1822-1885); Jack Klugman, U.S. actor (1922--2012); Anouk Aimee, French actress (1932--) Sheena Easton, Scottish singer/actress (1959--).

Thought For Today:

The reign of Antoninus is marked by the rare advantage of furnishing very few materials for history, which is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind — Edward Gibbon, English historian (1737-1794)