Aug. 27 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1859, the first successful oil well in the United States was drilled near Titusville, Pa.
In 1883, the most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurred on Krakatoa, a small, uninhabited island west of Sumatra in Indonesia.
In 1939, Adolf Hitler served notice on England and France that Germany wanted Danzig and the Polish Corridor. Germany invaded Poland days later and on Sept. 3, France and Britain declared war, starting World War II.
In 1955, the first Guinness World Records book was published.
In 1979, IRA militants killed Louis Mountbatten, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of England, by blowing up his boat. It was the IRA's first attack on the royal family.
In 1999, two Russian cosmonauts and a French astronaut left Mir to return to Earth, leaving the orbiting Russian space station unmanned for the first time in 13 years.
In 2008, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois was formally chosen as the Democratic presidential nominee at the party's national convention in Denver. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware was the party's vice presidential nominee.
In 2009, 17-year-old Briton Mike Perham, after a nine-month voyage in a 50-foot yacht, was recognized as the youngest person to sail alone around the world without assistance. At age 14, he had been the youngest to sail solo across the Atlantic.
In 2010, the planned $3 billion merger of Continental and United Airlines was approved by the U.S. Justice Department, clearing the major regulatory hurdle to the creation of the world's biggest airline.
In 2020, New Zealand handed down its first sentence of life in prison without parole for Brenton Tarrant for killing 51 mosque worshippers in Christchurch.
In 2021, Prince Andrew, the second-oldest son of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, was served a lawsuit accusing him of rape and sex abuse of a woman when she was underage. He settled the suit to avoid going to trial.