On This Day in History February 27

February 27 – Events:

  • 837 – 15th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
  • 1526 – Saxony & Hesse form League of Gotha (league of Protestant princes).
  • 1560 – The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Congregation of Scotland.
  • 1594 – Henry IV is crowned King of France.
  • 1617 – Sweden and Russia sign the Treaty of Stolbovo, ending the Ingrian War and shutting Russia out of the Baltic Sea.
  • 1626 – Yuan Chonghuan is appointed Governor of Liaodong, after he led the Chinese into a great victory against the Manchurians under Nurhaci.
  • 1700 – The island of New Britain is discovered.
  • 1801 – Washington, DC is placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress.
  • 1803 – Great fire in Bombay, India.
  • 1812 – Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.
  • 1813 – First federal vaccination legislation enacted.
  • 1813 – Congress authorizes use of steamboats to transport mail.
  • 1814 – Beethoven’s 8th symphony premiers.
  • 1827 – First Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans.
  • 1844 – The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti.
  • 1860 – Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency.
  • 1861 – A crowd in Warsaw protesting against Russian rule over Poland is fired upon by Russian troops, killing five protesters.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: The first Northern prisoners arrive at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia.
  • 1874 – Baseball first played in England, at Lord’s Cricket Grounds.
  • 1883 – Oscar Hammerstein patents first cigar-rolling machine.
  • 1890 – D. Needham & P. Kerrigan box 100 rounds (6 hours, 39 minutes), San Francisco; match is a draw
  • 1900 – Second Boer War: In South Africa, British military leaders receive an unconditional notice of surrender from Boer General Piet Cronje at the Battle of Paardeberg.
  • 1900 – The British Labour Party is founded.
  • 1906 – France & Britain agree to joint control of New Hebrides.
  • 1919 – American Association for the Hard of Hearing formed, New York.
  • 1921 – The International Working Union of Socialist Parties is founded in Vienna.
  • 1922 – A challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, is rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.
  • 1933 – Reichstag fire: Germany’s parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on fire.
  • 1938 – Britain & France recognize Franco government in Spain.
  • 1939 – American Civil Rights Movement: Sit-down strikes are outlawed by the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 1940 – Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14
  • 1942 – World War II: During the Battle of the Java Sea, an allied (ABDA) strike force is defeated by a Japanese task force in the Java Sea in the Dutch East Indies.
  • 1943 – The Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek, Montana, explodes, killing 74 men.
  • 1943 – The Rosenstrasse protest starts in Berlin.
  • 1949 – Chaim Weizmann becomes first Israeli president.
  • 1951 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.
  • 1961 – The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation is inaugurated.
  • 1963 – The Dominican Republic receives its first democratically elected president, Juan Bosch, since the end of the dictatorship led by Rafael Trujillo.
  • 1964 – The government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.
  • 1967 – Dominica gains independence from the United Kingdom.
  • 1973 – The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
  • 1974 – People magazine is published for the first time.
  • 1976 – The formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, under the auspices of the Polisario Front declares independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
  • 1981 – Greatest passenger load on a commercial airliner-610 on Boeing 747.
  • 1982 – Earl Anthony becomes first pro bowler to win more than $1 million.
  • 1982 – Wayne Williams found guilty of murdering 2 of 28 blacks in Atlanta.
  • 1983 – Eamonn Coghlan set mile record of 3:49.78.
  • 1986 – The United States Senate allows its debates to be televised on a trial basis.
  • 1989 – Venezuela is rocked by the riots of Caracazo. 
  • 1991 – Singer James Brown is released from prison.
  • 1999 – Olusegun Obasanjo becomes Nigeria’s first elected president since mid-1983. 
  • 2002 – Godhra train burning, a Muslim mob kills 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya.
  • 2003 – Rowan Williams is enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican church.
  • 2004 – A bombing of a Superferry by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines worst terrorist attack kills 116.  
  • 2007 – The Chinese Correction: the Shanghai Stock Exchange falls 9%, the largest drop in 10 years.

February 27 – Birthdays:

  • 272 – Constantine I, Roman emperor (d. 337)
  • 1691 – Edward Cave, English editor and publisher (d. 1754)
  • 1711 – Constantine Mavrocordatos, Prince of Wallachia and Prince of Moldavia (d. 1769)
  • 1779 – Thomas Hazlehurst, English soap and alkali manufacturer (d. 1842)
  • 1807 – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet (d. 1882)
  • 1831 – Hiram Bond Everest, American cofounder of The Vacuum Oil Company (d. 1913)
  • 1862 – Anastasios Metaxas, Greek architect and shooter (d. 1937)
  • 1878 – Alvan T. Fuller, Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1958)
  • 1886 – Hugo Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (d. 1971)
  • 1888 – Roberto Assagioli, Italian psychiatrist (d. 1974)
  • 1888 – Earl Caddock, American professional wrestler (d. 1950)
  • 1888 – Lotte Lehmann, German singer (d. 1976)
  • 1890 – Freddie Keppard, American jazz musician (d. 1933)
  • 1891 – David Sarnoff, Russian-born broadcast pioneer (d. 1971)
  • 1891 – Anne Samson, oldest-ever nun documented (d. 2004)
  • 1892 – William Demarest, American actor (d. 1983)
  • 1897 – Marian Anderson, American contralto (d. 1993)
  • 1899 – Charles Best, Canadian medical scientist (d. 1978)
  • 1902 – Gene Sarazen, American golfer (d. 1999)
  • 1902 – John Steinbeck, American writer, Nobel laureate (d. 1968)
  • 1903 – Grethe Weiser, German actress (d. 1970)
  • 1904 – James T. Farrell, American writer (d. 1979)
  • 1904 – Yulii Borisovich Khariton, Russian physicist (d. 1996)
  • 1904 – André Leducq, French cyclist (d. 1980)
  • 1904 – Chick Fullis, American baseball player (d. 1946)
  • 1905 – Franchot Tone, American actor (d. 1968)
  • 1907 – Mildred Bailey, American singer (d. 1951)
  • 1910 – Joan Bennett, American actress (d. 1990)
  • 1910 – Peter De Vries, American writer (d. 1993)
  • 1910 – Ted Horn, American race car driver (d. 1948)
  • 1910 – Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, American aircraft engineer (Lockheed Skunk Works; d. 1990)
  • 1912 – Lawrence Durrell, British writer (d. 1990)
  • 1912 – Kusumagraj, Indian writer (d. 1999)
  • 1913 – Irwin Shaw, American writer (d. 1984)
  • 1913 – Kazimierz Sabbat, Polish president (d. 1989)
  • 1917 – John Connally, Governor of Texas (d. 1993)
  • 1922 – Hans Rookmaaker, Dutch professor and art historian (d. 1977)
  • 1923 – Dexter Gordon, American jazz saxophonist (d. 1990)
  • 1925 – Samuel Dash, American Congressional counsel (d. 2004)
  • 1926 – David H. Hubel, Canadian neuroscientist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1927 – Lynn Cartwright, American actress (d. 2004)
  • 1927 – Guy Mitchell, American singer (d. 1999)
  • 1928 – Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of Israel
  • 1929 – Djalma Santos, Brazilian footballer
  • 1930 – Paul von Ragué Schleyer, American chemist
  • 1930 – Peter Stone, American writer (d. 2003)
  • 1930 – Joanne Woodward, American actress
  • 1932 – Elizabeth Taylor, British-American actress
  • 1933 – Raymond Berry, American football player
  • 1934 – Vincent Fourcade, French interior designer (d. 1992)
  • 1934 – N. Scott Momaday, American writer
  • 1934 – Ralph Nader, American consumer activist
  • 1934 – Van Williams, American actor
  • 1935 – Mirella Freni, Italian soprano
  • 1936 – Ron Barassi, Australian rules footballer
  • 1936 – Roger Mahony, fourth Archbishop of Los Angeles
  • 1937 – David Ackles, American singer songwriter (d. 1999)
  • 1937 – Barbara Babcock, American actress
  • 1939 – Peter Revson, American racecar driver (d. 1974)
  • 1940 – Howard Hesseman, American actor
  • 1940 – Bill Hunter, Australian actor
  • 1941 – Paddy Ashdown, British politician
  • 1942 – Robert H. Grubbs, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1942 – Charlayne Hunter-Gault, American journalist
  • 1942 – Michel Forget, French Canadian actor
  • 1943 – Mary Frann, American actress (d. 1998)
  • 1943 – Morten Lauridsen, American composer
  • 1944 – Ken Grimwood, American writer (d. 2003)
  • 1945 – Carl Anderson, American singer and actor (d. 2004)
  • 1947 – Gidon Kremer, Latvian violinist
  • 1951 – Steve Harley, British rock musician (Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel)
  • 1952 – Stathis Psaltis, Greek actor
  • 1953 – Gabriela Svobodová, Czech cross country skier
  • 1954 – Neal Schon, American musician (Journey)
  • 1955 – Peter Christopherson, English musician, video director and designer
  • 1957 – Viktor Markin, Russian athlete
  • 1957 – Timothy Spall, English actor
  • 1957 – Danny Antonucci, Canadian animator
  • 1957 – Adrian Smith, English musician (Iron Maiden)
  • 1958 – Naas Botha, South African rugby union footballer
  • 1958 – Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious (d. 1978)
  • 1959 – Johnny Van Zant, American singer (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  • 1960 – Andrés Gómez, Ecuadorian tennis player
  • 1962 – Adam Baldwin, American actor
  • 1962 – Grant Show, American actor
  • 1963 – Pär Nuder, Swedish politician
  • 1964 – Todd Bodine, American race car driver
  • 1965 – Noah Emmerich, American actor
  • 1965 – Frank Peter Zimmermann, German violinist
  • 1965 – Joakim Sundström, Swedish sound editor, sound designer and musician
  • 1966 – Donal Logue, Canadian actor
  • 1968 – Matt Stairs, Canadian baseball player
  • 1969 – Brad Vander Ark, American musician
  • 1970 – Michael A. Burstein, American writer
  • 1970 – Patricia Petibon, French opera singer
  • 1971 – Derren Brown, British psychological illusionist
  • 1971 – Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, American singer (TLC)
  • 1973 – Ali Tabatabaee, American Iranian rapper (Zebrahead)
  • 1973 – Mark Taylor, Welsh rugby union footballer
  • 1973 – Peter André, Australian singer – Husband to Katie Price, Glamour model
  • 1975 – Prodromos Korkizoglou, Greek decathlete
  • 1975 – Shelby Walker, American mixed martial artist (d. 2006)
  • 1976 – Tony Gonzalez, American football player
  • 1977 – Lance Hoyt, American professional wrestler
  • 1977 – Ji Sung, South Korean actor
  • 1977 – James Wan, Australian film director
  • 1978 – James Beattie, English footballer
  • 1980 – Bobby Valentino, American singer
  • 1980 – Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton
  • 1981 – Josh Groban, American singer
  • 1983 – Kate Mara, American actress
  • 1983 – Hayley Angel Wardle, English actress
  • 1984 – David Noel, American basketball player
  • 1984 – Antti Tuisku, Finnish singer
  • 1984 – Lotta Schelin, Swedish female footballer
  • 1985 – Juliana Imai, Brazilian model
  • 1989 – Kelly Breeding, American singer from B5
  • 1991 – Azeem Rafiq, Yorkshire CCC & English U15 captain

February 27 – Deaths:

  • 1659 – Henry Dunster, first President of Harvard College (b. 1609)
  • 1699 – Charles Paulet, 1st Duke of Bolton, English politician (b. c. 1625)
  • 1706 – John Evelyn, English diarist (b. 1620)
  • 1720 – Samuel Parris, English-born Puritan minister (b. 1653)
  • 1735 – John Arbuthnot, English physician and writer (b. 1667)
  • 1844 – Nicholas Biddle, President of the Second Bank of the United States (b. 1786)
  • 1887 – Alexander Borodin, Russian composer and chemist (b. 1833)
  • 1892 – Louis Vuitton, French luggage maker (b. 1821)
  • 1902 – Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant, Anglo-Australian Soldier executed in the Second Boer War under controversial circumstances (b. 1864)
  • 1902 – Peter Handcock, Australian Soldier executed in the Second Boer War under controversial circumstances
  • 1921 – Schofield Haigh, English cricketer (b. 1871)
  • 1932 – William Southam, Canadian newspaper publisher (b. 1843)
  • 1936 – Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1849)
  • 1936 – Joshua W. Alexander, U.S. Secretary of Commerce under Woodrow Wilson (b. 1852)
  • 1941 – William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman (b. 1895)
  • 1943 – Kostis Palamas, Greek poet, twice nominated for the Nobel prize (b. 1859)
  • 1964 – Orry-Kelly, Australian costume designer (b. 1897)
  • 1968 – Frankie Lymon, American singer (b. 1942)
  • 1969 – Marius Barbeau, French Canadian folklorist (b. 1883)
  • 1970 – Marie Dionne, one of the French Canadian Dionne quintuplets (b. 1934)
  • 1972 – Pat Brady, American actor and singer (b. 1914)
  • 1977 – John Dickson Carr, American author (b. 1905)
  • 1978 – Vadim Salmanov, Russian composer (b. 1912)
  • 1980 – George Tobias, American actor (b. 1901)
  • 1981 – Jacob H. Gilbert, American politician (b. 1920)
  • 1985 – Henry Cabot Lodge, American politician (b. 1902)
  • 1986 – Jacques Plante, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1929)
  • 1987 – Joan Greenwood, English actress and director (b. 1921)
  • 1989 – Paul Oswald Ahnert, German astronomer (b. 1897)
  • 1989 – Konrad Lorenz, Austrian zoologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1903)
  • 1990 – Nahum Norbert Glatzer, Jewish-American scholar (b. 1903)
  • 1992 – S. I. Hayakawa, Canadian-American linguist and politician (b. 1906)
  • 1993 – Lillian Gish, American actress (b. 1893)
  • 1998 – George H. Hitchings, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1905)
  • 1998 – J. T. Walsh, American actor (b. 1943)
  • 2002 – Spike Milligan, Irish comedian (b. 1918)
  • 2003 – John Lanchbery, English composer (b. 1923)
  • 2003 – Fred Rogers, American children’s television actor (b. 1928)
  • 2004 – Paul Sweezy, American economist and editor (b. 1910)
  • 2004 – Yoshihiko Amino, Japanese historians (b. 1928)
  • 2006 – Otis Chandler, American newspaper publisher (b. 1927)
  • 2006 – Robert Lee Scott, Jr., U.S. General, Flying Tiger, and author (b. 1908)
  • 2006 – Linda Smith, British comedian (b. 1958)
  • 2007 – Bobby Rosengarden, American jazz drummer (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Bernd von Freytag-Loringhoven, German soldier (b. 1914)
  • 2008 – Myron Cope, American sports broadcaster (b. 1929)
  • 2008 – William F. Buckley, Jr., American conservative author and commentator (b. 1925)
  • 2008 – Boyd Coddington, American automobile designer (b. 1944)

February 27 – Holidays:

  • Roman Empire – Equirria; horse races in honor of the war god Mars were held.
  • Bahá’í Faith – Day 2 of Ayyám-i-Há (Intercalary Days) – days in the Bahá’í calendar devoted to service and gift giving.
  • Dominican Republic – National Day.
  • First day of Maslenitsa in Russia (2006)
  • Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
  • Saint Leander
  • Saint Honorine
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