It happened today – this day in history – February 27

1594: Henry IV is crowned king of France.

1670: Jews are expelled from Austria by order of Leopold I.

1678: The Earl of Shaftesbury is freed from the Tower of London.

1807: Birth of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Portland, Maine.

1814: Ludwig van Beethoven’s 8th Symphony in F premieres.

1827: The first Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans.

1844: The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti.

1848: Birth of composer Hubert Parry in Bournemouth.

1854: Composer Robert Schumann is saved from a suicide attempt after jumping into the Rhine.

1902: Birth of author John Steinbeck in Salinas, California.

1907: Psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung meet for the first time in Vienna.

1919: The first public performance of Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite.

1921: Italian fascists incite a riot in Florence.

1933: The Reichstag, the German parliament building, is destroyed by fire set by the Nazis, who blame it on Communists.

1939: Borley Rectory, in Essex, “the most haunted house in England”, is destroyed in a fire,

1949: Chaim Weizmann becomes first president of Israel.

1950: General Chiang Kai-shek is elected president of Nationalist China.

1959: Singles chart:

  1. As I Love You – Shirley Bassey
  2. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – The Platters
  3. Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bedpost Overnight) – Lonnie Donegan
  4. One Night – Elvis Presley
  5. Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me – Shirley Bassey
  6. A Pub With No Beer – Slim Dusty
  7. To Know Him Is To Love Him – The Teddy Bears
  8. Petite Fleur – Chris Barber’s Jazz Band
  9. Problems – The Everly Brothers
  10. Little Drummer Boy – The Beverly Sisters

1962: South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem’s palace is bombed by dissident pilots in a failed assassination attempt.

1963: Alf Ramsey takes charge of England for the first time, away to France in a European Nations Cup tie. England lose 5-2 with just two of the team that would go on to win the World Cup in 1966 – Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton. On the same day, Antoine Argoud, arch enemy of Charles de Gaulle and a former colonel in the French Army, is charged with an assassination attempt on the French president.

1968: Singer Frankie Lymon dies aged 25 of a heroin overdose in his grandmother’s New York home.

1969: General Hafez al-Assad becomes head of Syria in military coup. On the same day, President Richard Nixon visits West Berlin.


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1975: Scotland Yard reveals that the man who shot a police constable the day before had been living in an IRA bomb factory. Liam Quinn escapes to the US and after a 13-year extradition battle is finally jailed for life in 1988.

1977: Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is arrested at Toronto’s Harbour Castle Hotel, after an ounce of heroin is found following a raid of his hotel room by 15 Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1991: James Brown is paroled after spending two years of a six-year prison sentence for resisting arrest after a car chase across two states.

1993: Death of silent film star Lillian Gish aged 99.

1998: The House of Lords agrees to end 1,000 years of male precedence by giving a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first born son.

1999: Voters flock to polling stations in Nigeria to elect a civilian president and end military rule that has lasted 15 years.

2002: A fire on a train in India results in the deaths of 57 Hindu pilgrims returning from the disputed holy site of Ayodhya. On the same day, Spike Milligan dies aged 83.

2003: Rowan Williams is enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

2004: A supermarket in Aspen, Colorado, alerts police after seeing a man shopping with his face covered by a mask. Officers arrive on the scene and identify the man as Michael Jackson who is on holiday with his children.

2010: “Supernatural” star Jared Padelecki marries co-star Genevieve Cortese.

2011: Natalie Portman and Colin Firth win best actor Oscars for Black Swan and The King’s Speech respectively at the 83rd Academy Awards.

2011: Adele – 21

Album chart:

  1. 21 – Adele
  2. 19 – Adele
  3. Loud – Rihanna
  4. Glee: The Music Vol 4 – Glee Cast
  5. Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
  6. Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars
  7. Disc-Overy – Tinie Tempah
  8. The Defamation Of Strickland Banks – Plan B
  9. The Lady Killer – Cee Lo Green
  10. Outta This World – JLS

2013: Pope Benedict XVI presents his farewell address to Vatican City.

2014: Arseniy Yatsenyuk is appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine.

2015: Russian politician Boris Nemtsov is assassinated in Moscow. On the same day, actor/director Leonard Nimoy dies aged 83.

2016: Actor George Kennedy dies aged 91.

2018: Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Trump, has his top-secret security clearance at the White House downgraded.

2019: Second summit begins between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam. On the same day, Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen testifies before the House Oversight Committee saying Trump is “racist”, a “con man” and “a cheat”, Pakistan shoots down an Indian fighter jet and captures the pilot, further escalating tensions in the disputed Kashmir region, and actor Luke Perry suffers a fatal stroke at 52.

2020: The biggest cosmic explosion ever detected from a supermassive black hole in Ophiuchus galaxy 390 million lights years away.

2022: Countries sanction Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The EU closes its airspace to Russian planes and Russian banks are excluded from the worldwide Swift payment system.

BIRTHDAYS: Joanne Woodward, actress, 93; Steve Harley, singer-songwriter, 72; Neal Schon, guitarist/songwriter (Journey) 69; Adrian Smith, guitarist (Iron Maiden) 66; Timothy Spall, actor, 66; Paul Humphreys, keyboards (OMD) 63; Donal Logue, actor, 57; Derren Brown, mentalist, 52; Peter Andre, singer, 50; Josh Groban, singer, 42; Rooney Mara, actress, 40; Jonjo Shelvey, footballer, 31.

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