It happened today – this day in history – February 27

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 in The Rhine.

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

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

1933: The Reichstag, the German parliament building, 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.

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

1968: Frankie Lymon, lead singer of The Teenagers, died of a heroin overdose in his grandmother’s New York home aged 25.

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

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

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

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

1998: 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.

2002: Death of Spike Milligan aged 83.

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

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.

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

2014: Arseniy Yatsenyuk is appointed Prime Minister of the 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.

BIRTHDAYS: Joanne Woodward, actress, 90; Steve Harley, singer/songwriter 69; Neil Schon, guitarist (Journey) 66; Gary Christian, singer, 65; Adrian Smith, guitarist (Iron Maiden) 63; Timothy Spall, actor, 63; Johnny van Zant, singer (Lynyrd Skynyrd) 61; Paul Humphries, musician (OMD) 60; Adam Baldwin, actor, 58; Donal Logue, actor, 54; Derren Brown, illusionist, 49; Peter Andrre, singer, 47; Josh Groban, singer, 39; Kate Mara, actress, 37.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]