It happened today – this day in history – July 27

1214: King John of England loses Normandy and his other possessions in France to Philip II of France (hence his nickname John “Lackland”) in the First Battle of Bouvines.

1563: The French army recaptures Le Havre.

1586: Walter Raleigh brings the first tobacco to England from Virginia.

1689: Jacobite Scottish Highlanders under Viscount Dundee defeat royalist force under General MacKay at the Battle of Battle of Killicrankie.

1694: The Bank of England is granted a 12-year charter by an Act of Parliament.

1714: Russians beat the Swedish fleet at the Battle of Hango. On the same day, Queen Anne dismisses English premier Robert Haley.

1794: Maximillien Robespierre is overthrown in a coup in Paris.

1795: Spain and France sign a peace treaty.

1816: US troops destroy Fort Apalachicola, a Seminole fort, to punish Native American Indians for harbouring runaway slaves.

1830: Revolution breaks out in Paris opposing the laws of Charles X.

1839: Chartist riots break out in Birmingham.

1865: Welsh settlers arrive at Chubut in Argentina.

1866: The 1,686-mile Atlantic telegraph cable is successfully laid.

1890: Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh shoots himself in Auvers-sur-Oise. He dies two days later.

1909: Aviation pioneer Orville Wright tests the first US Army airplane. On the same day, British ship SS Waratah is last seen en-route from Durban to Cape Town. No sign of the ship or any of the 211 on board is ever found.

1913: Philippe Thys of Belgium wins the Tour de France.

1917: Allied troops reach the Yser Canal in the prelude to the Battle of Passchendaele.

1919: Race riot in Chicago. 38 people die.

1920: A radio compass is used for the first time in aircraft navigation.

1921: Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolate insulin at the University of Toronto.

1924: The Olympic Games close in Paris.

1937: The USA beats Great Britain to win the Davis Cup.

1940: Bugs Bunny debuts in the cartoon “Wild Hare”.

1941: The German army enters Ukraine.

1946: Marcel Bernard beats Jaroslav Drobný 3-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 to win the French Tennis Championship.

1952: Emile Zatopek runs an Olympic record marathon in 2:23:03.2.

1953: North Korea and the United Nations sign the armistice to stop fighting and divide Korea at the 38th parallel.

1954: Armistice divides Vietnam into two countries.

1955: Austria regains full independence, ten years after the end of the Second World War.

1956: England spin bowler Jim Laker takes 9-37 in Australia’s first innings in the fourth Test at Manchester – the best return ever in Test cricket, which is bettered in the second innings 10-53.

1962: Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is jailed in Albany, Georgia.

1963: General Amin al-Hafez becomes President of Syria.


1965: Edward Heath becomes leader of the Conservative Party.

1968: Race Riot in Gary, Indiana.

1974: The US House Judiciary Committee votes 27-11 recommending the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

1976: John Lennon is granted a green card for permanent residence in the US. He celebrates by going to a New York Ice cream parlour with Yoko Ono. On the same day, Tina Turner files for divorce from her husband Ike, ending their violent 16-year marriage and musical partnership. Also, Bruce Springsteen sues his manager Mike Appel for fraud and breach of trust. The case drags on for over a year, halting his career in the wake of his breakthrough album Born To Run.

1978: Balloonists Don Cameron and Major Christopher Davey, attempting to be the first to cross the Atlantic, encounter trouble 1,000 from Britain with a helium gas leak.

1980: Mohammad, Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran dies in exile in Cairo aged 60.

1981: Death of film director William Wyler aged 79.

1982: Mercenary leader Colonel ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare is found guilty of hijacking a plane to escape from a failed coup in the Seychelles.

1984: Actor James Mason dies aged 75.

1986: Queen become the first western act since Louis Armstrong in 1964 to perform in Eastern Europe when they play at Budapest’s Nepstadion, Hungary. On the same day, Greg LeMond of the USA wins the Tour de France.

Singles chart:

  1. Lady In Red – Chris de Burgh
  2. Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna
  3. Let’s Go All The Way – Sly Fox
  4. Every Beat Of My Heart – Rod Stewart
  5. So Macho – Sinitta
  6. Camouflage – Stan Ridgway
  7. What’s The Colour Of Money? – Hollywood Beyond
  8. Sing Our Own Song – UB40
  9. I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On – Robert Palmer
  10. Find The Time – Five Star
1986: Madonna – True Blue

Album chart:

  1. True Blue – Madonna
  2. The Final – Wham!
  3. Into The Light – Chris de Burgh
  4. A Kind Of Magic – Queen
  5. Revenge – Eurythmics
  6. Riptide – Robert Palmer
  7. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  8. Every Beat Of My Heart – Rod Stewart
  9. Picture Book – Simply Red
  10. Back In The high Life – Steve Winwood

1987: John Demjanjuk, accused of being notorious Nazi war criminal “Ivan the Terrible”, testifies in Israel.

1988: General Sein Lwin succeeds San Yu as President of Burma.

1990: England batsman Graham Gooch scores 333 v India at Lord’s. On the same day, Hollywood star Zsa Zsa Gabor begins a three-day jail sentence for slapping a police officer in Beverly Hills.

1992: Alan Shearer moves from Southampton to Blackburn Rovers for a British record fee of £3.6 million.

1993: The Mafia bombs historical buildings in Rome, Milan and Vatican City. On the same day, Cuban athlete Javier Sotomayor jumps a world record 2.45m in the high jump.

1996: Two people are killed when a bomb explodes in Atlanta, Georgia, the city hosting the Olympic Games.

2000: The Labour Government announces a 10-year plan to revolutionise the NHS.

2001: Leon Wilkeson bass player with Lynyrd Skynyrd is found dead in a hotel room in Florida aged 49.

2002: A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine killing 85.

2003: Comedy legend Bob Hope dies aged 100.

2005: NASA grounds the space shuttle, pending an investigation of the external tank’s continued foam-shedding problem.

2007: Two news helicopters from Phoenix, Arizona television stations KNXV and KTVK collide while covering a police chase. There are no survivors.

2012: The Queen opens the Olympic Games in London.

2013: 1,000 inmates escape from a prison in Benghazi, Libya.

2017: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos briefly becomes the world’s richest man at $91.4bn overtaking Bill Gates for half a day. On the same day, actor and playwright Sam Shepard dies aged 73.

2019: American swimmer Caleb Dressel wins three gold medals in one day at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

2020: Google decides its employees can work from home until July 2021.

2021: American gymnast Simone Biles withdraws from the women’s team final at the Tokyo Games citing the need to focus on her mental health. She also withdraws from individual events.

BIRTHDAYS: Bobbie Gentry, singer-songwriter, 78; Robert Rankin, author, 73; David Hepworth, music journalist, 72; Alan Border, cricketer, 67; Gary Birtles, footballer, 66; Christopher Dean, ice skater, 64; Emily Thornberry MP, politician, 62; Juliana Hatfield, singer-songwriter, 55; Julian McMahon, actor, 54; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, actor, 52; Maya Rudolph, actress, 50; Tom Kerridge, chef, 49; Jonathan Rhys Meyers, actor, 45; Jordan Spieth, golfer, 29; George Shelley, singer/TV presenter, 29.