It happened today – this day in history – March 27

196BC: Ptolemy V becomes Pharaoh of Egypt.

1309: Pope Clement V excommunicates Venice and all its population.

1378: Death of Gregory XI, the last French Pope.

1513: Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon and his expedition first sight Florida.

1599: Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex becomes Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

1625: Charles I ascends to the British throne after the death of James I.

1668: Charles II gives Bombay to the East India Company.

1708: Pretender to the English throne James III flees to Dunkirk.

1713: Spain loses Menorca and Gibraltar to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht.

1782: Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain.

1794: The United States Government establishes a permanent navy and authorizes the building of six frigates.

1808: Haydn’s oratorio “Die Schopfung” premieres in Vienna.

1866: Andrew Rankin patents the urinal.

1871: The first international rugby union match – Scotland 1, England 0 at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh.

1881: Rioting takes place in Basingstoke in protest against the daily vociferous promotion of rigid temperance by the Salvation Army.

1885: Jockey Ted Wilson wins his second consecutive Grand National on 10/3 favourite Roquefort.

1900: Recognising that the war in South Africa is going to take a major commitment, Parliament passes the War Loan Act, calling for £35 million to support the fight against the Boers.

1908: Henry Bletsoe wins the Grand National on American 66/1 outsider Rubio.

1915: “Typhoid Mary” (Mary Mallon) is arrested and returned to quarantine on North Brother Island, New York, after spending five years evading health authorities and causing several further outbreaks of typhoid.

1931: Charlie Chaplin receives France’s distinguished Legion of Honour.

1933: Japan leaves the League of Nations. On the same day, polythene is discovered by accident at ICI by Reginald Gibson and Eric William Fawcett.

1942: Joe Louis KOs Abe Simon in Round 6 to retain the heavyweight boxing title in New York.

1944: 2,000 Jews are murdered in Kaunas Lithuania. On the same day, 40 Jewish policemen in Riga, Latvia, ghetto are shot by the Gestapo.

1945: General Eisenhower declares German defences on the Western Front broken. On the same day, the US 20th Army corps captures Wiesbaden.

1948: Just 11 days after being released from prison, Billie Holiday plays to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.

1952: Failed assassination attempt on West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. On the same day, Sun Records of Memphis begins releasing records.


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1958: Nikita Khrushchev becomes Soviet Premier and First Secretary of the Communist Party.

1963: A far-reaching report by the chairman of the British Transport Commission, Dr Richard Beeching, recommends the closure of large sections of the rail network.

1964: Mick Jagger meets Marianne Faithfull for the first time at a Decca launch party at the Ex-Serviceman’s Club, Windsor. On the same day, Pirate Radio station, Radio Caroline begins broadcasting from the North Sea. Also, the Great Train Robbers are sentenced to a total of 307 years behind bars and the second largest earthquake ever recorded (9.2 on the Richter Scale) hits off Alaska. The resulting tsunami kills 139 people.

1965: Tommy Smith becomes the first American jockey to win the Grand National on Jay Trump at 100/6.

1966: During a UK tour, Roy Orbison falls off a motorbike while scrambling at Hawkstone Park, Birmingham, fracturing his foot.

1968: Cosmonaut and first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, dies in a plane crash.

1971: Wales clinches its 17th Five Nations Rugby Championship, 6th Grand Slam and 12th Triple Crown with a 9-5 win over France at Stade Colombes, Paris.

1972: Venera 8 launches to explore Venus. On the same day, the Ulster Vanguard organise an industrial strike against the imposition of direct rule on Northern Ireland by Westminster.

1973: Sacheen Littlefeather appears on behalf of Marlon Brando to turn down the Oscar for best actor in The Godfather at the Academy Awards in protest at Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film.

1977: 583 people die when two jumbo jets collide on a runway in Tenerife. It is the worst aviation accident in history.

1979: Eric Clapton marries Patti Harrison (ex wife of George) in Tucson, Arizona.

1980: The Alexander Kielland accommodation platform in the North Sea collapses killing 123 oil rig workers. On the same day, Mount St Helens in Washington state becomes active after 123 years.

1984: Premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe’s “Starlight Express.”

1988: Singles chart:

  1. Don’t Turn Around – Aswad
  2. Drop The Boy – Bros
  3. Can I Play With Madness – Iron Maiden
  4. Could’ve Been – Tiffany
  5. Stay On These Roads – A-Ha
  6. Cross My Broken Heart – Sinitta
  7. Heart – Pet Shop Boys
  8. I Should Be So Lucky – Kylie Minogue
  9. These Dreams – Heart
  10. I’m Not Scared – Eighth Wonder
1988: Talking Heads – Naked

Album chart:

  1. Now That’s What I Call Music! 11 – Various Artists
  2. Best Of – OMD
  3. Popped In Souled Out – Wet Wet Wet
  4. Viva Hate – Morrissey
  5. Naked – Talking Heads
  6. Introducing The Hardline According To… – Terence Trent D’Arby
  7. The Story Of The Clash Volume 1 – The Clash
  8. Live In Europe – Tina Turner
  9. Heresay All Mixed Up – Alexander O’Neal
  10. Turn Back The Clock – Johnny Hates Jazz

1991: New Kids On The Block’s Donnie Wahlberg is arrested after setting fire to carpets using a bottle of vodka at The Seelbach Hotel, Louisville.

1993: Jiang Zemin is appointed President of the People’s Republic of China.

1994: PGA Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass: Greg Norman sets scoring record of 264 (−24) to finish four strokes ahead of runner-up Fuzzy Zoeller.

2000: Ian Dury dies aged 57 after a long battle with liver cancer.

2002: Comedian/actor/musician Dudley Moore dies aged 66. On the same day, film director Billy Wilder dies aged 95.

2019: Both members of Liverpool band Her’s are killed along with their tour manager after being involved in a car accident in California. On the same day, Theresa May promises to stand down if Parliament accepts her Bexit plan.

2020: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces he has contracted COVID-19 but will continue to lead the country while in isolation.

2021: 114 people including children are killed in one day by armed forces in Myanmar.

BIRTHDAYS: Tony Banks, keyboards (Genesis) 72; Andrew Farriss, keyboards (INXS) 63; Quentin Tarantino, director/screenwriter, 59; Pauley Perrette, actress/singer, 53; Mariah Carey, singer-songwriter, 52; Elizabeth Mitchell (Robertson) actress, 52; Nathan Fillion, actor, 51; Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, football pundit, 50; Fergie (Stacey Ferguson) singer (Black Eyed Peas) 47; Jessie J (Jessica Cornish), singer-songwriter, 34; Holliday Grainger, actress, 34.