It happened today – this day in history – March 27

196BC: Ptolemy V becomes Pharaoh of Egypt.

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.

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

1964: Pirate Radio station, Radio Caroline begins broadcasting from the North Sea. On the same day, 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 first American jockey to win the Grand National on Jay Trump at 100/6.

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 industrial strike against the imposition of direct rule on Northern Ireland by Westminster.

1973: Marlon Brando turns down the Oscar for best actor in The Godfather at the Academy Awards to protest at Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film.

1977: 583 die in aviation’s worst ever disaster when two Boeing 747s collide on the runway at Tenerife airport in Spain.

1979: Eric Clapton married Patti Harrison.

1980: Mount St Helens in Washington state becomes active after 123 years. On the same day, the Norwegian oil platform Alexander Kielland collapses in the North Sea, killing 123 of its crew of 212.

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

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: Singer, songwriter, poet and actor, Ian Dury died after a long battle with cancer aged 57.

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

2019: Theresa May promises to stand down if Parliament accepts her Bexit plan

BIRTHDAYS: Michael Howard, former government minister, 85; Michael York, actor, 78; Tony Banks, keyboardist (Genesis) 70; Quentin Tarantino, director/screenwriter, 57; Pauley Perrette, actress, 51; Mariah Carey, singer, 49; Nathan Fillion, actor, 49; Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, football pundit, 48; Fergie (Stacey Ferguson) singer (Black Eyes Peas) 45; Jessie J (Jessica Cornish), singer, 32.


Mick Ferris

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