It happened today – this day in history – May 27

1564: Death of Protestant religious reformer John Calvin aged 54.

1679: The Habeas Corpus Act (strengthening a person’s right to challenge unlawful arrest and imprisonment) passes in England.

1703: Russian Tsar Peter The Great founds St Petersburg (Leningrad).

1837: Birth of Wild Bill Hickok (James Butler) in Illinois.

1840: Death of composer and violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini aged 57.

1883: Tsar Alexander III is crowned in Moscow.

1905: The Japanese fleet destroys the Russian East Sea fleet in the Battle of Tsushima.

1907: Bubonic plague breaks out in San Francisco.

1921: Afghanistan achieves sovereignty after 84 years of British control.

1930: Richard Drew invents masking tape. On the same day, the Chrysler Building in New York, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public.

1936: The Queen Mary leaves Southampton for NY on maiden voyage.

1937: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opens to pedestrians.

1940: British and Allied forces begin the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War. On the same day, 97 soldiers from a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit are shot after surrendering to German troops.

1941: The German battleship Bismarck sunk by British naval force.

1942: Hitler orders the deaths of 10,000 Czechs after Reinhard Heydrich is shot and mortally wounded by rebels in Prague.

1944: Jean-Paul Sartres’ “Huis Clos” premieres in Paris.

1951: Dundee’s Billie Steel becomes the first player to be sent off while playing for Scotland for retaliation in the 82nd minute of a bad-tempered 4-0 defeat against Austria in Vienna.

1960: A military coup overthrows the government of Turkey.

1963: Jomo Kenyatta’s Kenya African Nation Union, wins the country’s first general election.

1964: Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister and the founder of modern India, dies suddenly at the age of 74.

1967: Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit indigenous Australians and count them in the national census.

1969: The construction of Walt Disney World begins in Florida.


1971: “The Go-Between” directed by Joseph Losey wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at the Cannes Film Festival.

1975: A bus full of elderly women plunges into Dibble’s Bridge Yorkshire, killing 38. On the same day, former heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles dies of ALS aged 53.

1979: Singles chart:

  1. Sunday Girl – Blondie
  2. Dance Away – Roxy Music
  3. Pop Musik – M
  4. Reunited – Peaches and Herb
  5. Boogie Wonderland – Earth Wind and Fire with The Emotions
  6. Does Your Mother Know – ABBA
  7. Boys Keep Swinging – David Bowie
  8. Bright Eyes – Art Garfunkel
  9. Theme From The Deer Hunter (Cavatina) – The Shadows
  10. Parisienne Walkways – Gary Moore
1979: ABBA – Voulez-Vous

Album chart:

  1. Voulez Vous – ABBA
  2. Do It Yourself – Ian Dury and The Blockheads
  3. Last The Whole Night Long – James Last
  4. Bob Dylan at Budokan – Bob Dylan
  5. The Very Best Of – Leo Sayer
  6. Parallel Lines – Blondie
  7. The Billie Jo Spears Singles Album – Billie Jo Spears
  8. Fate For Breakfast – Art Garfunkel
  9. Manifesto – Roxy Music
  10. Breakfast In America – Supertramp

1981: Liverpool beats Real Madrid 1-0 to win the European cup in Paris.

1985: Britain agrees to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.

1988: The US Senate ratifies a treaty eliminating medium-range nuclear missiles.

1990: The Stone Roses play at Spike Island, Widnes, to a capacity crowd of 30,000.

1993: The Mafia bombs the Uffizi Museum in Florence, killing six.

1994: Dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn flies back to his native Russia after 20 years living in exile.

1995: Actor Christopher Reeve is paralysed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition in Virginia.

1997: Liam Gallagher was left with cuts and bruises after a scuffle with a youth at the Tower Thistle Hotel in east London. On the same day, 20 British women become the first all female team to reach the North Pole.

1999: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicts Slobodan Milosevic and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.

2000: Paula Yates is awarded £400,000 in an out-of-court settlement from the late sMichael Hutchence’s estate.

2003: Angelina Jolie divorces Billy Bob Thornton.

2006: An earthquake strikes Java, killing 6,500 people.

2008: Sir Paul McCartney is awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University.

2009: Barcelona beat Manchester United, 2-0 to win the Champions League in Rome.

2011: Death of writer/singer/poet Gill Scott-Heron aged 62.

2012: A NATO air strike kills a family of eight, including six children, in Afghanistan.

2017: Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band dies aged 69 in Savannah, Georgia.

BIRTHDAYS: Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, 98; Ramsey Lewis, pianist/composer, 86; Louis Gossett Jr, actor, 85; Richard Schiff, actor, 66; Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Ballion), singer-songwriter, (Siouxsie and the Banshees), 64; Duncan Goodhew, swimmer, 64; Neil Finn, guitarist/singer-songwriter (Crowded House/Split Enz) 63; Pat Cash, tennis champion, 56; Edwin Poots, DUP leader, 56; Sean Kinney, drummer (Alice In Chains) 55; Heston Blumenthal, chef, 55; Paul Gascoigne, footballer, 54; Eddie McClintock, actor, 54; Joseph Fiennes, actor, 51; Tim Farron, politician, 51; Lee Sharpe, footballer, 50; Paul Bettany, actor, 50; Demmnise van Outen, TV personality, 47; Dr Dre (Andre Benjamin) rapper, 46; Jamie Oliver, chef/broadcaster, 46; Andre 3000 (Benjamin), singer-songwriter, 46; Jeff Brazier, TV presenter, 42; Rachel Parris, comedian, 37.