It happened today – this day in history – May 27

1199: John is crowned King of England after the death of his brother Richard I

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).

1738: Turkish troops occupy Orsova and Ochakov in eastern Europe

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 its 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 is sunk by a 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 Sartre’s’ “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: The government of Turkey is overthrown in a military coup.

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 favour 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.

1970: A British expedition climbs the south face of Annapurna I in the Himalayas.


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.

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 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 is 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 Michael Hutchence’s estate as the mother of his only cild.

2001: Singles chart:

  1. Do You Really Like It – DJ Pied Pipere
  2. Don’t Stop Movin’ – S Club 7
  3. Thank You – Dido
  4. All Rise – Blue
  5. Pyramid Song – Radiohead
  6. No More (Baby I’ma Do Right) – 3LW
  7. It’s Raining Men – Geri Halliwell
  8. Ride Wit Me – Nelly ft City Spud
  9. Heard It All Before – Sunshine Anderson
  10. Cold As Ice – M.O.P
2001: Gabrielle – Rise

Album chart:

  1. Reveal – REM
  2. Hot Shot – Shaggy
  3. No Angel – Dido
  4. The Greatest Hits – Eddy Grant
  5. One Love: The Very Best Of – Bob Marley & The Wailers
  6. Survivor – Destiny’s Child
  7. Rise – Gabrielle
  8. One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001 – Bon Jovi
  9. The Essential – Bob Dylan
  10. Just Enough Education To Perforrm – Streophonics

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: Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 to win the FA Cup, making Arsène Wenger the most successful manager in the tournament’s history. On the same day, Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band dies aged 69 in Savannah, Georgia.

2019: European Parliament elections result in centralist parties losing their majority with liberals, the Greens and nationalists picking up more votes.

2021: Argentinian TV Chanel 26 mistakenly reports the death of English playwright William Shakespeare after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

2023: Director Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Heston Blumenthal (Photo: Brian Minkoff)

BIRTHDAYS: Ramsey Lewis, pianist/composer, 90; Richard Schiff, actor, 69; Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Ballion), singer-songwriter, (Siouxsie and the Banshees), 67; Duncan Goodhew, swimmer, 67; Neil Finn, guitarist/singer-songwriter (Crowded House/Split Enz) 66; Pat Cash, tennis champion, 59; Edwin Poots, Northern Irish politician, 59; Sean Kinney, drummer (Alice In Chains) 58; Heston Blumenthal, chef/broadcaster, 58; Paul Gascoigne, footballer, 57; Eddie McClintock, actor, 57; Joseph Fiennes, actor, 54; Tim Farron, politician, 54; Lee Sharpe, footballer, 53; Paul Bettany, actor, 53; Denise van Outen, TV personality, 50; Marjorie Taylor-Green, US Republican politician, 50; Dr Dre (Andre Benjamin) rapper, 49; Jamie Oliver, chef/broadcaster, 49; Andre 3000 (Benjamin), singer-songwriter, 49; Jeff Brazier, TV presenter, 45; Matheus Cunha, footballer, 25; Rachel Parris, comedian, 40; Lily-Rose Depp, actress, 25.