It happened today – this day in history – October 27

939: Edmund I succeeds Athelstan as King of England.

1644: Charles I defeats parliamentary armies at the Second Battle of Newbury.

1651: English troops occupy Limerick, Ireland.

1688: James II dismisses premier Robert Spencer.

1702: British troops plunder St Augustine, Florida.

1728: Birth of explorer/navigator James Cook.

1782: Birth of Italian composer and violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini.

1810: The US annexes West Florida from Spain.

1838: Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be killed.

1867: Guiseppe Garibaldi marches on Rome for the second time.

1913: President Woodrow Wilson says the US will never attack another country.

1914: Birth of poet Dylan Thomas in Swansea.

1920: The League of Nations moves its headquarters in Geneva.

1922: In Italy, Liberal Luigi Facta resigns in the face of threats from Mussolini that ‘either the Government will be given to us or we will seize it by marching on Rome’.

1923: Birth of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein in New York.

1925: Water skis are patented by Fred Waller.

1932: Birth of poet Sylvia Plath in Boston, Massachusetts.

1942: The US aircraft carrier Hornet sinks off Santa Cruz.

1950: MI5 is brought into the hunt for missing atomic scientist Bruno Pontecorvo. He is discovered in Russia five years later.

1955: The film Rebel Without A Cause is released less than a month after its star James Dean’s death.

1960: Singles chart:

  1. Only The Lonely – Roy Orbison
  2. As Long As He Needs Me – Shirley Bassey
  3. Tell Laura I Love Her – Ricky Valance
  4. How About That – Adam Faith
  5. Lucille – The Everly Brothers
  6. Let’s Think About Living – Bob Luman
  7. Nine Times Out Of Ten – Cliff Richard
  8. A Mess Of Blues – Elvis Presley
  9. Chain Gang – Sam Cooke
  10. Please Hep Me I’m Falling – Hank Locklin

1962: An American spy plane is shot down over Cuba and the navy drops warning depth charges on Soviet submarines during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1963: The Beatles – Please Please Me

1963: Album chart:


  1. Please Please Me – The Beatles
  2. Meet The Searchers – The Searchers
  3. Born Free – Frank Ifield
  4. Greatest Hits – The Shadows
  5. How Do You Like It – Gerry and the Pacemakers
  6. Golden Hits – Kenny Ball
  7. Sinatra’s Sinatra – Frank Sinatra
  8. On Stage – Chuck Berry
  9. Steptoe And Son – Wilfred Brambell and Harry H Corbett
  10. West Side Story – Original Soundtrack

1964: 31-year old Salvatore Philip Bono married 18-year old Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere. They would soon become known as Sonny and Cher.

1968: An estimated 6,000 marchers demonstrating against the Vietnam War face up to police outside the US Embassy in London.

1969: Blues artist Muddy Waters is seriously injured in a car crash in which three people die in Illinois.

1971: Congo-Kinshasa becomes the Republic of Zaire. On the same day, Gerard Newe becomes the first Catholic to serve in any Northern Ireland government since 1920.

1977: Former leader of the Liberal Party, Jeremy Thorpe, tells journalists he was not involved in a plot to kill former male model Norman Scott. On the same day, bassist Roy Estrada, a founding member of Little Feat and who also worked with Frank Zappa was convicted of sexual assault on a child. Estrada served six years in prison. In January 2012, he pleaded guilty to a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child from March 2008. In a plea bargain, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole.

1978: Four people are killed and four others seriously wounded after a gunman goes on a shooting spree in Wednesbury. West Midlands, then later in Nuneaton, Warks.

1979: Elton John collapses on stage at Hollywood’s Universal Amphitheatre suffering from exhaustion. On the same day, St Vincent & Grenadines becomes independent from Britain.

1980: Mark Chapman buys a five-shot .38 special for $169. On the same day, former Tyrannosaurus Rex percussionist Steve Peregrine Took chokes to death on a cherry stone after some magic mushrooms he had eaten, numbed all sensation in his throat.

1982: Three RUC officers investigating reports of a robbery in Lurgan die after a bomb explodes beneath their armoured police car. On the same day, China announces its population has reached 1 billion plus.

1986: The government deregulates financial markets in a “Big Bang”, enhancing London’s status as a financial capital while increasing income inequality.

1988: “Carry On..” actor Charles Hawtrey dies aged 72.

1990: Bandleader Xavier Cugat dies aged 90.

1992: Bo Diddley takes his ex-manager to court claiming he had taken $75,000 through unauthorised personal expenses.

1998: Helmut Kohl resigns as Chancellor of Germany after 16 years, following a landslide defeat in elections.

1999: Gunmen open fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chairman Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

2000: Skiffle pioneer Lonnie Donegan receives the MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to pop music.

2005: Riots begin in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

2013: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel wins the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit to clinch his fourth straight Formula 1 World Drivers Championship. On the same day, singer-songwriter Lou Reed dies at the age of 71.

2016: A letter John Lennon wrote to the Queen explaining why he was returning his MBE was found tucked in a record sleeve from a £10 car boot haul. It was later valued at £60,000. Lennon had returned the MBE in protest at Britain’s involvement in the Biafra civil war and his single Cold Turkey going down the charts.

2017: The Catalan parliament meets and unilaterally declares independence from Spain.

2018: Leicester City’s billionaire Thai owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha dies in a helicopter crash in the car park outside the club’s King Power Stadium following the game against West Ham United.

2019: California Governor Gavin Newson declares a state of emergency with multiple fires across the state.

BIRTHDAYS: John Cleese, comedy writer/performer, 82; Ivan Reitman, director, 75; Garry Tallent, bassist (The E Street Band) 72; K K Downing, guitarist (Judas Priest) 70; Roberto Benigni, comedian/actor/screenwriter/director, 69; Peter Firth, actor, 68; Glenn Hoddle, football pundit, 64; Simon Le Bon, singer, (Duran Duran) 63; Manu Katché, drummer, 63; Kit Malthouse, MP, 55; Lee Clark, footballer, 49; Vanessa-Mae (Vanakom Nicholson), violinist, 43; Kelly Osbourne, TV personality 37; Kurt Zouma, football, 27.