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.

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.

1964: 31-year old Salvatore Philip Bono marries 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 is 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.

1991: Singles chart:

  1. The Fly – U2
  2. Dizzy – Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff
  3. Get Ready For This – 2Unlimited
  4. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
  5. World In Union – Kiri Te Kanawa
  6. Wind Of Change – The Scorpions
  7. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  8. Insanity – Oceanic
  9. No Son Of Mine – Genesis
  10. Go – Moby
1991: Simply Red – Stars

Album chart:

  1. Stars – Simply Red
  2. Simply The Best – Tina Turner
  3. Voices – Kenny Thomas
  4. Chorus – Erasure
  5. Waking Up The Neighbours – Bryan Adams
  6. The Commitments – Original Soundtrack
  7. From Time To Time: The Singles Collection – Paul Young
  8. Diamonds And Pearls – Prince and the New Power Genration
  9. Live Your Life Be Free – Belinda Carlisle
  10. Emotions – Mariah Carey

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.

2020: Leader of the Nxivm sex cult, Keith Raniere, is sentenced to 120 years in prison for sex trafficking, racketeering, fraud and other crimes.

BIRTHDAYS: John Cleese, comedy writer/performer, 83; Ivan Reitman, director, 76; Garry Tallent, bassist (The E Street Band) 73; K K Downing, guitarist (Judas Priest) 71; Roberto Benigni, comedian/actor/screenwriter/director, 70; Peter Firth, actor, 69; Glenn Hoddle, football pundit, 65; Simon Le Bon, singer, (Duran Duran) 64; Manu Katché, drummer, 64; Kit Malthouse, MP, 56; Lee Clark, footballer, 50; Vanessa-Mae (Vanakom Nicholson), violinist, 44; Kelly Osbourne, TV personality 38; Kurt Zouma, football, 28.