February 27th in History

This day in historyFebruary 27 is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 307 days remaining until the end of the year (308 in leap years).



In 380,  Edict of Thessalonica: Emperor Theodosius I, with co-emperors Gratian and Valentinian II, declare their wish that all Roman citizens convert to trinitarian Christianity.

In 425,  The University of Constantinople is founded by Emperor Theodosius II at the urging of his wife Aelia Eudocia.

In 907,  Abaoji, a Khitan chieftain, is enthroned as Emperor Taizu, establishing the Liao Dynasty in northern China.

In 1560,  The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Lords of the Congregation of Scotland.

In 1594,  Henry IV is crowned King of France.

In 1617,  Sweden and Russia sign the Treaty of Stolbovo, ending the Ingrian War and shutting Russia out of the Baltic Sea.

In 1626,  Yuan Chonghuan is appointed Governor of Liaodong, after he led the Chinese into a great victory against the Manchurians under Nurhaci.

In 1700,  The island of New Britain is discovered.

Samuel Parris.jpegIn 1720,  Samuel Parris, English-American minister (b. 1653) dies.  He  was the Puritan minister in Salem, Massachusetts during the Salem witch trials; he was also the father of one of the afflicted girls, and the uncle of another. Samuel Parris, son of Thomas Parris, was born in London, England to a family of modest financial success and religious nonconformity. Samuel emigrated to Boston in the early 1660s, where he attended Harvard University at his father’s behest. When his father died in 1673, Samuel left Harvard to take up his inheritance in Barbados, where he maintained a sugar plantation.

In 1680, after a hurricane hit Barbados, damaging much of his property, Parris sold a little of his land and returned to Boston, where he brought Tituba and John and married Elizabeth Eldridge. Eldridge was noted by many as being incredibly beautiful, said to be one of the most beautiful women in Salem Village. Together they had three children, Thomas Parris, Elizabeth Parris, and Susannah Parris. Although the plantation supported his merchant ventures, Parris was dissatisfied with his lack of financial security and began to look to the ministry. In July 1689, he became minister of Salem Village (now Danvers), Massachusetts.

In 1776,  American Revolutionary War: the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in North Carolina breaks up a Loyalist militia.

In 1782,  American Revolutionary War: the House of Commons of Great Britain votes against further war in America.

In 1794, the first black church in the U.S. was established.

In 1801,  Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, Washington, D.C. is placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress.

In 1812,  Manuel Belgrano raises the Flag of Argentina in the city of Rosario for the first time.

In 1812, Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

In 1813, Congress authorized the use of steamboats to transport mail.

In 1829,  Battle of Tarqui took place.

In 1836, The Battle of San Patricio was fought on February 27, 1836, between Mexican troops and Texians, rebellious settlers in the Mexican province of Texas. The battle marked the start of the Goliad Campaign, the Mexican offensive to retake the Texas Gulf Coast. By the end of 1835, all Mexican troops had been driven from Texas. Frank W. Johnson, the commander of the volunteer army in Texas, gathered volunteers for a planned invasion of the Mexican port town of Matamoros. After spending several weeks gathering horses, in late February Johnson and about 40 men led the herd to San Patricio. He assigned some of his troops to a ranch outside town to guard the horses. Unbeknownst to the Texians, on February 18 Mexican General José de Urrea had led a large contingent of troops from Matamoros into Texas. Urrea’s men easily followed the trail left by the horses, and surprised the sleeping Texians in San Patricio. After a fifteen-minute battle, all but six Texians had been killed or imprisoned.

In 1844,  The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti.

Nicholas Biddle by William Inman crop.jpgIn 1844,  Nicholas Biddle, American banker and politician (b. 1786) dies. He was an American financier who served as the third and last president of the Second Bank of the United States (chartered 1816–1836). Nicholas Biddle was born in the City of Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Ancestors of the Biddle family immigrated to Pennsylvania when the proprietor, William Penn (of the Religious Society of Friends, or “Quakers“) visited, and fought in the pre-Revolutionary colonial struggles. His father, Charles, was prominent in his devotion to the cause of American independence and served as Vice-President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, alongside Council President, the famous Benjamin Franklin (1705/06–1790).

An uncle with the same name, Nicholas Biddle (1750–1778), whose residence was also in Philadelphia, was an early colonial and American Revolutionary War naval hero, who died during the rebellion. Another uncle, Edward Biddle, was also a member of the First Continental Congress of 1774. Young Nicholas was bright and well educated. He was enrolled at a prestigious academy in Pennsylvania at a very early age. Due to his rapid educational progress, he entered the University of Pennsylvania (formerly the “Academy”, then the “College of Philadelphia” until 1791) at the age of 10. When the university refused to award the teenager a degree, he transferred to Princeton (formerly the College of New Jersey) and graduated in 1801, at 15, the class valedictorian.

In 1844, Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti (National Day) after victory in the Dominican War of Independence . Over the next 72 years the Dominican Republic experienced mostly internal conflicts and a brief return to colonial status before permanently ousting Spanish rule during the Dominican War of Restoration of 1865.

In 1860,  Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency.

In 1861,  Russian troops fire on a crowd in Warsaw protesting against Russian rule over Poland, killing five protesters.

File:Henry Hoolulu Pitman, Peabody Essex Museum.jpg

Henry Hoolulu Pitman, Peabody Essex Museum

In 1863, Henry Hoʻolulu Pitman (1845–1863) dies. He was one of more than one hundred Native Hawaiians and Hawaiian-born combatants who fought in the American Civil War while Hawaii was still an independent kingdom. His father was a merchant from Massachusetts and his mother, Kinoʻoleoliliha, was a Hawaiian noble. He returned to the United States with his father for his education, but ran away from school without his family’s knowledge and enlisted in the Union Army as a private. Despite his mixed-race ancestry, he avoided the racial segregation imposed on other Hawaiian recruits of the time and was assigned to a white regiment. He fought in the Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign and befriended Robert G. Carter, a memoirist of the Civil War. On the march to Fredericksburg, he was separated from his regiment and captured by Confederate guerrilla forces. He was marched to Richmond and incarcerated in Libby Prison, where he contracted a lung disease from the harsh conditions. He died on February 27, 1863, after his release on parole in a prisoner exchange. His legacy has sparked renewed interest in the role Hawaiians played in the Civil War

In 1864,  American Civil War: The first Northern prisoners arrive at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia.

In 1870,  The current flag of Japan is first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships.

Drawing of Charlotte E Ray.jpgIn 1872, Charlotte E. Ray, first Black woman lawyer in the United States, graduated from Howard University School of Law. She was also the first female admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, and the first woman admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. Ray opened her own law office and ran advertisements in a newspaper run by Frederick Douglass. However, she only practiced for a few years because prejudice against African Americans and women made her business unsustainable. Ray eventually moved to New York, where she became a teacher in Brooklyn.

In 1877, U.S. Electoral College declares Rutherford B Hayes winner presidential election. He lost the popular vote to Democrat Samuel J. Tilden but he won an intensely disputed electoral college vote after a Congressional commission awarded him twenty contested electoral votes. The result was the Compromise of 1877, in which the Democrats acquiesced to Hayes’s election.

In 1878, Constantin Fahlberg discovered the sweet taste of anhydroorthosulphaminebenzoic acid in 1877–78 when analyzing the chemical compounds in coal tar at Johns Hopkins University for Professor Ira Remsen (1846–1927, aged 81). Later Fahlberg gave this chemical “body” the trade name Saccharin.

In 1881,  Battle of Majuba Hill, The last major battle of the First Boer War.

In 1883, Impresario Oscar Hammerstein patented the first practical cigar-rolling machine. Oscar Hammerstein was the grandfather of Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein II … who happened to write “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”

In 1898,  George I of Greece survives an assassination attempt.

In 1900,  Second Boer War: In South Africa, British military leaders receive an unconditional notice of surrender from Boer General Piet Cronje at the Battle of Paardeberg.

In 1900,  The British Labour Party is founded.

In 1902,  Second Boer War: Harry ‘Breaker’ Harbord Morant is executed in Pretoria.

In 1921,  The International Working Union of Socialist Parties is founded in Vienna.

In 1922,  A challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, is rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.

In 1922, Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover convened the first National Radio Conference in Washington, DC. There, industry regulations were widely discussed. Hoover would later become U.S. President and have a dam named after him. And a vacuum cleaner, too.

In 1925, Glacier Bay National Monument is dedicated in Alaska.

In 1925, Hitler’s resurrects National Socialist German Workers Party in Munich.

In 1933,  Reichstag fire: Germany‘s parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on fire. The Nazis, blaming the Communists, used the fire as a pretext for suspending civil liberties.

In 1939,  United States labor law: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that sit-down strikes violate property owners’ rights and are therefore illegal.

In 1940,  Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14

In 1942,  World War II: During the Battle of the Java Sea, an allied strike force is defeated by a Japanese task force in the Java Sea in the Dutch East Indies. 13 American warships were sunk by the Japanese, who lost only two.

In 1943,  The Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek, Montana, explodes, killing 74 men.

In 1943,  The Rosenstrasse protest starts in Berlin.

In 1950, General Chiang Kai-shek elected president of Nationalist China.

In 1951,  The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.

In 1955,  Soviet Union regional elections, 1955.

In 1961,  The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation is inaugurated.

In 1963,  The Dominican Republic receives its first democratically elected president, Juan Bosch, since the end of the dictatorship led by Rafael Trujillo.

In 1964,  The government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.

Frankie+Lymon.jpgIn 1968,  Frankie Lymon, American singer-songwriter (The Teenagers) (b. 1942) dies. He was an American rock and roll/rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, best known as the boy soprano lead singer of the New York City-based early rock and roll group, The Teenagers. The group was composed of five boys, all in their early to mid teens. The original lineup of the Teenagers, an integrated group, included three African American members, Frankie Lymon, Jimmy Merchant and Sherman Garnes, and two Puerto Rican members, Herman Santiago and Joe Negroni. The Teenagers’ first single, 1956’s “Why Do Fools Fall in Love“, was also their biggest hit. After Lymon went solo in mid-1957, both his career and those of the Teenagers fell into decline. At age 25, he was found dead in his grandmother’s bathroom from a heroin overdose. His life was shown in the 1998 film, Why Do Fools Fall In Love?.

In 1971,  Doctors in the first Dutch abortion clinic (the Mildredhuis in Arnhem) start to perform aborti provocati.

In 1973,  The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. The occupation lasted until May.

In 1974, a new magazine was issued by Time-Life.  The magazine was “People”. It had an initial run of one-million copies and became the most successful celebrity weekly ‘zine ever published. Weekly circulation of “People” grew to 3,424,858 by 1994.

In 1976,  The formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, under the auspices of the Polisario Front declares independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

George Tobias 1942.jpgIn 1980,  George Tobias, American actor (b. 1901) died of bladder cancer at the age of 78. He was a truly American actor. Born to a Jewish family in New York, he began his acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California. He then spent several years in theater groups before moving on to Broadway and, eventually, Hollywood. In 1939, Tobias signed with Warner Brothers and was cast in supporting roles, many times along with James Cagney, in such movies as Cagney’s Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) as well as with Gary Cooper in Sergeant York (1941) and Irving Berlin, Ronald Reagan, and George Murphy in This Is The Army (1943). From 1959 to 1961, Tobias played Penrose in eight episodes of the ABC television series, Adventures in Paradise, starring Gardner McKay. Later in the 1960s, he played the long-suffering neighbor, Abner Kravitz, on the ABC sitcom, Bewitched.

In 1982, A jury convicted a seemingly mild-mannered young man named Wayne Williams of murdering two of the 28 black children during a year period. Williams was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1985,  Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., American politician and diplomat, 3rd United States Ambassador to the United Nations (b. 1902) dies. He was sometimes referred to as Henry Cabot Lodge II, was a Republican United States Senator from Massachusetts and a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, South Vietnam, West Germany, and the Holy See (as Representative). He was the Republican nominee for Vice President in the 1960 Presidential election.

In 1986,  The United States Senate allows its debates to be televised on a trial basis.

In 1988,  Sumgait Pogrom: The Armenian community of Sumgait in Azerbaijan was in the target of a violent pogrom.

In 1989,  Venezuela is rocked by the Caracazo riots.

In 1991,  Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that “Kuwait is liberated”.

In 1993, President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, promised to find out who was behind the huge explosion at New York City’s World Trade Center, a bombing later blamed on Islamic militants.

In 2002, Ryanair Flight 296 catches fire at London Stansted Airport. Subsequent investigations criticize Ryanair‘s handling of the evacuation.

In 2002, Godhra train burning: a Muslim mob kills 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya;

In 2004,  A bombing of a Superferry by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines‘ worst terrorist attack kills 116.

In 2004,  The initial version of the John Jay Report, with details about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in the United States, is released.

Robert Lee Scott Jr.jpgIn 2006,  Robert Lee Scott, Jr., American general and author (b. 1908) dies. He was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force. Scott is best known for his autobiography God is My Co-Pilot about his exploits in World War II with the Flying Tigers and the United States Army Air Forces in China and Burma. The book was eventually made into a film of the same name. Colonel Scott flew 388 combat missions in 925 hours from July 1942 to October 1943, shooting down 13 Japanese aircraft to become one of America’s earliest flying aces of the war. For his combat record in World War II, Scott received two Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Air Medals.

In 2007,  The Chinese Correction: the Shanghai Stock Exchange falls 9%, the largest drop in 10 years.

In 2010,  An earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale strikes central parts of Chile leaving over 500 victims, and thousands injured. The quake triggered a tsunami which struck Hawaii shortly after.

Sepia-color photo of a young man in military uniformIn 2011,  Frank Buckles, American soldier (b. 1901) dies.  He was a United States Army soldier and the last surviving American veteran of World War I. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1917 and served with a detachment from Fort Riley, driving ambulances and motorcycles near the front lines in Europe. During World War II, he was captured by Japanese forces while working in the shipping business, and spent three years in the Philippines as a civilian prisoner. After the war, Buckles married in San Francisco and moved to Gap View Farm near Charles Town, West Virginia. A widower at age 98, he worked on his farm until the age of 105.

In 2012,  A section of a nine-story apartment building in the city of Astrakhan, Russia, collapses in a natural gas explosion, killing ten people and injuring at least 12 others.

In 2013,  At least 19 people are killed when a fire breaks out at an illegal market in Kolkata, India.

In 2013,  Five people (including the perpetrator) are killed and five others injured in a shooting at a factory in Menznau, Switzerland.

In 2015,  A gunman kills seven people then himself in a series of shootings in Tyrone, Missouri.

In 2015,  Assassination of Boris Nemtsov occurs.

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