On This Day … 27 December


  • 1655: Second Northern War/the Deluge: Monks at the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa are successful in fending off a month-long siege.
  • 1703: Portugal and England sign the Methuen Treaty which gives preference to Portuguese imported wines into England.
  • 1814: War of 1812: The American schooner USS Carolina is destroyed. It was the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson’s makeshift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans.
  • 1831: Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate his theory of evolution.
  • 1918: The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans begins.
  • 1922: Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō becomes the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.
  • 1939: Winter War: Finland holds off a Soviet attack in the Battle of Kelja.
  • 1949: Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognizes Indonesian independence. End of the Dutch East Indies.
  • 1978: Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of fascist dictatorship.
  • 1979: The Soviet Union invades the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
  • 1989: The Romanian Revolution concludes, as the last minor street confrontations and stray shootings abruptly end in the country’s capital, Bucharest.
  • 1996: Taliban forces retake the strategic Bagram Airfield which solidifies their buffer zone around Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • 1997: Protestant paramilitary leader Billy Wright is assassinated in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.
  • 2008: Operation Cast Lead: Israel launches 3-week operation on Gaza.

People (Births)

  • 1761: Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, Russian field marshal and politician, Governor-General of Finland (d. 1818).
  • 1776: Nikolay Kamensky, Russian general (d. 1811).
  • 1892: Alfred Edwin McKay, Canadian captain and pilot (d. 1917).
  • 1916: Werner Baumbach, German pilot (d. 1953).
  • 1917: Onni Palaste, Finnish soldier and author (d. 2009).
  • 1918: John Celardo, American captain and illustrator (d. 2012).
  • 1919: Charles Sweeney, American general and pilot (d. 2004).
  • 1924: James A. McClure, American soldier, lawyer, and politician (d. 2011).
  • 1947: Osman Pamukoğlu, Turkish general and politician.

People (Deaths)

  • 1704: Hans Albrecht von Barfus, Prussian field marshal and politician (b. 1635).
  • 1776: Johann Rall, Hessian colonel (b. c. 1726).
  • 1836: Stephen F. Austin, American soldier and politician (b. 1793).
  • 1943: Ants Kurvits, Estonian general and politician, 10th Estonian Minister of War (b. 1887).
  • 1953: Şükrü Saracoğlu, Turkish soldier and politician, 6th Prime Minister of Turkey (b. 1887).
  • 1955: Alfred Carpenter, British admiral, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1881).
  • 1978: Houari Boumediene, Algerian colonel and politician, 2nd President of Algeria (b. 1932).
  • 2011: Michael Dummett, British soldier, philosopher, and academic (b. 1925).
  • 2012: Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., American general and engineer (b. 1934).
  • 2013: John Matheson, Canadian colonel, lawyer, and politician (b. 1917).

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