On This Day … 27 February


  • 1560 – The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Lords of the Congregation of Scotland.
  • 1594 – Henry IV is crowned King of France.
  • 1617 – Sweden and Russia sign the Treaty of Stolbovo, ending the Ingrian War and shutting Russia out of the Baltic Sea.
  • 1626 – Yuan Chonghuan is appointed Governor of Liaodong, after he led the Chinese into a great victory against the Manchurians under Nurhaci.
  • 1700 – The island of New Britain is discovered by Europeans.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in North Carolina breaks up a Loyalist militia.
  • 1782 – American Revolutionary War: The House of Commons of Great Britain votes against further war in America.
  • 1809 – Action of 27 February 1809: Captain Bernard Dubourdieu captures HMS Proserpine.
  • 1812 – Argentine War of Independence: Manuel Belgrano raises the Flag of Argentina in the city of Rosario for the first time.
  • 1844 – The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: The first Northern prisoners arrive at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia.
  • 1881 – First Boer War: The Battle of Majuba Hill takes place.
  • 1900 – Second Boer War: In South Africa, British military leaders receive an unconditional notice of surrender from Boer General Piet Cronjé at the Battle of Paardeberg.
  • 1900 – The British Labour Party is founded.
  • 1902 – Second Boer War: Australian soldiers Harry “Breaker” Morant and Peter Handcock are executed in Pretoria after being convicted of war crimes.
  • 1916 – Ocean liner SS Maloja struck a mine near Dover and sank with the loss of 155 lives.
  • 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.
  • 1933 – Reichstag fire: Germany’s parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on fire; Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch Communist claims responsibility. The Nazis used the fire to solidify their power and eliminate the communists as political rivals.
  • 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.
  • 1943 – In Berlin, the Gestapo arrest 1,800 Jewish men with German wives, leading to the Rosenstrasse protest.
  • 1962 – Two dissident Republic of Vietnam Air Force pilots bomb the Independence Palace in Saigon in a failed attempt to assassinate South Vietnam President Ngô Đình Diệm.
  • 1963 – The Dominican Republic receives its first democratically elected president, Juan Bosch, since the end of the dictatorship led by Rafael Trujillo.
  • 1976 – The formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, under the auspices of the Polisario Front declares independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that “Kuwait is liberated”.

People (Births)

  • 272 – Constantine the Great, Roman emperor (d. 337).
  • 1799 – Edward Belcher, British naval officer, hydrographer, and explorer (d. 1877).
  • 1913 – Kazimierz Sabbat, Polish soldier and politician, President of Poland (d. 1989).
  • 1917 – John Connally, American lieutenant and politician, 61st United States Secretary of Treasury (d. 1993).
  • 1921 – Theodore Van Kirk, American soldier, pilot, and navigator (d. 2014).
  • 1941 – Paddy Ashdown, British captain and politician (d. 2018).
  • 1953 – Ian Khama, English-Botswanan lieutenant and politician, 4th President of Botswana.

People (Deaths)

  • 2006 – Robert Lee Scott, Jr., American general and author (b. 1908).
  • 2007 – Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven, German general (b. 1914).
  • 2011 – Frank Buckles, American soldier (b. 1901).
  • 2012 – Ma Jiyuan, Chinese general (b. 1921).

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