On This Day … 27 March


  • 1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León reaches the northern end of The Bahamas on his first voyage to Florida.
  • 1625 – Charles I becomes King of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France.
  • 1794 – The United States Government establishes a permanent navy and authorises the building of six frigates.
  • 1809 – Peninsular War: A combined Franco-Polish force defeats the Spanish in the Battle of Ciudad Real.
  • 1814 – War of 1812: In central Alabama, US forces under General Andrew Jackson defeat the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
  • 1836 – Texas Revolution: On the orders of General Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican army massacres 342 Texas POWs at Goliad, Texas.
  • 1866 – President of the United States of America Andrew Johnson vetoes the Civil Rights Act of 1866. His veto is overridden by Congress and the bill passes into law on April 9.
  • 1886 – Geronimo, Apache warrior, surrenders to the US Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.
  • 1899 – Emilio Aguinaldo leads Filipino forces for the only time during the Philippine–American War at the Battle of Marilao River.
  • 1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States is put in quarantine for the second time, where she would remain for the rest of her life.
  • 1918 – The National Council of Bessarabia proclaims union with the Kingdom of Romania.
  • 1938 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Battle of Taierzhuang begins, resulting several weeks later in the war’s first major Chinese victory over Japan.
  • 1941 – World War II: Yugoslav Air Force officers topple the pro-Axis government in a bloodless coup.
  • 1943 – World War II: Battle of the Komandorski Islands: In the Aleutian Islands the battle begins when United States Navy forces intercept Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska.
  • 1945 – World War II: Operation Starvation, the aerial mining of Japan’s ports and waterways begins. Argentina declares war on the Axis Powers.
  • 1958 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union.
  • 1981 – The Solidarity movement in Poland stages a warning strike, in which at least 12 million Poles walk off their jobs for four hours.
  • 1999 – Kosovo War: An American Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk is shot down by a Yugoslav SAM, the first and only Nighthawk to be lost in combat.
  • 2004 – HMS Scylla, a decommissioned Leander-class frigate, is sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall, the first of its kind in Europe.
  • 2014 – Philippines signs a peace accord with the largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, ending decades of conflict.
  • Armed Force Day (Myanmar; Burma).

People (Births)

  • 1820 – Edward Augustus Inglefield, English admiral and explorer (d. 1894).
  • 1843 – George Frederick Leycester Marshall, English colonel and entomologist (d. 1934).
  • 1844 – Adolphus Greely, American general and explorer, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1935).
  • 1855 – William Libbey, American target shooter, colonel, mountaineer, geographer, geologist, and archaeologist (d. 1927).
  • 1884 – Gordon Thomson, English rower and lieutenant (d. 1953).
  • 1885 – Reginald Fletcher, 1st Baron Winster, English navy officer and politician, Secretary of State for Transport (d. 1961).
  • 1889 – Leonard Mociulschi, Romanian general (d. 1979).
  • 1893 – G. Lloyd Spencer, American lieutenant and politician (d. 1981).
  • 1894 – René Fonck, French colonel and pilot (d. 1953).
  • 1895 – Roland Leighton, English soldier and poet (d. 1915).
  • 1905 – Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff, German general (d. 1980).
  • 1912 – James Callaghan, English lieutenant and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 2005).
  • 1913 – Theodor Dannecker, German SS officer (d. 1945).
  • 1933 – Lê Văn Hưng, South Vietnamese Brigadier general (d. 1975).
  • 1944 – Jesse Brown, American marine and politician, 2nd United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (d. 2002).

People (Deaths)

  • 973 – Hermann Billung, Frankish lieutenant (b. 900).
  • 1875 – Juan Crisóstomo Torrico, Peruvian soldier and politician, President of Peru (b. 1808).
  • 1913 – Richard Montgomery Gano, American minister, physician, and general (b. 1830).
  • 1968 – Vladimir Seryogin, Russian soldier and pilot (b. 1922).
  • 1992 – James E. Webb, American colonel and politician, 16th Under Secretary of State (b. 1906).
  • 1993 – Kamal Hassan Ali, Egyptian general and politician, Prime Minister of Egypt (b. 1921).
  • 2005 – Wilfred Gordon Bigelow, Canadian soldier and surgeon (b. 1913).

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