On This Day … 27 July


  • 1054 – Siward, Earl of Northumbria, invades Scotland and defeats Macbeth, King of Scotland somewhere north of the Firth of Forth.
  • 1189 – Friedrich Barbarossa arrives at Niš, the capital of Serbian King Stefan Nemanja, during the Third Crusade.
  • 1202 – Georgian–Seljuk wars: At the Battle of Basian the Kingdom of Georgia defeats the Sultanate of Rum.
  • 1214 – Battle of Bouvines: Philip II of France decisively defeats Imperial, English and Flemish armies, effectively ending John of England’s Angevin Empire.
  • 1299 – According to Edward Gibbon, Osman I invades the territory of Nicomedia for the first time, usually considered to be the founding day of the Ottoman state.
  • 1302 – Battle of Bapheus: Decisive Ottoman victory over the Byzantines opening up Bithynia for Turkish conquest.
  • 1663 – The English Parliament passes the second Navigation Act requiring that all goods bound for the American colonies have to be sent in English ships from English ports. After the Acts of Union 1707, Scotland would be included in the Act.
  • 1689 – Glorious Revolution: The Battle of Killiecrankie is a victory for the Jacobites.
  • 1775 – Founding of the US Army Medical Department: The Second Continental Congress passes legislation establishing “an hospital for an army consisting of 20,000 men.”
  • 1778 – American Revolution: First Battle of Ushant: British and French fleets fight to a standoff.
  • 1794 – French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre is arrested after encouraging the execution of more than 17,000 “enemies of the Revolution”.
  • 1816 – Battle of Negro Fort: The battle ends when a hot shot cannonball fired by US Navy Gunboat No. 154 explodes the Fort’s Powder Magazine, killing approximately 275. It is considered the deadliest single cannon shot in US history.
  • 1857 – Siege of Arrah begins: Sixty-eight men hold out for eight days against a force of 2,500 to 3,000 mutinying sepoys and 8,000 irregular forces.
  • 1865 – Welsh settlers arrive at Chubut in Argentina.
  • 1866 – The first permanent transatlantic telegraph cable is successfully completed, stretching from Valentia Island, Ireland, to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland.
  • 1880 – Second Anglo-Afghan War: Battle of Maiwand: Afghan forces led by Mohammad Ayub Khan defeat the British Army in battle near Maiwand, Afghanistan.
  • 1900 – Kaiser Wilhelm II makes a speech comparing Germans to Huns; for years afterwards, “Hun” would be a disparaging name for Germans.
  • 1917 – World War I: The Allies reach the Yser Canal at the Battle of Passchendaele.
  • 1921 – Researchers at the University of Toronto, led by biochemist Frederick Banting, prove that the hormone insulin regulates blood sugar.
  • 1929 – The Geneva Convention of 1929, dealing with treatment of prisoners-of-war, is signed by 53 nations.
  • 1942 – World War II: Allied forces successfully halt the final Axis advance into Egypt.
  • 1953 – Cessation of hostilities is achieved in the Korean War when the United States, China, and North Korea sign an armistice agreement. Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea, refuses to sign but pledges to observe the armistice.
  • 1955 – The Austrian State Treaty restores Austrian sovereignty.
  • 1955 – El Al Flight 402 is shot down by two fighter jets after straying into Bulgarian air space. All 58 people onboard are killed.
  • 1964 – Vietnam War: Five thousand more American military advisers are sent to South Vietnam bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.
  • 1990 – The Supreme Soviet of the Belarusian Soviet Republic declares independence of Belarus from the Soviet Union. Until 1996 the day is celebrated as the Independence Day of Belarus; after a referendum held that year the celebration of independence is moved to 03 June.
  • 1995 – The Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • 2002 – Ukraine airshow disaster: A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine killing 77 and injuring more than 500 others, making it the deadliest air show disaster in history.
  • Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War (North Korea).
  • Martyrs and Wounded Soldiers Day (Vietnam).
  • National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day (United States).

People (Births)

  • 1777 – Henry Trevor, 21st Baron Dacre, English general (d. 1853).
  • 1784 – Denis Davydov, Russian general and poet (d. 1839).
  • 1834 – Miguel Grau Seminario, Peruvian admiral (d. 1879).
  • 1882 – Geoffrey de Havilland, English pilot and engineer, founded the de Havilland Aircraft Company (d. 1965).
  • 1896 – Robert George, Scottish air marshal and politician, 24th Governor of South Australia (d. 1967).
  • 1913 – George L. Street III, American captain, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 2000).
  • 1915 – Josef Priller, German colonel and pilot (d. 1961).
  • 1928 – Joseph Kittinger, American colonel and pilot.

People (Deaths)

  • 1510 – Giovanni Sforza, Italian condottiere (b. 1466).
  • 1675 – Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, French general (b. 1611).
  • 1689 – John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee, Scottish general (b. c. 1648).
  • 1883 – Montgomery Blair, American lieutenant and politician, 20th United States Postmaster General (b. 1813).
  • 1916 – Charles Fryatt, English captain (b. 1872).
  • 1958 – Claire Lee Chennault, American general and pilot (b. 1893).
  • 2003 – Vance Hartke, American lieutenant, lawyer, and politician (b. 1919).
  • 2013 – Bud Day, American colonel and pilot, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1925).
  • 2014 – Richard Bolt, New Zealand air marshal and pilot (b. 1923).
  • 2015 – Anthony Shaw, English general (b. 1930).
  • 2016 – Piet de Jong, Dutch politician and naval officer, Minister of Defence (1963–67), Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1967–71) (b. 1915).

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