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 – Seminole Wars: The Battle of Negro Fort 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 – Indian Rebellion: Sixty-eight men hold out for eight days against a force of 2,500 to 3,000 mutinying sepoys and 8,000 irregular forces.
  • 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.
  • 1940 – The animated short A Wild Hare is released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 2015 – Syrian civil war: The People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) capture the city of Sarrin from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
  • Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War (North Korea).
  • Martyrs and Wounded Soldiers Day (Vietnam).

People (Births)

  • 1752 – Samuel Smith, American general and politician (d. 1839).
  • 1777 – Henry Trevor, 21st Baron Dacre, English general (d. 1853).
  • 1784 – Denis Davydov, Russian general and poet (d. 1839).
  • 1812 – Thomas Lanier Clingman, American general and politician (d. 1897).
  • 1834 – Miguel Grau Seminario, Peruvian admiral (d. 1879).
  • 1882 – Geoffrey de Havilland, English pilot and engineer, founded the de Havilland Aircraft Company (d. 1965).
  • 1893 – Ugo Agostoni, Italian cyclist (d. 1941).
  • 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.
  • 1944 – Jean-Marie Leblanc, French cyclist and journalist.
  • 1959 – Yiannos Papantoniou, French-Greek economist and politician, Greek Minister of National Defence.
  • 1962 – Neil Brooks, Australian swimmer.
  • 1980 – Allan Davis, Australian cyclist.
  • 1983 – Martijn Maaskant, Dutch cyclist.

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).
  • 1916 – Charles Fryatt, English captain (b. 1872), a British mariner who was executed by the Germans for attempting to ram a U-boat in 1915.
  • 1958 – Claire Lee Chennault, American general and pilot (b. 1893).
  • 2013 – Bud Day, American colonel and pilot, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1925).
  • 2015 – Anthony Shaw, English general (b. 1930).
  • 2016 – Piet de Jong, Dutch politician and naval officer, Minister of Defence (1963-1967), Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1967-1971) (b. 1915).

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