On This Day … 27 August


  • 410 – The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths ends after three days.
  • 1557 – The Battle of St. Quentin results in Emmanuel Philibert becoming Duke of Savoy.
  • 1689 – The Treaty of Nerchinsk is signed by Russia and the Qing Empire (Julian calendar).
  • 1776 – Battle of Long Island: In what is now Brooklyn, New York, British forces under General William Howe defeat Americans under General George Washington.
  • 1793 – French Revolutionary Wars: The city of Toulon revolts against the French Republic and admits the British and Spanish fleets to seize its port, leading to the Siege of Toulon by French Revolutionary forces.
  • 1798 – Wolfe Tone’s United Irish and French forces clash with the British Army in the Battle of Castlebar, part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, resulting in the creation of the French puppet Republic of Connacht.
  • 1810 – Napoleonic Wars: The French Navy defeats the British Royal Navy, preventing them from taking the harbour of Grand Port on Île de France.
  • 1813 – French Emperor Napoleon I defeats a larger force of Austrians, Russians, and Prussians at the Battle of Dresden.
  • 1828 – Brazil and Argentina recognize the sovereignty of Uruguay in the Treaty of Montevideo
  • 1832 – Black Hawk, leader of the Sauk tribe of Native Americans, surrenders to US authorities, ending the Black Hawk War.
  • 1859 – Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world’s first commercially successful oil well.
  • 1896 – Anglo-Zanzibar War: The shortest war in world history (09:02 to 09:40), between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar.
  • 1914 – World War I: Battle of Étreux: A British rearguard action by the Royal Munster Fusiliers during the Great Retreat.
  • 1916 – World War I: The Kingdom of Romania declares war on Austria-Hungary, entering the war as one of the Allied nations.
  • 1918 – Mexican Revolution: Battle of Ambos Nogales: US Army forces skirmish against Mexican Carrancistas in the only battle of World War I fought on American soil.
  • 1922 – Greco-Turkish War: The Turkish army takes the Aegean city of Afyonkarahisar from the Kingdom of Greece.
  • 1928 – The Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war is signed by fifteen nations.
    • Ultimately sixty-one nations will sign it.
  • 1939 – First flight of the turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, the world’s first jet aircraft.
  • 1942 – World War II: First day of the Sarny Massacre, perpetrated by Germans and Ukrainians.
  • 1943 – World War II: Japanese forces evacuate New Georgia Island in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.
  • 1943 – World War II: Aerial bombardment by the Luftwaffe razes to the ground the village of Vorizia in Crete.
  • 1964 – South Vietnamese junta leader Nguyễn Khánh enters into a triumvirate power-sharing arrangement with rival generals Trần Thiện Khiêm and Dương Văn Minh, who had both been involved in plots to unseat Khánh.
  • 1971 – An attempted coup d’état fails in the African nation of Chad.
    • The Government of Chad accuses Egypt of playing a role in the attempt and breaks off diplomatic relations.
  • 1975 – The Governor of Portuguese Timor abandons its capital, Dili, and flees to Atauro Island, leaving control to a rebel group.
  • 1979 – The Troubles: Eighteen British soldiers are killed in an ambush by the Provisional Irish Republican Army near Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland, in the deadliest attack on British forces during Operation Banner.
    • An IRA bomb also kills British royal family member Lord Mountbatten and three others on his boat at Mullaghmore, Republic of Ireland.
  • 1982 – Turkish military diplomat Colonel Atilla Altıkat is shot and killed in Ottawa. Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide claim to be avenging the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the 1915 Armenian genocide.
  • 1985 – Nigeria’s military government is overthrown by another clique of army officers.
  • 1991 – Moldova declares independence from the USSR.
  • 2003 – The first six-party talks, involving South and North Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, convene to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns of the North Korean nuclear weapons programme.
  • 2009 – Internal conflict in Myanmar: The Burmese military junta and ethnic armies begin three days of violent clashes in the Kokang Special Region.

People (Births)

  • 1407 – Ashikaga Yoshikazu, Japanese shōgun (d. 1425).
  • 1677 – Otto Ferdinand von Abensberg und Traun, Austrian general (d. 1748).
  • 1785 – Agustín Gamarra, Peruvian general and politician, 10th and 14th President of Peru (d. 1841).
  • 1865 – Charles G. Dawes, American general and politician, 30th Vice President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1951).
  • 1868 – Hong Beom-do, Korean general and activist (d. 1943).
  • 1878 – Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel, Russian general (d. 1928).
  • 1905 – Aris Velouchiotis, Greek soldier (d. 1945).
  • 1908 – Lyndon B. Johnson, American commander and politician, 36th President of the United States (d. 1973).
  • 1909 – Sylvère Maes, Belgian cyclist (d. 1966).
  • 1920 – James Molyneaux, Baron Molyneaux of Killead, Northern Irish soldier and politician (d. 2015).
  • 1922 – Roelof Kruisinga, Dutch physician and politician, Minister of Defence for The Netherlands (d. 2012).
  • 1943 – Bob Kerrey, American lieutenant and politician, Medal of Honour recipient, 35th Governor of Nebraska.
  • 1966 – Jeroen Duyster, Dutch rower.
  • 1971 – Hisayuki Okawa, Japanese runner.
  • 1972 – Denise Lewis, English heptathlete.
  • 1990 – Tori Bowie, American athlete.
  • 1993 – Olivier Le Gac, French cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 749 – Qahtaba ibn Shabib al-Ta’i, Persian general.
  • 1782 – John Laurens, American Revolutionary and Congressman (b.1754).
  • 1944 – Georg von Boeselager, German soldier (b. 1915).
  • 1979 – Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, English admiral and politician, 44th Governor-General of India (b. 1900).
  • 1990 – Avdy Andresson, Estonian soldier and diplomat (b. 1899).
  • 2003 – Pierre Poujade, French soldier and politician (b. 1920).
  • 2012 – Richard Kingsland, Australian captain and pilot (b. 1916).

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