On This Day … 27 November


  • 176 – Emperor Marcus Aurelius grants his son Commodus the rank of “Imperator” and makes him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions.
  • 395 – Rufinus, praetorian prefect of the East, is murdered by Gothic mercenaries under Gainas.
  • 1095 – Pope Urban II declares the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.
  • 1856 – The Coup of 1856 leads to Luxembourg’s unilateral adoption of a new, reactionary constitution.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and several of his men escape the Ohio Penitentiary and return safely to the South.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Mine Run: Union forces under General George Meade take up positions against troops led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
  • 1868 – American Indian Wars: Battle of Washita River: United States Army Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer leads an attack on Cheyenne living on reservation land.
  • 1901 – The US Army War College is established.
  • 1912 – Spain declares a protectorate over the north shore of Morocco.
  • 1918 – The Free Territory of Ukraine is established.
  • 1940 – World War II: At the Battle of Cape Spartivento, the Royal Navy engages the Regia Marina in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • 1942 – World War II: At Toulon, the French navy scuttles its ships and submarines to keep them out of Nazi hands.
  • 1944 – World War II: RAF Fauld explosion: An explosion at a Royal Air Force ammunition dump in Staffordshire kills seventy people.
  • 1945 – CARE (then the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) is founded to send CARE Packages of food relief to Europe after World War II.
  • 1965 – Vietnam War: The Pentagon tells US President Lyndon B. Johnson that if planned operations are to succeed, the number of American troops in Vietnam has to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000.
  • 1975 – The Provisional IRA assassinates Ross McWhirter, after a press conference in which McWhirter had announced a reward for the capture of those responsible for multiple bombings and shootings across England.
  • 1984 – Under the Brussels Agreement signed between the governments of the United Kingdom and Spain, the former agrees to enter into discussions with Spain over Gibraltar, including sovereignty.
  • 1992 – For the second time in a year, military forces try to overthrow president Carlos Andrés Pérez in Venezuela.
  • Naval Infantry Day (Russia).

People (Births)

  • 1576 – Shimazu Tadatsune, Japanese daimyō (d. 1638).
  • 1779 – Aimé, duc de Clermont-Tonnerre, French general and politician, French Minister of Defence (d. 1865).
  • 1887 – Masaharu Homma, Japanese general (d. 1946).
  • 1921 – Dora Dougherty Strother, American pilot and academic (d. 2013).
  • 1921 – Alexander Dubček, Slovak soldier and politician (d. 1992).
  • 1926 – Chae Myung-shin, South Korean general (d. 2013).
  • 1927 .– William E. Simon, American soldier and politician, 63rd United States Secretary of the Treasury (d. 2000)
  • 1952 – Jim Wetherbee, American captain, engineer, and astronaut.
  • 1953 – Tarmo Kõuts, Estonian admiral and politician.
  • 1974 – Wendy Houvenaghel, Northern Irish racing cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 8 BC – Horace, Roman soldier and poet (b. 65 BC).
  • 1592 – Nakagawa Hidemasa, Japanese commander (b. 1568).
  • 1811 – Andrew Meikle, Scottish engineer, designed the threshing machine (b. 1719).
  • 1819 – Gustavus Conyngham, Irish-born American merchant sea captain, an officer in the Continental Navy and a privateer.
  • 1943 – Ivo Lola Ribar, Croatian soldier and politician (b. 1916).
  • 1970 – Helene Madison, American swimmer and nurse (b. 1913).
  • 1975 – Ross McWhirter, English author and activist, co-founded the Guinness Book of Records (b. 1925).
  • 2013 – Manuel F. Segura, Filipino colonel (b. 1919).

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