On This Day … 27 January

Events

  • 98 – Trajan succeeds his adoptive father Nerva as Roman emperor; under his rule the Roman Empire will reach its maximum extent.
  • 945 – The co-emperors Stephen and Constantine are overthrown and forced to become monks by Constantine VII, who becomes sole emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1606 – Gunpowder Plot: The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on 31 January.
  • 1759 – Spanish forces defeat indigenous Huilliches of southern Chile in the battle of Río Bueno.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: Henry Knox’s “noble train of artillery” arrives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovers the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast.
  • 1825 – The US Congress approves Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears”.
  • 1868 – Boshin War: The Battle of Toba-Fushimi begins, between forces of the Tokugawa shogunate and pro-Imperial factions; it will end in defeat for the shogunate, and is a pivotal point in the Meiji Restoration.
  • 1869 – Boshin War: Tokugawa rebels establish the Ezo Republic in Hokkaidō.
  • 1880 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his incandescent lamp.
  • 1916 – World War I: The British government passes the Military Service Act that introduces conscription in the United Kingdom.
  • 1918 – Beginning of the Finnish Civil War.
  • 1939 – First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Eighth Air Force sorties ninety-one B-17s and B-24s to attack the U-boat construction yards at Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
    • This was the first American bombing attack on Germany.
  • 1944 – World War II: The 900-day Siege of Leningrad is lifted.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Soviet 322nd Rifle Division liberates the remaining inmates of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • 1951 – Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site begins with Operation Ranger.
  • 1961 – The Soviet submarine S-80 sinks when its snorkel malfunctions, flooding the boat.
  • 1965 – South Vietnamese Prime Minister Trần Văn Hương is removed by the military junta of Nguyễn Khánh (refer to Vietnam War).
  • 1967 – Cold War: The Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom sign the Outer Space Treaty in Washington, D.C., banning deployment of nuclear weapons in space, and limiting the usage of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes.
  • 1973 – The Paris Peace Accords officially ends the Vietnam War.
    • Colonel William Nolde is killed in action becoming the conflict’s last recorded American combat casualty.
  • 1980 – Through cooperation between the US and Canadian governments, six American diplomats secretly escape hostilities in Iran in the culmination of the Canadian Caper.
  • 1996 – In a military coup, Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara deposes the first democratically elected president of Niger, Mahamane Ousmane.
  • 1996 – Germany first observes the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • 2002 – An explosion at a military storage facility in Lagos, Nigeria, kills at least 1,100 people and displaces over 20,000 others.
  • 2011 – Arab Spring: The Yemeni Revolution begins as over 16,000 protestors demonstrate in Sana’a.
  • 2014 – Rojava conflict: The Kobanî Canton declares its autonomy from the Syrian Arab Republic.
  • Day of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad (Russia).
  • Liberation of the remaining inmates of Auschwitz-related observances:
    • Holocaust Memorial Day (UK).
    • International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
    • Memorial Day (Italy).
    • Other Holocaust Memorial Days observances.

People (Births)

  • 1663 – George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington, Royal Navy admiral (d. 1733).
  • 1782 – Titumir, Bengali revolutionary (d. 1831).
  • 1790 – Juan Álvarez, Mexican general and president (1855) (d. 1867).
  • 1795 – Eli Whitney Blake, American engineer, invented the Mortise lock (d. 1886).
  • 1821 – John Chivington, American colonel and pastor (d. 1892).
  • 1826 – Richard Taylor, American general, historian, and politician (d. 1879).
  • 1848 – Tōgō Heihachirō, Japanese admiral (d. 1934).
  • 1900 – Hyman G. Rickover, American admiral (d. 1986).
  • 1918 – William Seawell, American general (d. 2005).
  • 1951 – Cees van der Knaap, Dutch soldier and politician.
  • 1974 – Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Norwegian skier and biathlete.

People (Deaths)

  • 947 – Zhang Yanze, Chinese general and governor.
  • 1490 – Ashikaga Yoshimasa, Japanese shōgun (b. 1435).
  • 1596 – Francis Drake, English captain and explorer (b. 1540).
  • 1731 – Bartolomeo Cristofori, Italian instrument maker, invented the Piano (b. 1655).
  • 1794 – Antoine Philippe de La Trémoille, French general (b. 1765).
  • 1812 – John Perkins, Anglo-Jamaican captain.
  • 1816 – Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood, English admiral and politician (b. 1724).
  • 1921 – Maurice Buckley, Australian Army sergeant (b. 1891).
  • 1951 – Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, Finnish field marshal and politician, 6th President of Finland (b. 1867).
  • 1967: Crew of Apollo 1:
    • Roger B. Chaffee, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1935).
    • Gus Grissom, American pilot and astronaut (b. 1926).
    • Ed White, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1930).
  • 1971 – Jacobo Árbenz, Guatemalan captain and politician, President of Guatemala (b. 1913).
  • 1973 – William Nolde, American colonel (b. 1929).
  • 1974 – Georgios Grivas, Cypriot general (b. 1898).
  • 1996 – Ralph Yarborough, American colonel, lawyer, and politician (b. 1903).
  • 2007 – Yang Chuan-kwang, Taiwanese decathlete, long jumper, and hurdler (b. 1933).
  • 2008 – Suharto, Indonesian general and politician, 2nd President of Indonesia (b. 1921).
  • 2010 – J. D. Salinger, American soldier and author (b. 1919).
  • 2014 – Paul Zorner, German soldier and pilot (b. 1920).
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