On This Day

On This Day in History for December 27

Events in History

  • 418 [Etalius] begins his reign as Catholic Pope

TurkeyHagia Sophia

537 Hagia Sophia inaugurated by the Emperor Justinian I as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral

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Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
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  • 795 Leo III begins his reign as Pope after his election the previous day
  • 1437 Albrecht II von Habsburg becomes king of Bohemia
  • 1512 Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regards to native Indians in the New World
  • 1521 The "Zwickau Prophets" appear in Wittenberg

Historic PublicationFlushing Remonstrance

1657 "Flushing Remonstrance" petition signed in the Dutch colony of New Netherland, protesting the ban on Quaker worship

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An official copy of the original remonstrance
An official copy of the original remonstrance
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  • 1679 Dutch troops capture Madurees prince Trunudjojo in Java
  • 1703 England & Portugal sign Methuen-Asiento-trade agreement
  • 1741 Prussian forces took Olmutz, Czechoslovakia
  • 1814 Destruction of schooner Carolina, the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson's makeshift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson's victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1831 HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board departs England for a survey of South America, a voyage Darwin later said "determined my whole career"

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
  • 1836 Worst English avalanche kills 8 of 15 buried (Lewes Sussex)
  • 1845 Ether 1st used in childbirth in US in Jefferson, Georgia
  • 1850 Hawaiian Fire Department established
  • 1862 Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, MS (Chickasaw Bayou)
  • 1862 Battle of Elizabethtown, Kentucky
  • 1867 Ontario & Quebec legislatures hold 1st meeting
  • 1884 Netherlands recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1892 Foundation Stone of Cathedral of St John laid (NYC)
  • 1900 Carrie Nation's 1st public smashing of a bar (Carey Hotel, Wichita KS)
  • 1904 Stage play "Peter Pan" by J. M. Barrie premieres at the Duke of York Theatre in London
  • 1904 W B Yeats and Lady Gregory's "On Baile's Strand" premieres in Dublin
  • 1905 M A Noble scores 281 (369 mins, 21 fours) NSW v Victoria
  • 1906 1st annual meeting of American Sociological Society, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1915 US Iron and Steel workers begin a 3-week strike in Ohio for a eight-hour-day; they are successful as the US needs steel for armaments
  • 1918 The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans begins.
  • 1924 Albania is declared a dictatorship under Ahmed Beg Zofu
  • 1924 The US signs a treaty with the Dominican Republic, which supersedes that of 1907: in July, the Us had withdrawn its Marines and ended its occupation
  • 1926 Depot Square in Bronx renamed Botanical Square
  • 1926 Latkin Square in Bronx named for 1st US Jewish soldier to die in WW I
  • 1927 Philip Barry's "Paris Bound" premieres in NYC

MurderAssassination Attempt

1932 Emperor Hirohito of Japan narrowly evades an assassination attempt by a Korean independence activist, Lee Bong-chang

Emperor of Japan Hirohito
Emperor of Japan
  • 1934 1st youth hostel in US opens (Northfield, Mass)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1934 Shah of Persia Mohammad Reza Pahlavi declares Persia now Iran

Last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Last Shah of Iran
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
  • 1939 1st American skimobiles (North Conway, NH)
  • 1939 Between 20,000 and 40,000 die in magnitude 8 earthquake in Erzincam, Turkey
  • 1941 Japan bombs Manila even though it was declared an "open city"
  • 1942 1st Japanese women camp (Ambarawa) goes into use
  • 1942 The Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia is founded.
  • 1943 France transfers most of her powers in Lebanon to Lebanese government
  • 1943 German warship "Scharnhorst" sinks in Barents Sea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Montgomery discusses Overlord with Eisenhower & Bedell Smith

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1944 Greece: British premier Winston Churchill flies back to London
  • 1945 Arthur Laurent's "Home of the Brave" premieres in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1945 International Monetary Fund formally established by 29 member countries based on ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes

  • 1945 The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations.
  • 1949 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands grants independence to Indonesia
  • 1960 France performs nuclear test
  • 1961 Belgium & Congo resume diplomatic relations
  • 1968 Apollo 8 returns to Earth
  • 1968 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • 1972 Belgium recognizes German DR
  • 1972 New North Korean constitution comes into effect
  • 1974 FSLN seizes government hostages at a private Managua party
  • 1974 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1975 Explosion at Chasnala Colliery collapses drowning 350 in Dhanbad, India
  • 1976 Albania constitution goes into effect
  • 1978 Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship as King Juan Carlos ratifies Spain's 1st democratic constitution
  • 1979 After invading Afghanistan two days earlier Soviet forces pull off a coup in Kabul, killing President Hafizullah Amin
  • 1981 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983 Pope John Paul II pardons man who shot him (Mehmet Ali Agca)

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1983 Propane gas fire devastated 16 blocks of Buffalo

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985 Terrorists kill 20 and wound 110 attacking El Al at Rome and Vienna airports. President Reagan blames Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan Revolutionary and Authoritarian Leader Muammar Gaddafi
Libyan Revolutionary and Authoritarian Leader
Muammar Gaddafi
US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1987 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1988 Bulgaria stops jamming Radio Free Europe after more than 3 decades
  • 1992 13th United Negro College Fund raises $11,000,000
  • 1993 Dow-Jones hits record 3792.93
  • 1996 Carquest Bowl 7: Miami beats Virginia, 31-21
  • 1996 Taliban forces retake the strategic Bagram air base which solidifies their buffer zone around Kabul.
  • 1997 Protestant paramilitary leader Billy Wright is assassinated in Northern Ireland.
  • 2001 The People's Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.
  • 2002 Two truck bombs kill 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny, Chechnya.
  • 2002 Kenyan General Election: National Rainbow Coalition headed by Mwai Kibaki wins, overthrowing 39 year rule by the Kenya African National Union
  • 2004 Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.


2007 Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated by a suicide bomber in Rawalpindi

Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Pakistani Prime Minister
Benazir Bhutto
  • 2008 Israel launches Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, beginning with an airstrike that hits 100 targets in 220 seconds killing around 250 people
  • 2009 The World Health Organization says 208 countries, territories and communities have reported H1N1 cases, including at least 12,220 deaths
  • 2012 NASA unveils plans to capture a 500 ton asteroid in 2025
  • 2013 29 people are killed after a bus plunged off the Huay Tong Bridge, Thailand
  • 2015 Iraqi forces retake IS held city of Ramadi (ISIS first captured in May)

Birthdays in History

  • 1390 Anne de Mortimer, claimant to the English throne (d. 1411)
  • 1555 Johann Arndt, German Lutheran theologian and author of books on devotional Christianity, born in Edderitz, Anhalt-Köthen, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1621)

Person of interestJohannes Kepler

1571 Johannes Kepler, German astronomer (discovered laws of planetary motion), born in Weil der Stadt, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1630)

Astronomer Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
  • 1645 Giovanni Adb Viscardi, Swiss architect, baptized
  • 1654 Jacob Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician known for his contributions to calculus, born in Basel, Switzerland (d. 1705)
  • 1683 Conyers Middleton, English minister (d. 1750)
  • 1709 Pieter de Swart, Dutch architect (Royal Palace, Hague)
  • 1715 Philippe de Noailles, duc de Mouchy, French soldier (d. 1794)
  • 1721 Franciscus "French" Hemsterhuis, Frisian philosopher
  • 1755 Antons Klemens Theodor, king of Saksen (1827-36)
  • 1761 Michael A Barclay de Tolly, Scot/Russ minister of War
  • 1773 George Cayley, England, found science of aerodynamics
  • 1776 Nikolay Kamensky, Russian general (d. 1811)
  • 1796 Mirza Ghalib, Indian poet (d. 1869)
  • 1801 Guillaume L Baud, Dutch minister of Colonies (1848-49)
  • 1802 Thomas Fearnley, Norwegian landscape painter
  • 1803 John ACA van Nispen Sevenaer, Member of Dutch 2nd parliament (1848-75)
  • 1814 James Henry Carleton, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Lubec, Maine (d. 1873)
  • 1816 Eliakim Parker Scammon, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Whitefield, Maine (d. 1894)
  • 1821 Jane Wilde, Irish poet, nationalist and mother of Oscar Wilde, born in Wexford (d. 1896)

Person of interestLouis Pasteur

1822 Louis Pasteur, French bacteriologist (invented pasteurization), born in Dole, France (d. 1895)

Bacteriologist Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur

Person of interestMackenzie Bowell

1823 Mackenzie Bowell, 5th Prime Minister of Canada (1894-96), born in Rickinghall, England (d. 1917)

5th Prime Minister of Canada Mackenzie Bowell
5th Prime Minister of Canada
Mackenzie Bowell
  • 1829 James Clay Rice, American lawyer and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Worthington, Massachusetts (d. 1864)
  • 1831 Lucius Fairchild, American politician, diplomat, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Kent, Ohio (d. 1896)
  • 1832 Pavel Tretyakov, Russian businessman and patron of art, born in Moscow (d. 1897)
  • 1836 Henricus Oort, Dutch theologist (Leidse translation)
  • 1855 Paul Ehrenreich, German etnologist/mythologist
  • 1864 René Georges Hermann-Paul, French artist (d. 1940)

Person of interestCyrus Eaton

1883 Cyrus Eaton, Canadian-American financier, industrialist and steel magnate, born in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia (d. 1979)

Steel Magnate Cyrus Eaton
Steel Magnate
Cyrus Eaton
  • 1892 Alfred Edwin McKay, Canadian World War One flying ace (d. 1917)
  • 1896 Carl Zuckmayer, German/Swiss/US playwright
  • 1896 Ewan Calague, economist/statistician (Social Security Board)
  • 1896 Louis Bromfield, Mansfield Ohio, writer (Early Autumn, Pulitzer-1926)
  • 1897 Iwan S Konew, Russ marshal/supreme commander pact of Warsaw
  • 1906 Teun Struycken [Antoon Arnold Marie Struycken], Dutch Minister of Justice (1950-51) and Governor of the Netherlands Antilles (1951-56), born in Breda, Netherlands (d. 1977)
  • 1907 Emile de Strijker, Belgian philosopher
  • 1907 Sebastian Haffner, German journalist and writer (d. 1999)
  • 1907 Conrad L. Raiford, Goodwill Ambassador (d. 2002)
  • 1908 Louis JHCA de Bourbon, Dutch writer/poet (Black Banners)
  • 1910 Jack Massey, groundsman
  • 1910 Charles Olson, American poet (d. 1970)

Person of interestElizabeth Smart

1913 Elizabeth Smart, Canadian author (By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept), born in Ottawa, Ontario

  • 1914 Giuseppe Berto, Italian writer (Heaven Sees Red)
  • 1915 William Masters, American gynecologist who studied sexual dysfunction, born in Cleveland, Ohio (2001)
  • 1916 Werner Baumbach, German bomber pilot (d. 1953)
  • 1917 Onni Palaste, Finnish writer
  • 1918 John Celardo, American comic strip artist
  • 1922 Larry Osborne, navigator air traffic controller/supply specialist
  • 1923 Serge Collot, French violist (Paris Opera, 1957-86; Le Trio à Cordes Français, 1960-92), and music educator (Conservatoire de Paris, 1969-89), born in Paris, France (d. 2015)
  • 1924 James A McClure, (Sen-R-Idaho)
  • 1924 Mokta Ould Daddah, president Mauritania (1961-78)
  • 1924 Wouter Eijkelemboom, Dutch architect (Holy-hospital, Vlaardingen)
  • 1927 Antony Gardner, British politician
  • 1930 Meg Greenfield, American Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer (Washington Post; Newsweek), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1999)
  • 1930 Wilfrid Sheed, England, writer (Boys of Winter, Hack)
  • 1931 Lê Khả Phiêu, Vietnamese leader, General Secretary (1997-2001), born in Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam (d. 2020)
  • 1951 Ernesto Zedillo, President of Mexico
  • 1952 Jay Hill, Canadian politician
  • 1955 Barbara Olson, American political commentator (d. 2001)
  • 1958 Steffen Mensching, writer
  • 1959 Gerina Dunwich, American author
  • 1962 Barbara Crampton, actress (Body Double, Young & Restless), born in Levittown, New York
  • 1963 Gaspar Noé, Argentinian-born director
  • 1965 Chris Mainwaring, Australian Rules Football wing (All Australian 1991, 96; West Coast Eagles), born in Geraldton, Western Australia (d. 2007)
  • 1966 Fabian Núñez, American politician
  • 1966 Wendy Coakley-Thompson, American writer
  • 1969 Sarah Vowell, American author and journalist
  • 1973 Dee Ferris, British painter

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

1925 Inventor George Gallup (24) weds Ophelia Smith Miller

Inventor of the Gallup Poll George Gallup
Inventor of the Gallup Poll
George Gallup

LoveWedding of Interest

1953 Broadcasting pioneer Roone Arledge (22) weds Joan Heise at St. Frances de Chantal Parish in Wantagh, New York

Sports Broadcasting Pioneer Roone Arledge
Sports Broadcasting Pioneer
Roone Arledge

Deaths in History

  • 975 Balderik, bishop of Utrecht (918-75), dies
  • 1065 Ferdinand I, the Great, king of Castile, dies
  • 1076 Prince Svyatoslav II of Kiev (b. 1027)
  • 1381 Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March, English politician
  • 1548 Francesco Spiera, Italian Protestant jurist (b. 1502)
  • 1590 Emmanuel Philibert of Lalaing, Baron of Montigny and Marquis of Renty, dies at 33
  • 1603 Thomas Cartwright, English Presbyterian publicist, dies at about 68
  • 1631 John Pijnas, Dutch painter, buried at about 47
  • 1641 Francois van d'Aerssen, ruler of Sommelsdijk/diplomat, dies at 69
  • 1707 Jean Mabillon, French palaeograopher and diplomat (b. 1632)
  • 1737 William Bowyer, English printer (b. 1663)
  • 1743 Hyacinthe Rigaud, French painter, dies at 84
  • 1771 Henri Pitot, Italian-French engineer, dies at 76
  • 1782 Henry Home, Lord Kames, Scottish philosopher (b. 1697)
  • 1800 Hugh Blair, Scottish preacher and man of letters (b. 1718)
  • 1805 Belle van Zuylen, Dutch-Swiss writer (Trois Femmes), dies at 65
  • 1812 Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Lithuanian rabbi and founder of Chabad Hasidism (b. 1745)
  • 1812 Joanna Southcott, an English self-described religious prophetess.
  • 1834 Charles Lamb, British critic/poet/essayist (Essays of Elia), dies at 59

Person of interestStephen F. Austin

1836 Stephen Fuller Austin, founder of the US State of Texas, dies at 43

Founder of Texas Stephen F. Austin
Founder of Texas
Stephen F. Austin
  • 1877 Nikolay Alekseyevich Nekrasov, Russian poet, writer and publisher (Russkije Zjenjshiny), dies at 56
  • 1896 John Brown, British manufacturer (b. 1816)
  • 1900 William Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong and British industralist and inventor (hydraulic crane Armstrong Gun), dies at 90
  • 1914 Charles Martin Hall, American chemist and inventor, dies at 51
  • 1919 Theodoor H de Meester, Dutch lib premier (1905-08), dies at 68

Person of interestGustave Eiffel

1923 Gustave Eiffel, French engineer (Eiffel Tower), dies at 91

Engineer and Architect Gustave Eiffel
Engineer and Architect
Gustave Eiffel
  • 1924 William Archer, Scottish critic/playwright (Green Goddess), dies at 68
  • 1925 Louis Dosfel, Flemish lawyer/literary (Assault!), dies at 44
  • 1925 Sergei Yesenin, Russian poet, dies at 30
  • 1936 Hans von Seeckt, German general and advisor of Chiang Kai-shek, dies at 70
  • 1938 Emile Vandervelde, President (1900–1918) of the International Socialist Bureau and Minister of 3 Belgian governments dies at 72
  • 1938 O Mandelstam, writer, dies
  • 1938 Calvin Bridges, American geneticist (b. 1889)
  • 1950 Max Beckmann, German painter and graphic artist, dies at 66
  • 1952 Henri G Winkelman, Dutch supreme commander army/navy 1940, dies at 76
  • 1952 Patrick Joseph Hartigan, Australian Roman Catholic priest, dies at 74
  • 1955 Ham Fisher, American comic strip writer and cartoonist (Joe Palooka), dies at 55
  • 1955 Alfred Carpenter, English Royal Navy soldier, dies at 74
  • 1956 Lambert McKenna, Irish editor and lexicographer, dies at 86
  • 1959 Alfonso Reyes, Mexican writer (Simpatías y diferencias) and diplomat (Higenia Cruel), dies at 70
  • 1965 Edgar Ende, German painter (b. 1901)

Person of interestLester B. Pearson

1972 Lester B. Pearson, 14th Canadian Prime Minister (Nobel Peace Prize 1957), dies at 75

Prime Minister of Canada Lester B. Pearson
Prime Minister of Canada
Lester B. Pearson
  • 1974 Amy Vanderbilt, American authority on etiquette, dies of multiple fractures of the skull at 66
  • 1976 Main Rousseau Bocher, American uniform designer (Red Cross, Girl Scouts, Waves), dies at 86
  • 1978 Houari Boumédiènne, President of Algeria (1965-78), dies at 51
  • 1979 Hafizullah Amin, Afghan politician (President of Afghanistan, 1979), killed by Russian forces in a coup during Soviet invasion at 50
  • 1982 John Leonard Swigert Jr., American astronaut (Apollo 13), dies of cancer at 51
  • 1986 Louis van Lint, Belgian painter (post-war abstraction), dies at 77
  • 1987 Rewi Alley, New Zealand writer (Americans in China, dies at 90
  • 1987 Geoffrey D Lloyd, Chairman of the guild of British Newspaper editors (b. 1933)
  • 1988 Hall Ashby, American director (Shampoo, 8 Million Ways to Die), dies at 59
  • 1991 W Hudson, US "strongest man to the world" (540 kg), dies
  • 1992 Jan Peeters, Dutch watercolor painter, stained glass, tile, and monument artist, dies at 80
  • 1992 Kay Boyle, American writer (Scottsboro: An American Tragedy), dies at 90
  • 1993 Youssef Sebti, Algerian scholar/poet, murdered at 50
  • 1994 Hans Berghuis, author/poet (Kleitabletten), dies at 70
  • 1994 Sadi de Gorter, Dutch author/diplomat (Abscess), dies at 82
  • 1994 J. B. L. Reyes, Filipino jurist (b. 1902)
  • 1994 Fanny Cradock, English TV chef and food critic, dies at 85
  • 1997 Brendan Gill, American critic (The New Yorker), dies at 83
  • 1997 Dorothy Stroud, garden historian, dies at 87
  • 1997 Ewart Abner, American record label executive, President of Motown Records, manager of Stevie Wonder), dies at 74
  • 1997 Tom Hudson, British artist and teacher, dies at 75
  • 1997 Billy Wright, Irish Protestant paramilitary leader (b. 1960)
  • 1999 Bernard Chacksfield, British Air Vice-Marshal, dies at 86
  • 2002 Richard Mitchell, American professor and author (The Underground Grammarian), dies at 73
  • 2005 William Doody, Canadian politician (b. 1931)

MurderBenazir Bhutto

2007 Benazir Bhutto, 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan and 1st female leader of a Muslim nation, assassinated in Rawalpindi by a suicide bomber at 54

Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Pakistani Prime Minister
Benazir Bhutto
  • 2007 Jaan Kross, Estonian writer (b. 1920)
  • 2011 Helen Frankenthaler, American abstract expressionist artist (Arden), dies at 83
  • 2012 Valentin Boreyko, Russian rower, dies at 79

Person of interestNorman Schwarzkopf

2012 Norman Schwarzkopf, US Army General and commander of coalition forces in the Gulf War, dies of complications from pneumonia at 78

US General Norman Schwarzkopf
US General
Norman Schwarzkopf