This Day in History

March 27


196BC  Ptolemy V Epiphanes at age 5 ascends the throne of Egypt—will reign for 23 years   2212
1462      Vasily II Vasiliyevich Tyomniy (Blind), Grand Prince of Moscow, dies after a 37 year reign marked by civil war, age 47   555
1513      Florida first sighted by Ponce de León   504
1555      William Hunter burnt to death in Brentwood, age 19 for reading the Bible during the reign of Mary Tudor   462
1613      first English child born in Canada—Cuper's Cove Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy and his wife   404
1625      James I, King of England and Ireland, dies, age 58   392
1794      Congress passes the Naval Act which establishes the U.S. Navy   223
1809      combined French and Polish forces defeat Spanish at the Battle of Ciudad-Real as part of the Penisular War   208
1836      Santa Anna orders the massacre of 342 Texan prisoners at Goliad   181
1847      Vera Cruz capitulates to forces led by Winfield Scott after a seige of less than thee weeks   170
1851      first reports of white men seeing Yosemite Valley   166
1868      John Muir arrives in San Francisco   149
1871      first international rugby union match between Scotland and England national rugby union teams is played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh   146
1899      first successful transmission of a radio telegraph message across the English Channel by Guglielmo Marconi   118
1923      British physicist James Dewar dies, age 80   94
1939      first NCAA Mens's Division I basketball tournament championshup game—Oregon beats Ohio State 46-33   78
1945      U.S. Army Air Force begins mining Japan's harbors and ports to cut off the import of supplies   72
1953      Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union—will lead for 11 years   64
1964      9.2 earthquake strikes Anchorage, Alaska—131 die   53
1968      first human to orbit the earth in 1961, Yuri Gargagin, is killed during a training flight, age 34   49
1970      Concorde makes its first supersonic flight   47
1972      Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher dies, age 73   45
1977      two 747's collide on runway in Tenerife—worst aviation disaster with 583 dead   40
1998      Sildenafil, sold as Viagra, is approved as the first oral treatment for erectile dysfunction in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration   19
2002      Austrian-born American director, screenwriter, and producer Billy Wilder dies in Beverly Hills, California, age 95   15
2002      American comedian and actor and the first major American television star Milton Berle dies in Los Angeles, age 93   15
2004      frigate HMS Scylla sunk off Whitsand Bay, Cornwall to form an artificial reef—first of its kind in Europe   13
2007      American chemist and Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine Paul Christian Lauterbur dies in Urbana, Illinois, age 77   10
2009      last daily print edition of The Christian Science Monitor is published after 100 years   8
2009      Situ Gintung dam fails—resultant flood kills at least 100 in the city of Cirendeu in Tangerang District, Indonesia   8
2013      Canadian rocket engineer Yvonne Madalaine Brill dies in Princeton, New Jersey, age 88   4
2014      Philadelphia 76ers lose their 26th consecutive game tying the NBA record set by the Cavaliers in 2011   3
2015      Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko launch aboard Soyuz TMA-16M for the first one-year mission on the International Space Station   2
2016      suicide bomb kills 70 and injures 300 others in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore   1
2016      Mother Angelica (born Rita Rizzo), Franciscan nun who founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) dies, age 92   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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