Today in History, 27 July: What Happened on this Day

Historical Events


Battle of Bouvines

The Battle of Bouvines took place between King Philip II of France and the combined forces of Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV and King John of England. The battle was a significant event during the early 13th century and had far-reaching consequences for the involved parties. King John’s defeat resulted in him losing his territories in Normandy and other possessions in France, earning him the derogatory nickname “John Lackland.” The outcome of the battle strengthened King Philip II’s position and further consolidated his power in France.



Black Death – First Example of Quarantine in Rugusa

The Black Death, one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, saw its first example of quarantine in Rugusa (now Dubrovnik) in 1377. In response to the plague’s spread, the city council passed a law requiring newcomers from plague-affected areas to undergo isolation for 30 days. This measure aimed to prevent the further spread of the disease to the healthy population. Later, the quarantine period was extended to 40 days, a term derived from the Italian word “Quaranta,” giving rise to the modern concept of quarantine.



Nicolaus Copernicus Installed as Canon of Frauenberg Cathedral

Nicolaus Copernicus, the renowned astronomer and mathematician, was formally installed as a canon of Frauenberg Cathedral in 1501. Copernicus is best known for his revolutionary heliocentric theory, proposing that the Earth revolves around the Sun. His groundbreaking work laid the foundation for modern astronomy and challenged the prevailing geocentric model that had been accepted for centuries.



Walter Raleigh Introduces Tobacco to England from Virginia

In 1586, Walter Raleigh, an English explorer, brought the first tobacco to England from the colony of Virginia in North America. This event marked the introduction of tobacco to Europe and its subsequent global spread. The popularity of tobacco grew rapidly, leading to the establishment of tobacco cultivation and trade, which significantly impacted world economies and cultures over the centuries.



Victory of Prince Frederick Henry at the Castle of Gennep

In 1641, during the Eighty Years’ War, Prince Frederick Henry of the Netherlands achieved a victory by capturing the castle of Gennep. The Eighty Years’ War was a significant conflict between the Dutch rebels and the Spanish Crown, ultimately leading to the Dutch Republic’s establishment. Prince Frederick Henry’s victory at Gennep contributed to the Republic’s efforts in gaining independence from Spanish rule.



Oliver Cromwell’s Triumph at the Battle of Gainsborough

Oliver Cromwell, the prominent English military and political leader, scored a victory for the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War at the Battle of Gainsborough in 1643. The English Civil War was a pivotal event that shaped the future of England’s monarchy and political structure. Cromwell’s military prowess and leadership skills played a crucial role in the ultimate victory of the Parliamentarians.



British Queen Anne Dismisses Premier Robert Haley

In 1714, British Queen Anne dismissed Robert Haley, who served as her premier. Robert Haley was an influential politician during the reign of Queen Anne, and his dismissal signaled a shift in the political landscape of Britain. Queen Anne’s actions and subsequent events set the stage for the succession of the Hanoverian dynasty and the crowning of King George I.



The overthrow of Maximilien Robespierre in a Coup in Paris

In 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, a key figure of the French Revolution and a leading proponent of the Reign of Terror, was overthrown in a coup in Paris. The Reign of Terror was a period of extreme violence and mass executions during the revolution. Robespierre’s overthrow brought an end to his radical rule, paving the way for a more moderate government and a shift away from the most violent phase of the revolution.



Revolution Breaks Out in Paris Against Laws of Charles X

In 1830, a revolution erupted in Paris, opposing the policies of King Charles X of France. Known as the July Revolution, it resulted in the abdication of King Charles X and the ascension of King Louis Philippe to the throne. The revolution marked a significant moment in French history, representing the transition from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy.



Union General George McClellan Takes Command of the Potomac Army

In 1861, during the American Civil War, Union General George B. McClellan assumed command of the Army of the Potomac. McClellan’s leadership had a profound impact on the Union’s military strategy and the course of the war. His cautious approach and reluctance to engage the Confederate forces drew criticism, but he played a crucial role in organizing and training the Union Army during the early stages of the conflict.



Landing of the First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable in Newfoundland

In 1866, the first transatlantic telegraph cable successfully came ashore at Heart’s Content, Newfoundland. The cable had been laid over 1,686 miles of ocean by Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Eastern steamship. This achievement revolutionized global communications, drastically reducing the time it took to transmit messages between North America and Europe.



Death of Dutch Painter Vincent van Gogh

In 1890, Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh tragically shot himself in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, and died two days later from his injuries. Despite struggling with mental health issues throughout his life, Van Gogh created an immense body of work that would go on to become highly influential in the world of art. Today, he is regarded as one of the most celebrated and iconic artists in history.



Orville Wright Tests the First US Army Airplane

In 1909, aviation pioneer Orville Wright conducted the first test of an airplane for the United States Army, flying for 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 40 seconds. The Wright brothers’ achievements in aviation opened up new possibilities for transportation, warfare, and exploration, fundamentally changing the course of human history.



Frederick Banting and Charles Best Isolate Insulin

In 1921, Canadian medical scientist Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best successfully isolated insulin at the University of Toronto. This breakthrough discovery revolutionized the treatment of diabetes, saving countless lives and earning Banting the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923.



End of the Korean War with Armistice Signing

In 1953, North Korea and the United Nations signed an armistice agreement, effectively ending the Korean War. The conflict had lasted for three years, resulting in a significant loss of life and substantial geopolitical implications. The armistice divided Korea along the 38th parallel and established a demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, which remains in effect to this day.



Richard Nixon Nominated as Presidential Candidate

In 1960, Richard Nixon, then the Vice-President of the United States, was nominated as the presidential candidate at the Republican convention in Chicago. Nixon would go on to face John F. Kennedy in the general election, marking a closely contested race that ultimately resulted in Kennedy’s victory and his subsequent presidency.



Martin Luther King Jr. Jailed in Albany, Georgia

In 1962, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed in Albany, Georgia, during his tireless efforts to combat racial segregation and discrimination. King’s activism and nonviolent resistance played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, inspiring people worldwide and leading to significant legal and social changes in the United States.



President Lyndon B. Johnson Signs Cigarette Health Warnings Bill

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill into law that required cigarette manufacturers to include health warnings on all cigarette packages about the effects of smoking. This legislation marked a critical step in raising public awareness about the health risks associated with smoking and became a significant milestone in tobacco regulation.



Portuguese President Antonio Ramalho Eanes Dismisses Premier Mario Soares

In 1978, Portuguese President Antonio Ramalho Eanes dismissed Premier Mario Soares. The political maneuverings reflected the complexities of Portugal’s transition to democracy after the fall of the authoritarian Estado Novo regime in the Carnation Revolution of 1974.



Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s First Visit to the US in 11 Years

In 1982, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited the United States for the first time in almost 11 years. The visit aimed to strengthen India-US relations and address key issues of mutual interest between the two nations.



Atlanta Brave Dale Murphy’s Record-Setting Performance

In 1989, Atlanta Braves outfielder Dale Murphy became the 10th player in Major League Baseball history to achieve 6 runs batted in (RBIs) in a single inning during a game. This remarkable feat demonstrated Murphy’s exceptional batting prowess and cemented his status as one of baseball’s finest players during his era.



Nelson Mandela Calls for a General Strike in South Africa

In 1992, Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary and future President of South Africa, called for a general strike to protest the continued rule of South African President F. W. de Klerk and to demand free elections. This strike was part of the broader efforts to end apartheid and establish a democratic, non-racial South Africa.



Magdalo’s Takeover of Oakwood Premier Ayala Center in Makati City

In 2003, a group of 321 Filipino armed soldiers known as “Magdalo” took over Oakwood Premier Ayala Center in Makati City, Philippines. Their actions were aimed at exposing alleged corruption within the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The event highlighted underlying political tensions and issues within the country.



US President Obama’s Statement on Israel and Gaza Conflict

In 2014, US President Barack Obama reaffirmed Israel’s “right to defend itself” while also expressing concern over civilian casualties during the Gaza conflict. The statement demonstrated the delicate balance in handling the complex and longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



Jeff Bezos Becomes World’s Richest Man Briefly

In 2017, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest man, overtaking Bill Gates with a net worth of $91.4 billion USD. This financial milestone underscored the success and influence of the tech industry in shaping global economies and wealth distribution.



Boy Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Apologizes for Trump’s Remarks

In 2017, Boy Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh issued an apology for politically motivated remarks made by President Donald Trump during a rally attended by 30,000 scouts. The incident sparked controversy and raised questions about the appropriate role of political discourse in youth organizations.



Congressman John Lewis Becomes First Black Lawmaker to Lie in State in the Rotunda

In 2020, the body of US Congressman John Lewis, a prominent civil rights leader, lay in state in the Rotunda of the US Capitol, making him the first black lawmaker to receive this honor. The event paid tribute to Lewis’s significant contributions to the civil rights movement and his enduring legacy in American history.



COVID-19 Pandemic Declared as the Most Severe Global Health Emergency

In 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the COVID-19 pandemic as “easily the most severe” global health emergency the WHO has faced. The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems, economies, and societies worldwide, highlighting the importance of international cooperation in addressing public health crises.




Zsa Zsa Gabor begins a 3-day jail sentence for slapping a police officer in Beverly Hills.

On June 14, 1990, Hungarian-American actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor found herself embroiled in a legal controversy that resulted in her serving a three-day jail sentence. The incident occurred when Gabor was pulled over by a police officer in Beverly Hills for a traffic violation. Instead of cooperating with the officer, Gabor became agitated and ended up slapping him. As a consequence of her actions, she was charged with assault and taken into custody. The incident made headlines and added to Gabor’s already colorful public persona. Despite the incident, she remained a prominent figure in the entertainment world, known for her glamorous lifestyle and various film and television appearances.



Musical Finale – Henry Mancini, Leslie Bricusse, and Blake Edwards’ musical adaptation of the film “Victor/Victoria,” starring Julie Andrews, closes at Marquis Theater, NYC, after 738 performances.

“Victor/Victoria,” a beloved musical based on the 1982 film of the same name, saw its final curtain call on July 27, 1997. The production was a collaboration between esteemed talents such as composer Henry Mancini, lyricist Leslie Bricusse, and director Blake Edwards. The musical starred the iconic Julie Andrews, who showcased her exceptional vocal and acting skills in the lead role of Victoria Grant, a struggling soprano who finds fame and fortune by pretending to be a male female impersonator named Victor. The show’s 738-performance run at the Marquis Theater in New York City received critical acclaim and numerous accolades, further solidifying Julie Andrews’ status as a Broadway legend.



CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves is accused of sexual misconduct in the “New Yorker” by journalist Ronan Farrow.

In a groundbreaking exposé published by journalist Ronan Farrow in the “New Yorker” on July 27, 2018, serious allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against Leslie Moonves, the Chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation. The article detailed accounts from several women who accused Moonves of sexual harassment, assault, and retaliation for refusing his advances. The allegations against such a prominent figure in the media industry sparked a larger conversation about the #MeToo movement, which aimed to shed light on and combat sexual harassment and abuse in various workplaces. As a result of the accusations and subsequent investigations, Leslie Moonves resigned from CBS in September 2018. This event marked a significant moment in the ongoing efforts to address and rectify issues of misconduct and abuse of power in the entertainment industry.

Notable Birthdays

Ludovico Sforza


Ludovico Sforza, born on July 27, 1452, was an Italian nobleman who became the Duke of Milan from 1494 to 1508. He is famously known for his patronage of the arts and commissioned the renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci to create one of his masterpieces, “The Last Supper.” Under his rule, Milan experienced a period of cultural and artistic flourishing. Ludovico Sforza’s support for artists, architects, and scholars left a significant impact on the Renaissance movement in Northern Italy, and his legacy is intertwined with some of the most iconic works of art in history.


Hans Fischer


Hans Fischer, born on July 27, 1881, was a German organic chemist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1930 for his groundbreaking research on the structure and synthesis of hemin, a component of hemoglobin in the blood. His work significantly advanced the understanding of the chemistry of porphyrins and helped pave the way for future discoveries in the field of biochemistry and medicine. Fischer’s contributions to science remain highly influential, and his work in the study of hemin and related compounds has had a lasting impact on the fields of chemistry and medicine.


Sat Mahajan


Sat Mahajan, born on July 27, 1927, was an Indian politician known for his significant contributions to rural development and public service. He served as the Rural Development Minister in the Indian government. Mahajan’s efforts were instrumental in implementing various developmental programs and policies aimed at improving the living conditions of rural communities in India. His work focused on promoting sustainable agriculture, infrastructural development, and initiatives to uplift the socio-economic status of the rural population. Sat Mahajan’s dedication to public service and his commitment to rural development left a lasting legacy in India’s political and social landscape. He passed away in 2012, but his work continues to inspire and influence initiatives for the betterment of rural areas in the country.


Notable Deaths

John Dalton


John Dalton, an English physicist and chemist, passed away on July 27, 1844, at the age of 77. He is renowned for his groundbreaking work in developing the atomic theory of matter, which proposed that all matter is composed of indivisible particles called atoms. Dalton’s atomic theory revolutionized the understanding of chemistry and laid the foundation for modern atomic and molecular theories. Additionally, he conducted extensive research on color blindness, now known as Daltonism in his honor. His contributions to science have left an enduring impact on the fields of physics and chemistry.


António de Oliveira Salazar


António de Oliveira Salazar, the dictator of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, breathed his last on July 27, 1970, at the age of 81. He was the architect and controlling figure of the Estado Novo, or New State, a conservative authoritarian regime that governed Portugal for several decades. During his rule, Salazar maintained a tight grip on political power, suppressing opposition and dissent. While he aimed to modernize Portugal’s economy, his policies faced criticism for their repressive nature and lack of democratic freedoms. Salazar’s influence on Portugal’s political landscape was profound, and his legacy remains a subject of debate among historians.


Mohammad Reza Pahlavi


Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran (Persia), passed away on July 27, 1980, at the age of 60 in Cairo, Egypt. He ruled Iran from 1941 to 1979 until he was overthrown during the Iranian Revolution. His reign was marked by both modernization efforts and a concentration of power within the monarchy, leading to discontent among various factions of Iranian society. The revolution led to his exile, and he spent his remaining days outside of Iran. Pahlavi’s death marked the end of an era for Iran, shaping the country’s future political trajectory and giving rise to the establishment of the Islamic Republic.


Salim Ali


Salim Ali, widely known as the “Birdman of India,” passed away on July 27, 1990, at the age of 90. He was a prominent Indian ornithologist who made significant contributions to the study of birds in India and beyond. His research and advocacy efforts played a crucial role in the conservation of avian species and their habitats. Salim Ali’s work inspired generations of birdwatchers and conservationists and earned him recognition as one of the foremost authorities on Indian ornithology.


Swami Shantanand


Swami Shantanand, an Indian saint and philosopher born in 1934, attained Mahasamadhi on July 27, 2005. Mahasamadhi is a term used in the yogic and spiritual context to describe the conscious departure of a realized soul from its physical body. Swami Shantanand was a revered spiritual leader who dedicated his life to promoting spirituality, inner awakening, and universal love. His teachings and influence continue to impact the lives of his followers and spiritual seekers.


A.P. J. [Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen] Abdul Kalam


A.P. J. Abdul Kalam, an Indian scientist, and politician, who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007, passed away on July 27, 2015, at the age of 83. Dr. Kalam was a distinguished aerospace engineer and played a significant role in India’s space and defense programs. He was widely regarded as the “Missile Man of India” for his contributions to ballistic missile technology. As President, he connected with the youth and inspired them with his vision for a developed India and his teachings on leadership and dreams. His death was mourned by the nation, and he is remembered as one of India’s most beloved and respected leaders.

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