Apr 27 2011

On This Day In History April 27

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 248 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1805, Naval Agent to the Barbary States, William Eaton, the former consul to Tunis, led an small expeditionary force of Marines, commanded by First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon, and Berber mercenaries from Alexandria, across 500 miles to the port of Derna in Tripoli. Supported by US Naval gunfire, the port was captured by the end of the day, overthrowing Yusuf Karamanli, the ruling pasha of Tripoli, who had seized power from his brother, Hamet Karamanli, a pasha who was sympathetic to the United States.

Lt. O’Bannon raised the US flag over the port, the first time the US flag had flown over a foreign battlefield. He had performed so valiantly that newly restored Pasha Hamet Karamanli presented him with an elaborately designed sword that now serves as the pattern for the swords carried by Marine officers. The words “To the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Corps official song commemorate the battle.




 1296 – Battle of Dunbar: The Scots are defeated by Edward I of England.

1509 – Pope Julius II places the Italian state of Venice under interdict.

1521 – Battle of Mactan: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan is killed by natives in the Philippines led by chief Lapu-Lapu.

1539 – Re-founding of the city of Bogota, New Granada (now Colombia), by Nikolaus Federmann and Sebastian de Belalcazar.

1565 – Cebu is established becoming the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.

1578 – Duel of the Mignons claims the lives of two favourites of Henry III of France and two favorites of Henry I, Duke of Guise.

1650 – The Battle of Carbisdale: A Royalist army invades mainland Scotland from Orkney Island but is defeated by a Covenanter army.

1749 – First performance of Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks in Green Park, London.

1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passes the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by granting it a monopoly on the North American tea trade.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Ridgefield: A British invasion force engages and defeats Continental Army regulars and militia irregulars at Ridgefield, Connecticut.

1805 – First Barbary War: United States Marines and Berbers attack the Tripolitan city of Derna (The “shores of Tripoli” part of the Marines’ hymn).

1810 – Beethoven composes his famous piano piece, Fur Elise.

1813 – War of 1812: United States troops capture the capital of Upper Canada, York (present day Toronto, Canada).

1840 – Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, is laid by wife of Sir Charles Barry.

1861 – President of the United States Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus.

1865 – The New York State Senate creates Cornell University as the state’s land grant institution.

1865 – The steamboat Sultana, carrying 2,400 passengers, explodes and sinks in the Mississippi River, killing 1,700, most of whom are Union survivors of the Andersonville and Cahaba Prisons.

1904 – The Australian Labor Party becomes the first such party to gain national government, under Chris Watson.

1909 – Sultan of Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid II is overthrown, and is succeeded by his brother, Mehmed V.

1911 – Following the resignation and death of William P. Frye, a compromise is reached to rotate the office of President pro tempore of the United States Senate.

1936 – The United Auto Workers (UAW) gains autonomy from the American Federation of Labor.

1941 – World War II: German troops enter Athens.

1941 – World War II: The Communist Party of Slovenia, the Slovene Christian Socialists, the left-wing Slovene Sokols (also known as “National Democrats”) and a group of progressive intellectuals establish the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People.

1945 – World War II: German troops are finally expelled from Finnish Lapland.

1945 – World War II: Benito Mussolini is arrested by Italian partisans in Dongo, while attempting escape disguised as a German soldier.

1950 – Apartheid: In South Africa, the Group Areas Act is passed formally segregating races.

1959 – The last Canadian missionary leaves the People’s Republic of China.

1960 – Togo gains independence from French-administered UN trusteeship.

1961 – Sierra Leone is granted its independence from the United Kingdom, with Milton Margai as the first Prime Minister.

1967 – Expo 67 officially opens in Montreal, Canada with a large opening ceremony broadcast around the world. It opens to the public the next day.

1974 – 10,000 march in Washington, D.C., calling for the impeachment of US President Richard Nixon

1977 – 28 people are killed in the Guatemala City air disaster.

1978 – Former United States President Nixon aide John D. Ehrlichman is released from an Arizona prison after serving 18 months for Watergate-related crimes.

1981 – Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse.

1987 – The U.S. Department of Justice bars the Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the United States, saying he had aided in the deportation and execution of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.

1992 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro, is proclaimed.

1992 – Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.

1992 – Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics become members of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

1993 – All members of the Zambia national football team lose their lives in a plane crash off Libreville, Gabon in route to Dakar, Senegal to play a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Senegal.

1994 – South African general election, 1994: The first democratic general election in South Africa, in which black citizens could vote.

The Interim Constitution comes into force.

1996 – The 1996 Lebanon war ends.

2002 – The last successful telemetry from the NASA space probe Pioneer 10.

2005 – The superjumbo jet aircraft Airbus A380 makes its first flight from Toulouse, France.

2006 – Construction begins on the Freedom Tower for the new World Trade Center in New York City.

2007 – Estonian authorities remove the Bronze Soldier, a Soviet Red Army war memorial in Tallinn, amid political controversy with Russia.

Holidays and observances

   * Christian Feast Day:

       Liberalis of Treviso

       Virgin of Montserrat


       April 27 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Day of the Uprising Against the Occupying Forces (Slovenia)

   * Freedom Day (South Africa)

       UnFreedom Day (South Africa, unofficial)

   * Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Sierra Leone from United Kingdom in 1961.

   * Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Togo from France in 1960.

   * National War Veterans’ Day (Finland)

   * World Graphic Design Day (Communication design discipline)