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This Day in History - January 27

January 27

661 – The Rashidun Caliphate, the largest empire in history at this time, ends with the death of Ali, ushering in the Umayyad Caliphate

1302 – Politician and poet Dante Alighieri is exiled from Florence due to his political activities.  He wrote The Divine Comedy, while homeless, traveling from town to town, seeking protection for his family 

1695 – Mustafa II becomes the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul

1756 – Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is born

1785 – The Georgia General Assembly incorporates the University of Georgia, making it the first state-funded institution of higher learning in the new republic

1825 – Congress approves present-day Oklahoma for Indian Territory, setting the stage for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears”

1832 – English author Lewis Carroll is born

1850 – The first president of American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, is born

1859 – Emperor of German during World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm II, is born

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln issues General War Order Number One, which orders the advance of Union forces

1880 – Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an incandescent light

1888 – The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, DC

1900 – In Peking, foreign diplomats, fearing revolt, demand that the Imperial government discipline the Boxer Rebels

1900 – American admiral and “Father of the Atomic Submarine,” Hyman Rickover, is born

1901 – Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi dies

1905 – Russian General Kuropatkin goes on offensive in Manchuria

1916 – President Woodrow Wilson opens preparedness program

1918 – Communists attempt to seize power in Finland

1918 – Hundreds of thousands of starving German workers prepare for a strike in Berlin.  The leaders were arrested and court-martialed, sending 150 to prison and 50,000 to the front lines of the army fight in the Great War

1924 – Vladimir Lenin’s body is placed in a marble tomb on Red Square near the Kremlin

1926 – Inventor John Logie Baird, gives the first public demonstration of a television system in London

1935 – A League of Nations majority favors stripping mandates from Japan

1939 – President Franklin Roosevelt approves the sale of US warplanes to France

1941 – The US and Great Britain begin high-level military talks in Washington

1943 – The first US raids on the Reich take place, blasting the Wilhelmshaven base and Emden

1943 – Future President Ronald Reagan goes on active-duty assignment with the Army’s First Motion Picture Unit

1944 – Soviet forces break the Leningrad siege line, ending the German containment of the city.  600,000 were killed in the process

1944 – Irish Nobel Prize-winning activist Mairead Maguire is born

1945 - ***CORRECTION*** Originally reported as taking place on Jan. 26.

Soviet troops freed the survivors of concentration camps in Auschwitz, Poland and encountered 648 corpses, and over 7,000 starving camp survivors, along with six storehouses filled with hundreds of thousands of clothing items that the Germans didn’t have time to burn before Soviet arrival

1951 – The government detonates the first of a series of nuclear bombs at its Nevada test site

1959 – NASA selects 110 candidates for the first US space flight

1965 – Military leaders in Saigon oust the civilian government of Tran Van Huong

1965 – The Shelby GT 350 is launched

1967 – Three astronauts are killed in a flash fire on Apollo 1 spacecraft

1967 – The US, UK, and the Soviet Union sign the Outer Space Treaty, banning nuclear weapons in outer space and limiting the use of the Moon to peaceful purposes

1967 – Specialist Four Donald W. Evans, a medic from California, is awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for action in the Kontum Province where he ran into open fire to reach six wounded soldiers

1973 – As the US and North Vietnam sign the Paris Peace Accords, a cease-fire takes place in Vietnam

1974 – Norwegian biathlete, Ole Einar Bjorndalen is born

1975 – A Senate investigation is launched into the activities of the FBI and CIA.  They were charged with illegal surveillance of US citizens, illegally plotting to assassinate foreign leaders and the CIA was charged with keeping a secret stockpile of poisons, despite a specific presidential order to destroy them

1978 – The State Supreme Court in Skokie, Illinois rules that Nazis can display the Swastika in a march

1978 – Richard Chase, the “Dracula Killer,” kills Evelyn Miroth, Daniel Meredith, Miroth’s 6-year old son and one other woman in California.  He sexually assaulted Miroth with a knife, killed her and mutilated her body.  He removed her organs and filled them with blood to take with him.  The prior year, Chase had been found naked in a field, covered in cow’s blood.  Despite having been known for drinking blood and killing animals, he was released from a psychiatric hospital by his physician.  Authorities found human blood in his sinks and blender at his home at his arrest.  He was convicted of six counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, but he committed suicide in his cell at San Quentin in 1980

1983 – The first shaft of the Seikan Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel, connecting the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, is completed

1985 – Pope John Paul II says mass in Venezuela to a million people

1991 – Muhammad Siyad Barre, dictator of the Somali Democratic Republic, flees Mogadishu as rebels capture the Somali capital and his palace

1996 – Tennis player Monica Seles defeats Anke Huber of Germany to win the Australian Open

2002 – Explosions at a military depot in Lagos, Nigeria, kill approximately 300 people.  Chaos ensued, and the resulting stampede of fleeing people killed over 1,000

2008 – 2nd President of Indonesia, Suharto, dies

2009 – American author, poet, and critic John Updike dies

2010 – Author J.D. Salinger dies

2014 – American singer, songwriter and guitarist Pete Seeger dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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