This Day in History — February 27

This Day in History — February 27

Thursday, February 27, 2020

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Today is the 58th day of 2020. There are 308 days left in the year.


2010: One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded tears apart houses, bridges and highways in central Chile and sends a tsunami racing halfway around the world. Chilean authorities say at least 214 people died.


1560: The Treaty of Berwyck is established between England and lords of the Scottish Congregation, calling for expulsion of the French from Scotland.

1700: The south-west Pacific island of New Britain is discovered by English navigator William Dampier.

1881: Boers defeat British forces at Majuba Hill in South Africa.

1889: Burma — now Myanmar — opens railroad from Rangoon to Mandalay.

1901: Russia's minister of propaganda is murdered to avenge repression of student agitation.

1922: The US Supreme Court unanimously upholds the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that guaranteed the right of women to vote.

1929: Turkey signs Litvinov Protocol, or Eastern Pact, between Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Romania, for renunciation of war.

1933: Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, catches fire. The Nazis, blaming the Communists, use the fire as a pretext for suspending civil liberties.

1939: Britain and France recognise General Francisco Franco's government in Spain; the US Supreme Court outlaws sit-down strikes.

1960: The US Olympic hockey team defeats the Soviet Union 3-2 at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. The US team goes on to win the gold medal.

1968: Britain's House of Commons approves Bill to restrict immigration to Britain.

1972: US President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou, En-lai issue the Shanghai Communique at the conclusion of Nixon's historic visit to China.

1973: Members of the American Indian Movement occupy Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. The occupation lasts until May.

1982: Wayne B Williams is found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period.

1991: US President George H W Bush announces a cessation of offensive military action in the Gulf War.

1995: Baring Brothers and Co, one of Britain's oldest and most prestigious investment banks, goes broke when a trader loses more than US$800 million gambling in Asian futures markets.

1996: The United Nations suspends sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs after NATO verifies that Serb forces have withdrawn from buffer zones.

1998: US Vice-President Al Gore announces that the United States is lifting a 35-year-old arms embargo against South Africa.

1999: Nigeria elects General Olusegun Obasanjo in the first presidential elections after 15 years of military rule, but the results are disputed.

2000: After a stormy debate and vociferous opposition from legislators, Egypt's parliament endorses President Hosni Mubarak's decision to extend the country's 19-year-old state of emergency for three more years.

2003: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva deploys 3,000 troops to Rio de Janeiro to back up the 30,000 state and local police officers during the city's six-day Carnival celebration. It is the first time troops are sent to guard the city during Carnival.

2005: Iran and Russia ignore US objections and sign a nuclear fuel agreement that is key to bringing Tehran's first reactor online by mid-2006.

2006: Security forces in Saudi Arabia kill five militants sought in an attempt to blow up car bombs inside a huge oil complex.

2007: A suicide bomber attacks the main gate of the Bagram US military base in Afghanistan within earshot of visiting Vice-President Dick Cheney. The explosion, claimed by the Taliban as an assassination attempt, kills 23 people including two Americans.

2008: Masked thieves drill a tunnel into the Damiani showroom in Milan, Italy, making off with gold, diamonds and rubies worth an estimated $20 million. Nine men are arrested in December in connection with the robbery.

2009: President Hugo Chavez ratchets up rhetoric against US after the State Department releases report on drug trafficking and human rights problems in Venezuela.

2011: More than 100 leading Saudi academics and activists urge King Abdullah to enact sweeping reforms, including setting up a constitutional monarchy, and he orders that government sector workers with temporary contracts be given permanent jobs in order to pre-empt the unrest that has engulfed other Arab nations.

2012: The German parliament approves a second euro130-billion ($173-billion) loan package for Greece after Chancellor Angela Merkel warns lawmakers that it would be irresponsible to abandon the country to bankruptcy.

2013: Iraq's prime minister warns that a victory for the rebels in Syria's civil war would create a new extremist haven and destabilise the wider Middle East, sparking sectarian wars in his own country and Lebanon.

2014: UN Secretary General says that 20 years after the Rwanda genocide, the international community's collective failure to prevent atrocities in Syria is a “shameful indictment”.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, US poet (1807-1882); John Steinbeck, US writer (1902-1968); Joanne Woodward, US actress (1930- ); Elizabeth Taylor, US actress (1932-2011); Ralph Nader, US consumer activist (1934- ); Josh Groban, US singer (1981- ).

— AP

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