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On This Day in History - 27th February


1807Henry Longfellow, American poet
1902John Steinbeck, US novelist of 'Of Mice & Men' & 'Grapes of Wrath'
1912Lawrence Durrell, English novelist and poet
1930Joanne Woodward, British actress
1932Elizabeth Taylor, English born film actress
1941Paddy Ashdown, Liberal Democrats leader
1960Paul Humphreys, Of 'OMD'


1879Two American chemists announced the discovery of saccharin
1900The Labour Party was founded, with Ramsay MacDonald as its secretary
1933The German parliament building (Reichstag) was destroyed by fire
1942The second world wars 'Battle of the Java Sea' took place
1948The Communist Party took control in Czechoslovakia
1980Columbian guerrillas seized the Dominican Republic's embassy, in Columbia
1982Legislation in the European Court was passed, banning corporal punishment in schools
1991An allied ceasefire in the Gulf War began; Iraqi forces withdrew from Kuwait
1994The apartments of Prince Charles, in St James's Palace, were burgled
1995Barings Bank, Britain's oldest merchant bank collapsed, with losses over 600 million