Fun Facts for Today – February 27

February 27

It’s Carnival Day and National Pistachio Day and Tell a Fairy Tale Day


1801 The city of Washington, DC. was placed under congressioal jurisdiction
1812 Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire
1813 The first federal vaccination legislation was enacted
1827 New Orleans held its first Mardi Gras
1844 The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti
1864 The first Northern prisoners arrive at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, GA
1867 Dr. William G. Bonwill of Philadelphia, Penn., invented the dental mallet while watching a telegraph key sounder operate in a Philadelphia hotel
1879 Saccharin, the artificial sweetener, was discovered by Constantine Fahlberg at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD
1900 The British Labour Party is founded with Ramsay MacDonald as its secretary
1900 Felix Hoffman was issued a US patent for Aspirin
1922 A challenge to the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, is rebuffed by the Supreme Court in Leser v. Garnett
1932 The neutron was discovered by Dr. James Chadwick
1933 The Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building in Berlin, was set afire; the Nazis accused the Communists for the fire
1939 The US Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes
1940 John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath has its Los Angeles premiere
1942 J.S. Hey discovered radio emissions from the Sun
1943 The Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek, Montana, explodes, killing 74 men
1946 The Bob Hope and Bing Crosby film Road to Utopia, the fourth of their seven films in the Road series, opened in the US
1947 The first closed-circuit broadcast of a surgical operation showed procedures to observers in classrooms. Dr. Alfred Blalock, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
1951 The 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, limiting US Presidents to two terms
1952 The United Nations held its frist meetings in its new permanent headquarters in New York City
1959 The TV series Walt Disney Presents airs The Adventures of Chip ‘N Dale
1967 Pink Floyd recorded “Arnold Layne”, which would be their first single
1973 The American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee in South Dakota
1974 People magazine is published for the first time
1987 Tokyo Disneyland welcomes its 40-millionth guest
1991 President George H. W. Bush announces that “Kuwait is liberated”
1992 Elizabeth Taylor takes over Disneyland for a private after-hours 60th birthday bash
1997 Millennium debuted on television in Sweden
1997 In Ireland, divorce became legal
1998 Alex Proyas’ brilliant film Dark City opens in the US
1998 Britain’s House of Lords agreed to give a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son; this was the end to 1,000 years of male preference
2003 Rowan Williams is enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican church

0272 Constantine I, Roman emperor best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor, the Edict of Milan – issued by his co-emperor Licinius – helped to put an end to institutionalized persecution of Christians in the Empire
1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, “A Psalm of Life”, “The Song of Hiawatha”, “Evangeline”, and “Christmas Bells”
1892 William Demarest, actor, (My Three Sons, That Darn Cat!, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Sullivan’s Travels)
1895 Edward Brophy, character actor (Wonder Man, Dumbo, You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man, A Slight Case of Murder, The Thin Man, Freaks, The Cameraman)
1902 John Steinbeck, one of the best-known and most widely read American writers of the 20th century; he wrote both the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937 and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962
1910 Joan Bennett, actress (Dark Shadows, Suspiria, We’re No Angels, The Son of Monte Cristo)
1930 Joanne Woodward, Academy Award-winning actress (The Three Faces of Eve, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Sybil, Philadelphia)
1930 Peter Stone, Academy Award-winning screenwriter (Father Goose, Charade, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?)
1932 Dame Elizabeth Taylor, two-time Academy Award-winning actress (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Butterfield 8, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Giant, Cleopatra)
1934 Ralph Nader, attorney, author, lecturer, political activist, and currently a candidate in the United States presidential election; despised by Corvair owners the world over
1934 Van Williams, actor (The Green Hornet, Bourbon Street Beat, How the West Was Won, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story)
1940 Bill Hunter, actor (Muriel’s Wedding, Strictly Ballroom, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Gallipoli)
1940 Howard Hesseman, actor (WKRP in Cincinnati, Billy Jack, This Is Spinal Tap, Clue, Head of the Class)
1944 Ken Grimwood, World Fantasy Award-winning author (Replay, Breakthrough, Into the Deep)
1957 Timothy Spall, OBE, actor (Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Topsy-Turvy, Gothic)
1962 Adam Baldwin, actor (Chuck, Firefly, My Bodyguard, Ordinary People, Full Metal Jacket, The Chocolate War, Independence Day)
1966 Donal Logue, actor (Grounded for Life, The Knights of Prosperity, Zodiac, Jerry Maguire, Jimmy the cab driver on MTV promos)
1980 Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton

1902 Harry “Breaker” Harbord Morant, poet, drover, horseman, poet, and soldier whose renowned skill with horses earned him the nickname “The Breaker”, was killed by a British firing squad at the age of 38
1964 Orry-Kelly, three-time Academy Award-winning costume designer (An American in Paris, Cole Porter’s Les Girls, Some Like It Hot), dies at 66
1977 John Dickson Carr, Edgar Award-winning author who also published under the pen names Carter Dickson, Carr Dickson, and Roger Fairbairn (The Burning Court, The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), dies at 70
1985 J. Pat O’Malley, actor (Lassie Come Home, Alice in Wonderland (1951), The Adventures of Spin and Marty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), Willard), dies at 80
1987 Joan Greenwood, actress (The Man in the White Suit, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, Tom Jones), dies at 65
1993 Lillian Gish, legendary actress (The Birth of a Nation, Broken Blossoms, The Scarlet Letter, The Whales of August), dies at 99
1998 J. T. Walsh, actor (Sling Blade, Pleasantville, Executive Decision, Needful Things), dies of a heart attack at 54
2002 Spike Milligan, comedian, writer, musician, poet and playwright who was the creator, the principal writer and a performing member of “The Goon Show”, dies at 83
2003 Fred Rogers, multiple Emmy Award-winning host of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, dies at 74

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