On This Day in History: April 27

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.



On This Day


1509 Pope Julius II excommunicated the Italian state of Venice.

1521 Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the Philippines.

1773 The British Parliament passes the Tea Act, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and thus granting it a monopoly on the American tea trade.

1791 Samuel Morse. 4/27/1791 – 4/2/1872, American painter and developer of the telegraph

1822 Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.

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

1865 The steamer Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., killing more than 1,400 Union prisoners of war.

1896 Baseball Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby was born in Winters, Texas.

1899 Walter Lantz, 4/27/1899 – 3/22/1994, American film animator; creator of “Woody Woodpecker”

1916 British attempt to bargain with Turks over Kut

1941 German forces enter Athens

1965 Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow died at age 57.

1972 Apollo 16 returned to Earth after a manned voyage to the moon.

1978 Afghanistan President Sardar Mohammed Daoud is overthrown and murdered in a coup led by procommunist rebels. The brutal action marked the beginning of political upheaval in Afghanistan that resulted in intervention by Soviet troops less than two years later.

1987 The Justice Department barred 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 was proclaimed in Belgrade by the Republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro.

1992 Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

2005 Russian President Vladimir Putin became the first Kremlin leader to visit Israel.

Today’s Birthdays

87 Jack Klugman, Actor (“The Odd Couple,” “Quincy”)

77 Anouk Aimee, Actress

77 Casey Kasem, Radio announcer, voice actor

70 Judy Carne, Actress

65 Cuba Gooding, R&B singer

61 Kate Pierson, Rock singer (B-52s)

58 Ace Frehley, Rock musician (Kiss)

55  Herm Edwards, Kansas City Chiefs head coach

50 Sheena Easton, Singer, actress

34 Chris Carpenter, Baseball player


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  1. Birthday—Kate Pierson 61

  2. Artist: Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872)

    Title: Susan Walker Morse (The Muse)

    Date: ca. 1836-37

  3. Apr 27 4977 BC – God creates the universe, according to calculations by mystic and part-time astronomer Johannes Kepler.  

  4. In 1667 John Milton sold Paradise Lost, written after he went blind, to Samuel Simmons for 10 pounds.


    MILTON! I think thy spirit hath passed away

    From these white cliffs, & high-embattled towers;

    This gorgeous fiery-coloured world of ours

    Seems fallen into ashes dull & grey,

    & the age changed unto a mimic play

    Wherein we waste our else too-crowded hours:

    For all our pomp & pageantry & powers

    We are but fit to delve the common clay,

    Seeing this little isle on which we stand,

    This England, this sea-lion of the sea,

    By ignorant demagogues is held in fee,

    Who love her not: Dear God! is this the land

    Which bare a triple empire in her hand

    When Cromwell spake the word Democracy!

                  – Oscar Wilde

    In 1759 Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft was born in Hoxton, England.

    In 1792, she wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women, one of the earliest surviving works of feminism. The treatise attacks the social forces that suppress women as the economic, political & intellectual inferiors to men.


    Author of first great modern feminist tract in English.

    Labeled “a hyena in petticoats,” Wollstonecraft died at an age prompting criticism that her death was the fitting punishment for such strong-mindedness. For the next century, women who similarly publish & defend their work will also damage their reputations.

    In 1825 The first strike for the 10-hour work-day, by carpenters in Boston.

    In 1865 1,450 paroled Union POWs die when the steamer “Sultana” blows up.

    The worst ship disaster in American history occurs when the overloaded river steamer Sultana, equipped with tubular boilers ill-suited for use in the muddy waters of the lower Mississippi, blew up & sank near Memphis, Tennessee. Over 2,300 perished, many of them emaciated Union soldiers returning north after being released from a Confederate prison camp.

    In 1904 Congress extends the Chinese Exclusion Act indefinitely (first passed in 1882; again in 1902 extending the act for 10 years), making it unlawful for Chinese laborers to enter the US & denying naturalized citizenship to the Chinese already here.

    In 1916 Dr. Ben Reitman arrested in New York for distributing pamphlets on birth control.

    In 1937 the Social Security system makes its first benefit payment.

    In 1968  60,000 march against Vietnam War in New York City

    Source: The Daily Bleed.

    I shall on all subjects have a policy to recommend, but none to enforce against the will of the people. Laws are to govern all alike-those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.

    Ulysses S. Grant, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1869.


  5. on the slave farm.


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