Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 27 May
National day of Afghanistan.
1679: The Habeas Corpus Act, stating that nobody could be held in prison without trial, was passed.
1863: Broadmoor Asylum for the criminally insane was established in Crowthorne, Berkshire.
1900: In the Belgian general election, proportional representation was used for the first time.
1905: Japanese annihilated Russian fleet of 32 ships in Tsushima Straits off Korea.
1918: German forces launched major offensive on Western Front.
1919: Lieutenant-Commander Albert Read and a crew of five in a Curtiss NC 4 seaplane reached Lisbon via the Azores to complete the first transatlantic flight, having left Trepassey, Newfoundland, on 16 May.
1936: The Queen Mary left Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York.
1936: First open prison in Britain was opened at New Hall, near Wakefield, Yorkshire.
1937: The 4,200-foot Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco was opened.
1940: Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of British and French troops from the Dunkirk beaches, began, and ended on 4 June.
1941: The German battleship Bismarck was sunk by the battleships Prince of Wales, King George V and Rodney, after torpedo attacks by Swordfish aircraft from the carrier Ark Royal.
1952: European Defence Community was set up.
1961: Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaya’s premier, proposed Great Malaysia Federation.
1971: Soviet Union signed 15-year pact with Egypt, pledging assistance in recovery of all Arab territories occupied by Israel.
1972: United States president Richard Nixon flew to Leningrad and visited graves of victims of Nazi siege in Second World War.
1981: Willie Shoemaker rode War Allied to victory in California to record his 8,000th winner.
1982: British troops launched three-pronged break-out from San Carlos beach-head in Falkland Islands, while commandos “yomped” north to Teal Inlet.
1990: In the Netherlands, the IRA killed two Australians, mistaking them for British soldiers.
1991: Helen Sharman, 27, Britain’s first astronaut, returned to earth in Soviet Central Asia after an eight-day space mission.
1993: Norman Lamont was sacked as chancellor of the Exchequer as prime minister John Major reshuffled his Cabinet.
1994: Prime minister John Major caused controversy when he said that beggars should be cleared from the streets because they were offensive and bad for tourism.
1999: President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia was indicted for war crimes, including the murder of 340 ethnic Albanians, and the deportation of 740,000 Kosovans.
2005: Australian Schapelle Corby was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Kerobokan Prison for drug smuggling by a court in Indonesia.
2010: A study revealed that women in full-time work earn 12 per cent less than their male colleagues in Scotland.
2014: Ukrainian government troops regained control of Donetsk airport from pro-Russian terrorists. Air strikes and helicopter gunships were used in the bloody battle, during which 40 terrorists were killed.
Jamie Oliver MBE, chef, 40; Cilla Black OBE (born Priscilla White), entertainer, 72; Pat Cash, tennis player, 50; Joseph Fiennes, actor, 45; Neil Finn OBE, New Zealand rock singer (Crowded House), 57; Paul Gascoigne, footballer, 48; Duncan Goodhew MBE, Olympic swimmer, 58; Louis Gossett junior, actor, 79; Dr Henry Kissinger, US secretary of state 1973-7, 92; Sir Christopher Lee CBE, actor, 93; Thea Musgrave CBE, Edinburgh-born composer, conductor and lecturer, 87; Denise Van Outen, actress, 41; Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Dallion), singer, 58; Don Williams, singer, 76; Paul Bettany, actor, 44; Heston Blumenthal, chef, 49; Rebekah Brooks, former newspaper editor, 47.
Births: 1818 Amelia Jenks Bloomer, American women’s suffrage campaigner; 1819 Julia Ward Howe, American suffragist, who wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic; 1837 James Butler (“Wild Bill”) Hickok, American frontiersman; 1878 Isadora Duncan, dancer; 1894 Dashiell Hammett, novelist; 1911 Hubert Humphrey, US vice-president 1965-69; 1911 Vincent Price, actor; 1932 Jeffrey Bernard, writer; 1941 Professor Sir Neil MacCormick, legal academic and politician; 1946 Lewis Collins, actor (The Professionals).
Deaths: 1564 John Calvin, theologian; 1840 Niccolò Paganini, violinist; 1910 Robert Koch, bacteriologist who discovered tuberculosis bacillus; 1964 Pandit Nehru, first prime minister of independent India in 1947; 2011 Gil Scott-Heron, singer; 2013 Bill Pertwee MBE, actor and comedian.