Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 27 March
1703: Russia’s Czar, Peter the Great, founded St Petersburg.
1713: Spain agreed to cede Gibraltar and Minorca to Britain.
1854: France declared war on Russia.
1871: The first rugby international was played, Scotland defeating England in Edinburgh.
1878: Britain, fearing further Russian aggression, sent Indian troops to Malta.
1914: The first citrated blood transfusion was given in a Brussels hospital, enabling blood to be bottled without clotting.
1933: Japan announced it would leave the League of Nations.
1941: Yugoslavia’s Prince Paul was deposed in coup following pact with Adolf Hitler.
1942: British commandos made a dawn raid on the French port of St Nazaire, in which an old destroyer, the Campbeltown, full of explosives, rammed the main dock gate and put it out of action for the rest of the war.
1943: Aircraft carrier HMS Dasher blew up and sank off Arran, killing 350 crew members.
1945: The last of more than 1,000 V2 rockets that fell on Britain in the Second World War exploded at Orpington, Kent.
1955: State of emergency was declared in Pakistan.
1958: Nikita Khrushchev became chairman of USSR council of ministers.
1960: Iraqi premier General Kassem founded Palestine army.
1961: Britain’s first women traffic wardens went on duty.
1964: UN peace force took over in Cyprus.
1964: Earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale struck Alaska, claiming 118 lives.
1966: World Cup football trophy, which had been stolen from Central Hall, Westminster, on 20 March, was found under a hedge in a London garden.
1970: Earthquake struck western Turkey, killing at least 1,087.
1976: South Africa withdrew its military forces from Angola.
1991: Commandos stormed a Singapore Airlines jet, killing four Pakistani hijackers who had threatened to set fire to the aircraft and its 120 passengers.
1995: President Nelson Mandela dismissed estranged wife Winnie from South Africa’s government.
1998: The Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for male impotence.
2009: A school near Aberdeen banned children from taking Easter eggs in due to fears over allergies.
David Coulthard, Scottish Formula 1 driver and television presenter, 43; Mariah Carey, singer and actress, 44; Maria Ewing, opera singer, 64; Fergie, pop singer (The Black Eyed Peas), 39; Neil Finn OBE, pop singer (Crowded House), 56; Keith Flint, singer (The Prodigy), 45; Julian Glover, actor, 79; Duncan Goodhew MBE, gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer, 57; Patrick McCabe, novelist, 59; Admiral Sir Jock Slater, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff 1995-98, 76; Quentin Tarantino, film director, 51; Daphne Todd OBE, portrait painter, 67; Michael York OBE, actor, 72.
Births: 1746 Michael Bruce, Kinrosshire-born poet; 1845 Wilhelm von Röntgen, discoverer of X-rays; 1884 James Cruze, film director; 1894 Dashiell Hammett, writer; 1898 Gloria Swanson, film actress; 1952 Maria Schneider, French film actress.
Deaths: 1625 King James VI and I; 1889 John Bright, radical statesman and reformer; 1923 Sir James Dewar, physicist who invented vacuum flask; 1968: Yuri Gagarin, Russian astronaut; H R F Keating, British crime novelist.