On this day: San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opened

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 27 May

On this day in 1937, San Franciscos 4,200-foot-long Golden Gate Bridge, four years in the construction, was opened. Picture: Getty

National day of Afghanistan.

1679: The Habeas Corpus Act, stating that nobody could be held in prison without trial, was passed.

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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.