On this day: First meeting of the National Trust for Scotland | English defeated Scots at Battle of Dunbar

Sylvanus Olympio, leader of the Committee for Togolese Unity Party, announces the independence of Togo on 27 April 1960. Picture: Getty
Sylvanus Olympio, leader of the Committee for Togolese Unity Party, announces the independence of Togo on 27 April 1960. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 27 April

• National day of Sierra Leone and Togo.

1296: English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar.

1521: Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese navigator, was killed by natives on the island of Mactan in the Philippines on his voyage round the world.

1650: Orcadian-Scandinavian force under Marquis of Montrose defeated by Cromwellians at Carbisdale.

1828: Regent’s Park of 464 acres was opened in London.

1830: Simon Bolivar abdicated as President of Colombia.

1931: The first meeting of the National Trust for Scotland, which was formally incorporated on the following 1 May.

1937: The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich was opened by King George VI.

1937: The world’s longest suspension bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, 4,200ft long, was opened.

1938: Greece and Turkey signed treaty of friendship.

1947: The Kon Tiki expedition led by Thor Heyerdahl set out to prove that ancient travellers could have sailed on a balsa wood raft from Peru to Polynesia. After a 101 day, 4,300 mile journey across the Pacific, Kon-Tiki smashed into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands.

1950: Communist Party was outlawed in Australia.

1950: Britain recognised state of Israel.

1960: Togo became an independent republic.

1961: Sierra Leone, republic of West Africa, achieved full independence within the Commonwealth.

1968: Abortion was legalised in Britain as a result of the Abortion Act presented by Liberal MP, David Steel.

1972: United States Apollo 16 spacecraft and its three astronauts landed safely in Pacific after journey to Moon.

1989: Baby food manufacturers offered £1 million reward to solve mystery of glass found in products.

1992: Labour MP Betty Boothroyd was elected the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons.

1994: An inquiry was ordered into why £800,000 in Scottish Office research grants was given to an American nun on the advice of a woman friend with whom she lived in Edinburgh.


Sheena Easton, Bellshill-born singer, 54; Anouk Aimée, French film actress, 81; Judy Carne, British actress, 74; Darcey Bussell CBE, British ballerina, 44; Tess Daly, television presenter, 42; Russell T Davies OBE, television producer and writer (notably Dr Who) 50; Willie Jamieson, footballer, 50; Casey Kasem, American actor, 81; Igor Oistrakh, Russian violinist, 82; Mica Paris, singer, 44; Sir Nicholas Serota, British art curator and director of Tate, 67; Tommy Smith, Edinburgh-born saxophonist and composer, 46.


Births: 1642 Jean Millet, painter; 1737 Edward Gibbon, historian; 1759 Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, pioneer of women’s rights; 1791 Samuel Morse, artist and inventor of Morse Code; 1822 Ulysses Grant, American Civil War general and 18th United States president; 1891 Sergei Prokofiev, composer; 1927 Sheila Scott, first woman to fly solo round the world.

Deaths: 1521 Ferdinand Magellan, explorer; 1656 Jan Van Goyen, landscape artist; 1834 Thomas Stothard, artist; 1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and poet; 1915 Alexander Scriabin, composer; 1972 Kwame Nkrumah, first prime minister and president of Ghana.