Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 27 February
1545: The Scots under the Earl of Angus defeated English under Sir Ralph Eure at Battle of Ancrum.
1700: Southwest Pacific island of New Britain was discovered by English navigator William Dampier.
1861: Warsaw Massacre occurred when Russian troops opened fire on a crowd during demonstration against Russian rule.
1879: The discovery of saccharin was reported by chemists Constantin Fahlberg and Ira Remsen of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
1881: Boers defeated British force at Majuba Hill in South Africa.
1889: Railroad was opened in Burma from Rangoon to Mandalay.
1900: Labour Party was formed with Ramsay MacDonald as secretary.
1901: Russia’s minister of propaganda was murdered to avenge repression of student agitation.
1907: The Central Criminal Court, on the site of Newgate Prison, and commonly called the Old Bailey, was opened.
1918: British hospital ship, Glenart Castle, was sunk by U-boat in the Bristol Channel.
1933: Reichstag, German parliament building in Berlin, was burned, and Nazis blamed Communists.
1939: Britain and France recognised General Francisco Franco’s government in Spain.
1952: United Nations held first meeting in New York headquarters.
1965: Goldie the eagle escaped from London Zoo and settled in Regent’s Park. His freedom flights were followed by television and newspapers until his capture on 10 March.
1976: Eskimo leaders in Canada presented government with claim to quarter of a million square miles of land.
1982: D’Oyly Carte Opera Company gave its last Gilbert and Sullivan performance, at the Adelphi Theatre, London.
1985: A “Save the Doctor” campaign was started in Britain when the BBC left Dr Who out of plans for BBC1.
1986: Ferdinand Marcos started life in exile in Hawaii after hurried departure from Philippines.
1990: Former Philippine defence minister Juan Ponce Enrile arrested for supporting 1989 coup attempt against Corazon Aquino.
1991: Allies pinned down Iraqi Republican Guards near Basra in biggest tank battle since Second World War.
1991: Nine Orkney children from four families on South Ronaldsay were taken into care after allegations of child sex abuse. They were returned home on 4 April.
1992: A bomb exploded at London Bridge train station, injuring 28 people. IRA claimed responsibility as part of threatened pre-election bombing campaign.
1993: Three shoppers badly hurt in an IRA bomb blast in Camden Town, north London.
1995: Appeal judges ordered eight Ayrshire children, victims of alleged abuse, to be reunited with their parents nearly five years after they had been taken from them.
2002: Ryanair Flight 296 caught fire at London Stansted Airport. Subsequent investigations criticised Ryanair’s handling of the evacuation.
2010: Central Chile was hit by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake which left more than 700 people dead and two million affected.
Derren Brown, magician, 44; Peter Andre, singer, 42; Lord Ashdown of Norton Sub Hamdon, MP 1983-2001, leader of Liberal Democrats 1988-99, 74; Robert Anthony Carmichael Hamilton, 13th Lord Belhaven and Stenton, 88; Chelsea Clinton, 35; Annabel Goldie, MSP, 65; Steve Harley, singer (Cockney Rebel), 64; Viscount Head, racehorse trainer 1968-83, 78; Dame Barbara Kelly DBE, president, Rural Forum 1992-99, 75; Edward Lucie-Smith, poet and critic, 82; Rabbi Baroness Neuberger DBE, 65; Oliver Peter St John, 9th Earl of Orkney, 77; Professor Roger Scruton, philosopher, 71; Dame Antoinette Sibley DBE, British prima ballerina, 76; Timothy Spall OBE, actor, 58; Joanne Woodward, actress, 85.
Births: AD274 Constantine the Great, Roman emperor; 1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet; 1861 Rudolf Steiner, social philosopher; 1899 Charles Best, Canadian co-discoverer of insulin; 1902 John Steinbeck, novelist and Nobel laureate; 1912 Laurence Durrell, author; 1924 Magnus Shearer, Lord Lieutenant of Shetland 1982-94; 1927 Lois Maxwell, actress; 1932 Dame Elizabeth Taylor DBE, actress; 1933 John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute.
Deaths: 1735 John Arbuthnot, writer; 1887 Alexander Borodin, composer; 1913 Adam Sedgwick, zoologist; 1936 Ivan Pavlov, discoverer of the conditioned reflex; 1993 Lillian Gish, actress; 1996 Pat Smythe, showjumper; 2002 Spike Milligan KBE, comedian and author.