Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 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.
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.
1941: Athens fell to German invaders after 180 days of Greek resistance.
1950: Britain recognised state of Israel.
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. It was the eighth attempt to get the act on the statute books.
1974: Soviet turboprop airliner crashed after takeoff from Leningrad Airport, and all 108 persons aboard were killed.
1987: Kurt Waldheim, president of Austria, was banned from entry to the US because of Nazi war record.
1989: Baby food manufacturers offered £1 million reward to solve mystery of glass found in their products.
1992: Labour MP Betty Boothroyd elected first woman Speaker of the House of Commons.
1995: Stephen Hendry became the third player to score a maximum 147 break at the Embassy World Championships in Sheffield.
2002: The last successful telemetry from the Nasa space probe Pioneer 10.
2006: Construction began on the Freedom Tower for the new World Trade Centre in New York City.
2009: Two people admitted to hospital in Scotland were confirmed as the UK’s first cases of swine flu.
Tommy Smith, Edinburgh-born saxophonist and composer, 48; Anouk Aimée, French film actress, 83; Judy Carne, actress, 76; Darcey Bussell CBE, ballerina, 46; Tess Daly, television presenter, 46; Russell T Davies OBE, television producer and writer (notably Doctor Who) 52; Sheena Easton, Bellshill-born singer turned real estate tycoon, 56; Michael Fish MBE, television weatherman, 71; Baron (Peter) Imbert, Metropolitan Police Commissioner 1987-93, 82; Mica Paris, singer, 46; Ann Peebles, soul singer, 68; Sir Nicholas Serota, art curator and director of the Tate, 69.
Births: 1642 Jean Millet, painter; 1737 Edward Gibbon, historian; 1759 Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, pioneer of women’s rights; 1791 Samuel Morse, inventor of Morse Code; 1891 Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer; 1927 Sheila Scott, first woman to fly solo round the world.
Deaths: 1521 Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese explorer; 1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and poet; 1972 Kwame Nkrumah, first prime minister and president of Ghana; 2007 Mstislav Rostropovich, cellist and conductor.