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27th April

1521 Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in a fight with natives of the Philippines.

1791 * Samuel Morse, US inventor and developer of the Morse code.

1822 * Ulysses S. Grant, American general with the Union army and 18th US President.

1828 The London Zoological Gardens in Regents Park, London were opened.

1865 The worst steamship disaster in the history of the United States occurred when there was an explosion aboard the Sultana; more than 1,400 people were killed.

1888 Oil Company Esso was established in London

1896 * Wallace Corothers, US chemist and developer of Nylon.

1945 Russian and American troops joined up at the River Elbe in Germany, bringing the end of the war a step closer.

1950 The British Government recognized the state of Israel.

1956 Rocky Marciano retired as undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion.

1959 * Sheena Easton, Scottish singer who became successful in the US.

1961 Sierra Leone become the latest West African state to win independence, after more than 150 years of British colonial rule.

1968 Abortion was legalized in Great Britain.

1971 Police were forced to physically remove more than 40 people from the Shire Hall in Carmarthen where preliminary proceedings were taking place in the Assizes court against eight members of the Welsh Language Society.

1984 The siege of the Libyan Embassy in London ended 11 days after the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the St James's Square building.

1992 The House of Commons elects a woman 'Betty Boothroyd' to the post of Speaker for the first time in its 700-year history.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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