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27th October

1728 * Captain James Cook, English naval officer who discovered Australia and Hawaii.

1782 * Niccolo Paganini, Italian violinist and composer.

1904 The New York Subway was opened by Mayor McLellan.

1914 * Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet who wrote Under Milk Wood (1954).

1939 * John Cleese, English comedy actor and star of the TV series Fawlty Towers.

1950 British intelligence searched for the missing atomic scientist Bruno Pontecorvo who disappeared seven weeks ago.

1951 Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Britain for the second time.

1968 An estimated 6,000 marchers demonstrating against the Vietnam War faced up to police outside the US Embassy in London.

1971 The Republic of Congo changed its name to the Republic of Zaire.

1977 Jeremy Thorpe told journalists he was not involved in a plot to kill former male model Norman Scott.

1978 Four people were killed when gunman Barry Williams, went on a shooting spree in the Midlands.

1982 Three RUC officers killed by IRA bomb exploding beneath their armoured police car.

1986 'Big Bang Day' in the City of London saw the deregulation of the money markets.

1997 The Dow Jones industrial average fell 554.26 points, forcing the stock market to shut down.

1999 Two gay men make legal history in Los Angeles, USA, when they win the right to be named on birth certificates as the parents of surrogate twin babies.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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