Thursday 27 May 1999
Births: Ibn Khaldun, historian, 1332; Sir Francis Beaufort, admiral and hydrographer, 1774; James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, frontier scout, 1837; Enoch Arnold Bennett, novelist, 1867; Georges-Henri Rouault, Expressionist painter, 1871; Isadora Duncan, dancer, 1878; Samuel Dashiell Hammett, detective story writer, 1894; Vincent Leonard Price, actor and writer, 1911. Deaths: John Calvin, theologian, 1564; Niccolo Paganini, violinist, 1840; Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, physicist and chemist, 1914; Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian statesman, 1964. On this day: the Habeas Corpus Act was passed, 1679; St Petersburg (Leningrad) was founded by Peter the Great, 1703; the Cunard liner Queen Mary sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, 1936; the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, opened, 1937; the physicist Auguste Piccard was the first man to ascend into the stratosphere, reaching a height of 51,000ft in a balloon, 1931; the European Defence Community was set up, 1952. Today is the Feast Day of St Augustine of Canterbury, St Eutropius of Orange, St Julius of Durostorum, St Melangel or Monacella and St Restituta of Sora.
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