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This Day in History - 27th August


1660 John Milton's books were burned in London, because of the author's attacks on King Charles II.

1784 The first balloon ascent was made in Britain, by James Tytler at Edinburgh.

1877 Birthday of The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls, English motor manufacturer.

1896 The start (and end) of the Anglo-Zanzibar War. It was the shortest war in world history and lasted for just 38 minutes.

1899 The birth of C.S. Forester, the English novelist who rose to fame with tales of naval warfare; his most notable works being the 12 book Horatio Hornblower series and The African Queen.

1900 Britain's first long distance bus service began between London and Leeds. The journey took 2 days!

1950 The BBC transmitted the first ever live television pictures across the Channel.

1966 Francis Chichester began the first solo circumnavigation of the world, when he set out from Plymouth in Gypsy Moth IV.

1967 Brian Epstein died, from an accidental overdose of brandy and barbiturates. He managed The Beatles and worked with Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Fourmost, Billy J. Kramer and Cilla Black.

1976 The Labour MP John Stonehouse resigned following his conviction for theft and fraud

1979 The death of Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip's and the Queen’s cousin (strictly second cousin once removed). The IRA exploded a 50lb, remote-controlled bomb on his boat Shadow V off the coast of County Sligo, Ireland.

1984 The death (aged 69) of Bernard Youens, British character actor, best remembered for his portrayal of the workshy, beer-swilling Stan Ogden in Coronation Street from 1964 until his death.

1995 Giles, British cartoonist died.

1995 The Rugby Union authorities announced that the amateur game was turning professional.

1996 Police at Stansted Airport arrested seven Iraqis who had hijacked a Sudanese jet with 199 people on board to London, where they were seeking political asylum. All were arrested and jailed but their convictions were quashed a year later.

1997 A Cambridgeshire family who sold everything to sail around the world were rescued from their crippled yacht by the Royal Navy in the Bay of Biscay.