On this day in history, February 27

Breaker Morant faces the firing squad after his conviction in Pretoria for war crimes. Picture: Breaker Morant (1980)

Breaker Morant faces the firing squad after his conviction in Pretoria for war crimes. Picture: Breaker Morant (1980)

Published Feb 27, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts

1803 The Great fire of Bombay, starts in a pub.

1827 The first Mardi Gras celebration takes place in New Orleans. Mardi Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on, or after, the Christian feast of the Epiphany (Three Kings’ Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday). The name reflects the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before Lent.

1902 Australian soldiers Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant and Peter Handcock are executed in Pretoria after being convicted of war crimes during the Anglo-Boer War.

1990 Black Tot Day takes place in the Royal New Zealand Navy with the ending of the traditional rum ration that the Royal Navy started in 1740. Other navies which abandoned the practice were the Royal Australian Navy in 1921, the Royal Navy in 1970, and the Royal Canadian Navy in 1972.

2004 Shoko Asahara, leader of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, is sentenced to death for the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack that killed 13 people.

2004 The bombing of a Superferry, which leaves 116 people dead in the Philippines, is the country’s worst terrorist attack.

2010 An earthquake in central Chile, kills 525 people, triggering a tsunami which strikes Hawaii and causes significant damage on both sides of the Pacific, in Japan and in San Diego.

2014 Chaos erupts after the Swedish Public Employment Service mistakenly invites 61 000 people to a job interview in Stockholm.

2018 Actress Barbra Streisand says she cloned her dog – twice.

2019 The smallest baby boy ever born and successfully released, goes home from a Tokyo hospital. At birth he weighed a mere 268g.

2019 Pakistan shoots down an Indian fighter jet and captures the pilot, further escalating tensions in the disputed Kashmir region.

2022 Countries sanction Russia for its invasion of Ukraine; the EU closes its airspace to Russian planes, Russian banks are excluded from worldwide Swift payment system, Sweden sends arms to Ukraine. The EU warns that the Russian invasion of Ukraine means Europe is facing a major humanitarian crisis because 18 million Ukrainians have become displaced with four million refugees fleeing the country.

February 25, 2024, Graphics show birthdays and anniversaries on each day for the week. This week features the world heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, the monarch of Sweden, the French tightrope walker Jean-Francois Gravelet, Hugh Hefner of the Playboy Club, the rock band The Who and Compact discs (CDs)