Feb. 27, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, 1,000 Patriots troops under the command of Richard Caswell defeated 1,600 British Loyalist militia at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in North Carolina. It would go down in history as the first American victory in the first organized campaign of the Revolutionary War. The victory aborted British plans to land a force at Brunswick, North Carolina, and ended British authority in the state. Within two months, on April 12, 1776, North Carolina became the first state to vote in favor of independence from Britain.
Feb. 27, 1782 – During the American Revolutionary War, the House of Commons of Great Britain voted against further war in America.
Feb. 27, 1807 – Poet and author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine. His most famous works include “Ballads and Other Poems” (1841), “Evangeline” (1847), “The Song of Hiawatha” (1855) and “The Courtship of Miles Standish” (1858).
Feb. 27, 1827 - The first Mardi Gras in New Orleans took place with a group of masked and costumed students dancing through the streets.
Feb. 27, 1829 – William Barrett Travis passed his law exam at Claiborne, Ala.
Feb. 27, 1834 – Portland, Maine native William Coombs, also known as “The Brokenhearted Stranger,” died at Claiborne, Ala. He was buried in the Old Cemetery at Claiborne. (Some sources say he died in 1838.)
Feb. 27, 1836 - Work continued on the batteries and entrenchments ringing the Alamo, and Santa Anna sent foraging parties to nearby ranches to look for supplies.
Feb. 27, 1860 – Abraham Lincoln made an anti-slavery speech at the Cooper Union in the city of New York that was largely responsible for his election to the Presidency. About 1,500 people were in attendance and The New York Times reprinted the speech in its entirety.
Feb. 27, 1860 – Just moments before his speech at the Cooper Union, Abraham Lincoln posed for the first of several portraits by noted Civil War-era photographer Mathew Brady. Days later, the photograph was published on the cover of Harper's Bazaar with the caption, “Hon. Abram [sic] Lincoln, of Illinois, Republican Candidate for President.”
Feb. 27, 1863 – Confederate Naval Captain Raphael Semmes, the captain of the CSS Alabama, captured the merchant vessel Washington with a cannonball which, Semmes wrote, “wet the people on her poop [deck], by the spray of a shot...” The ship, undamaged, was released on a bond.
Feb. 27, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation was conducted out from Ft. Pillow, Tenn., and a skirmish was fought in the vicinity of Bloomington, Tenn., on the Hatchie River. A two-day Federal reconnaissance from Centreville to Falmouth, Va. began.
Feb. 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, the first Northern prisoners arrived at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia (Camp Sumter). Nearly a quarter of all inmates died in captivity during the war. Henry Wirz, the commandant of the 16-acre prison, was executed in the aftermath of the Civil War for the brutality and the mistreatment committed under his command.
Feb. 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Pinos Altos in the Arizona Territory; at Madison and Sharon, Miss.; near Dalton, Ga.; near Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and in the Sequatchie Valley, Tenn. The Confederate salt works on Goose Creek, near St. Mark’s, Fla. were destroyed.
Feb. 27, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Spring Place, Ga.; in the vicinity of Sturgeon, Mo.; and at Mount Elon and Cloud’s House, S.C.
Feb. 27, 1865 – During the Civil War, what would prove to be the final Federal operation in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia began. Spring was not quite yet come to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but Phil Sheridan’s men were stirring anyway. Ten thousand cavalrymen, under command of Wesley Merritt, departed on this day from Winchester, heading south. All that the Confederacy had left to oppose them were two weak brigades, headed by Jubal Early. Merritt’s orders were to wreck the Virginia Central Railroad, and do what damage he could to the James River Canal
Feb. 27, 1886 – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was born in Ashland, Ala.
Feb. 27, 1890 - A 100-round boxing match was fought in San Francisco, and declared to be a draw after 6-1/2 hours.
Feb. 27, 1894 – The Pine Belt News in Brewton, Ala. was established.
Feb. 27, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Marcus Sowell left during the previous week for Jasper, Ala., where he planned to begin reading law in the office of his brother, Col. T.L. Sowell.
Feb. 27, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from its correspondent from Manistee, that there would be preaching at Pleasant Hill church the first Sabbath in every month, and also Saturday before. “We are proud to have our noble brother Lambert to serve us, after having such a devoted minister as brother S.P. Lindsey. Brother L. is one of our oldest and best Ministers. We are glad to know that the Sabbath school at Pleasant Hill continues in the afternoon. The teachers, Misses Wills and Moore, are working earnestly.”
Feb. 27, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.J. Simpson had the misfortune to lose his gin and grist mill at Repton, Ala. by fire one day during the previous week. The fire was accidental, and he had no insurance.
Feb. 27, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that the unexpected death of Miss Ada Thames, who was buried at McConnico Cemetery on Feb. 27, had “cast a halo of gloom over all her friends and relatives “at Perdue Hill.
Feb. 27, 1902 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, Calif. His most famous works include “Tortilla Flat” (1935), “Of Mice and Men” (1937) and “The Grapes of Wrath” (1939).
Feb. 27, 1908 - Major League Baseball adopted a sacrifice fly rule for the first time. It was repealed, reinstated and then changed several times before being permanently accepted in 1954.
Feb. 27, 1912 - The New York Yankees announced that they would be wearing pinstripes on their uniforms.
Feb. 27, 1915 - “The Valley of Fear” by Arthur Conan Doyle was published in novel form.
Feb. 27, 1917 - John Connally, the governor of Texas who was shot during the John F. Kennedy assassination, was born in Floresville, Texas.
Feb. 27, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Sam Johnson of Flomaton, Ala. and Army Pvt. Henry Crenshaw of Greenville, Ala. “died from disease.”
Feb. 27, 1922 – Former Confederate soldier James Hampton Simpson passed away at the age of 77. Born on Dec. 18, 1844, he enlisted in Monroeville as a private in Co. F of the 36th Alabama Regiment on April 10, 1862. He surrendered at Greensboro, N.C. on April 26, 1865. After the war, he worked as a farmer, storekeeper and grist mill operator. He is buried in the Mexia Cemetery.
Feb. 27, 1928 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “All Balled Up” was released.
Feb. 27, 1930 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “COURT HOUSE SQUARE IS GREATLY IMPROVED,” that the “improvement of the court house square by the additional shrubbery set out is so noticeable that we are again referring to it. Perhaps no single improvement has changed the appearance of things in town so much, and the visitor is bound to be favorably impressed.”
Feb. 27, 1930 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “NEW WATER SYSTEM FOR MONROEVILLE,” that “the work of installing the new water system for Monroeville is proceeding at a very gratifying rate. The large mains around the square are being laid rapidly, and work of erecting the new stand pipe is well along toward completion.”
Feb. 27, 1930 - The Alabama Military Institute Band was scheduled to give a concert at the Frisco City High School auditorium at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.
Feb. 27-28, 1931 – The first district basketball tournament was held in Evergreen, Ala. and included 10 teams. “Fob” James of Enterprise was the official referee.
Feb. 27, 1933 – Germany's parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, was set on fire; Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch Communist claimed responsibility. The Nazis used the fire to solidify their power and eliminate the communists as political rivals.
Feb. 27, 1933 – Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Raymond Berry was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He went on to play for Southern Methodist and the Baltimore Colts and served as the head coach of the New England Patriots for five seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.
Feb. 27, 1936 - Alabama author Helen Keller was interviewed on the radio program “The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour.”
Feb. 27, 1948 - Alabama author Trudier Harris was born in Mantua, Ala.
Feb. 27, 1951 - The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting U.S. Presidents to two terms.
Feb. 27, 1962 - South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem survived another coup attempt when Republic of Vietnam Air Force pilots Lieutenants Pham Phu Quoc and Nguyen Van Cu try to kill him and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu by bombing and strafing the presidential palace. Lieutenant Quoc was arrested after his fighter-bomber crash-landed near Saigon. Lieutenant Cu fled to Cambodia, where he remained until November 1963.
Feb. 27, 1963 - Mickey Mantle signed a contact worth $100,000 with the New York Yankees.
Feb. 27, 1965 - The U.S. State Department released a 14,000-word report entitled “Aggression from the North–The Record of North Vietnam’s Campaign to Conquer South Vietnam.” Citing “massive evidence,” including testimony of North Vietnamese soldiers who had defected or been captured in South Vietnam, the document claimed that nearly 20,000 Viet Cong military and technical personnel had entered South Vietnam through the “infiltration pipeline” from the North. The report maintained that the infiltrators remained under military command from Hanoi.
Feb. 29, 1969 - Communist forces shelled 30 military installations and nine towns in South Vietnam, in what becomes known as the “Post-Tet Offensive.” U.S. sources in Saigon put American losses in this latest offensive at between 250 and 300, compared with enemy casualties totaling 5,300. South Vietnamese officials report 200 civilians killed and 12,700 made homeless.
Feb. 27, 1973 - Dick Allen of the Chicago White Sox signed a contract worth $250,000 a year for three years.
Feb. 27, 1975 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroe Academy varsity basketball team, led by Coach Melvin Middleton, won the District 3 basketball tournament of the Alabama Private School Athletic Association by upsetting the two teams thought most likely to win. The team beat Escambia Academy, then upset Wilcox Academy and Fort Dale Academy. Members of the team were Greg Petty, Chuck Lambert, Ricky Eddins, Sam Bowden, Hudson Lazenby, David Steele, Bryant Hooks, Harold King, John Winters, Ricky Robinson and Keith Pugh.
Feb. 27, 1976 – NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez was born in Torrance, Calif. He would go on to play for Cal, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons.
Feb. 27, 1978 – Liberty Chapel Church near Greenville, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Feb. 27, 1978 – The W.O. Carter Log House near Andalusia, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Feb. 27, 1987 - The NCAA cancelled Southern Methodist University’s entire 1987 football schedule for gross violations of NCAA rules on athletic corruption.
Feb. 27, 1991 – During the Gulf War, U.S. President George H. W. Bush announced on U.S. television that "Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated. I am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight, exactly 100 hours since ground operations began and six weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm, all United States and coalition forces will suspend offensive combat operations."
Feb. 27, 2002 - The Houston Astros announced that they had struck a deal with Enron to buy back the naming rights of their ballpark for $2.1 million. The ballpark would be called "Astros Field" until a new sponsor came along.
Feb. 27, 2003 - Emmitt Smith became a free agent for the first time when the Dallas Cowboys released him.
Feb. 27, 2011 – National Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder Duke Snider died at the age of 84 in Escondido, Calif. During his career, he played for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.