#TodayInHistory – September 274 min read
September 27 – Some important events on this day.
1066 👉🏼 William the Conqueror’s troops set sail for England.
In 1066 the course of British history changed forever when William, the Duke of Normandy, landed on the southern coast of England and seized the country from its Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson. The French had a long history of claims in England, and in 1002 the English king Aethelred the Unready married the sister of Richard II, the Norman duke.
The Normans weren’t the only ones keen on the English throne – the Norwegians, led by King Harald Hardrada, invaded northern England but Harold defeated them at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on September 25, but at the cost of severely weakening his army immediately prior to William the Conqueror’s invasion.
William invaded with around 7,000-12,000 men, and constructed a castle in the area of Hastings. This is where the famous Battle of Hastings would happen, on October 14, 1066. King Harold was killed (by an arrow to the eye according to legend, though this is debated among historians) and William marched on London, eventually receiving the capitulation of the English barons and Harold’s uncrowned successor Edgar Aetheling.
William was crowned on 25 December 1066 and reigned until 1087. The conquest introduced the Norman language to England, eliminated the English elite, changes to governance and the formal elimination of slavery.
1290 👉🏼 Earthquake in the Gulf of Chihli (Bohai Sea) near China, reportedly kills 100,000 people
1540 👉🏼 Society of Jesus (Jesuits) founded by Ignatius Loyola confirmed by Pope Paul III in Rome
1590 👉🏼 Pope Urban VII dies 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.
1779 👉🏼 John Adams negotiates Revolutionary War peace terms with Great Britain
1821 👉🏼 Mexican revolutionary forces led by Agustín de Iturbide occupy Mexico City as Spanish withdraw, bringing an end to the Mexican War of Independence.
1822 👉🏼 French scholar Jean-François Champollion announces he has deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics using the Rosetta Stone.
The Egyptian stone stele is famous for being inscribed with three versions of a decree in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, demonic and the Ancient Greek script. This allowed Egyptian hieroglyphics to be deciphered for the first time, by Jean-François Champollion in 1803.
Originally inscribed in 196 BC to mark the establishment of a divine cult for the Hellenistic ruler Ptolemy V. Rediscovered in 1799 near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in Egypt, it was the first bilingual hieroglyphic text to be discovered. It now resides in the British Museum in London.
1825 👉🏼 George Stephenson’s “Locomotion No. 1” becomes the 1st steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in England.
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1905 👉🏼 The physics journal Annalen der Physik publishes Albert Einstein’s paper “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?”, introducing the equation E=mc².
1908 👉🏼 Henry Ford’s first Ford Model T automobile leaves the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan
1912 👉🏼 W. C. Handy publishes “Memphis Blues”, considered the 1st blues song
1945 👉🏼 US General and head of the Allied occupation of Japan, Douglas MacArthur, meets Emperor Hirohito in Tokyo for the first time.
World War II ended formally with the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945, after six years and one day of bloodshed and destruction. Douglas MacArthur, the commander of American forces in the Pacific, assumed almost total control over Japan as it came under Allied occupation.
A big question was what to do with the Emperor. Some believed he should be held accountable for war crimes, as many his government were later tried. MacArthur took a different view. He knew that putting the Emperor on trial would be extremely unpopular with the Japanese public, so resolved to use the Emperor to give the occupation authorities legitimacy.
Thus they met a couple of weeks after the surrender. The photo of MacArthur meeting the Emperor was a great shock to the Japanese public, who never saw the revered monarch overshadowed by another man. What was said during their first meeting remains unknown, but some sources suggest the Emperor offered to apologize and take responsibility for war crimes – in any case, Hirohito was protected from prosecution by MacArthur to make the job of ruling Japan much easier.
2009 👉🏼 German Federal elections return Angela Merkel for her second term as Chancellor at head of centre-right coalition government