#TodayInHistory – December 27
December 27 – Some important events on this day
537 👉🏼 Hagia Sophia inaugurated by the Emperor Justinian I as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral.
The Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) is the third church to be built in this site. The Byzantine emperor Justinian I ordered its construction in 532 after riots destroyed an earlier church on its site in Istanbul.
It was finished in just five years in 537 and was then the world’s largest building. It served as the Greek Orthodox cathedral and was the place where Eastern Emperors were crowned.
Regarded as the height of Byzantine architecture it is famous for its massive dome and for its mosaic decoration inside. It stood as the world’s largest church for nearly a thousand years, only surpassed by Seville’s cathedral in 1520.
After the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453 the church was converted into a mosque. In 1935 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made it into a museum, which it remains.
1512 👉🏼 Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regards to native Indians in the New World
1657 👉🏼 “Flushing Remonstrance” petition signed in the Dutch colony of New Netherland, protesting the ban on Quaker worship.
In 1657 the areas we now know as New York, New Jersey, Delaware and some surrounding places were controlled by the Dutch, as a colony known as New Netherland. The Director-General of this province was Peter Stuyvesant, who in 1656 outlawed all religious gatherings that were not a part of the Dutch Reformed Church.
This earned the ire of local Quaker settlements which had among English settlers in various towns. The policy led to persecution of various Quakers in the New Netherland colony, and on this day a group of Dutch citizens (none of whom were Quakers themselves) wrote and signed the Flushing Remonstrance (named for the town it was signed in) where they petitioned the Director-General to overturn his policy and articulated an early version the right to religious freedom.
The immediate effect of the remonstrance was negative; several signers were arrested and banished. It would not be until 1663 that the Dutch West India Company informed Stuyvesant that he was to end religious intolerance in the colony, but the following year New Netherland fell to British control.
The Flushing Remonstrance is considered an important precursor to the religious freedom clause in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.
1831 👉🏼 HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board departs England for a survey of South America, a voyage Darwin later said “determined my whole career”
1845 👉🏼 Ether 1st used in childbirth in US in Jefferson, Georgia
1939 👉🏼 Between 20,000 & 40,000 die in magnitude 8 quake in Erzincam, Turkey
1945 👉🏼 International Monetary Fund formally established by 29 member countries based on ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes
1949 👉🏼 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands grants independence to Indonesia
1979 👉🏼 After invading Afghanistan two days earlier Soviet forces pull off a coup in Kabul, killing President Hafizullah Amin
2012 👉🏼 NASA unveils plans to capture a 500 ton asteroid in 2025