#TodayInHistory – February 273 min read
February 27 – Some important events on this day
1693 👉🏼 1st women’s magazine “Ladies’ Mercury” published in London, England
1814 👉🏼 Ludwig van Beethoven’s 8th Symphony in F premieres
1827 👉🏼 1st Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans
1900 👉🏼 In London, the Trades Union Congress and the Independent Labour Party (formed in 1893) meet, results in a Labour Representative Committee and eventually the modern Labour Party in 1906
1933 👉🏼 The Reichstag, German parliament building, destroyed by fire; possibly set by the Nazis, who blame and execute Martin van der Lubbe, a Dutch Communist.
Four weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as the new Chancellor of Germany, the seat of the German Parliament in Berlin, the Reichstag, was burned down. This is one of the most contested and controversial events of Hitler’s early years in power, as a mere one day later, Hitler signed the Reichstag Fire Decree which gave his government the legal authority to imprison opponents of the Nazis and suspend many civil liberties in Germany.
The Nazis arrested Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch Communist, with setting the fire. He was tried, and executed on January 10, 1934, for the arson act. There has been much debate on whether Lubbe acted alone or whether the Nazis set the fire as a false-flag attack in order to pass the Reichstag Decree and increase their power.
Foremost Nazi historian Ian Kershaw wrote in 1998 that the consensus was that Lubbe had acted alone and that the fire was merely a stroke of luck that the event occurred so the Nazis could use it to their advantage. However, new evidence since then has pointed to the possibility of a Nazi conspiracy. In June 2019 an affidavit in the archives of former investigator Fritz Tobias was discovered. In it Hans-Martin Lennings, an SA operative, claimed in 1955 that he and his SA group drove Lubbe to the scene of the fire – and that the Reichstag was already on fire when they arrived.
Lennings claimed that his team were made to sign a paper denying knowledge of the event, and that they had protested Lubbe’s arrest. He later claimed that many involved had been executed but that he had been warned and fled to Czechoslovakia.
Whatever the case, in 2008 a German court posthumously pardoned Lubbe under a law designed to reverse unjust convictions during Nazi persecutions.
1940 👉🏼 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14 (radiocarbon dating) at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, California
1950 👉🏼 General Chiang Kai-shek elected president of Nationalist China
1957 👉🏼 Mao’s famous speech to the Supreme State Conference “On Correct Handling of Contradictions Among People” expounding Maoist ideals
1990 👉🏼 Final day of the rum ration in the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Black Tot Day (July 31, 1970) is the name given to the last day on which the British Royal Navy issued sailors with a daily rum ration known as the daily tot.
The Royal Australian Navy stopped the practice earlier in 1921 with the Canadian and New Zealander Royal Navies following in 1972 and 1990 respectively.
2014 👉🏼 Chaos erupts after the Swedish Public Employment Service mistakenly invites 61,000 people to a job interview in Stockholm
2012 👉🏼 Wikileaks begins disclosing 5 million emails from private intelligence company Stratfor
2020 👉🏼 Dow Jones Index suffers its biggest points fall in history closing down 1,190.95 in New York amid concerns about COVID-19