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Reuters historical calendar - March 27

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, Mar 26 (Reuters) Following are some of the major events to have occurred on March 27 since 1900: 1941 - Prince Paul, regent of Yugoslavia, was deposed in a coup after reaching a pact with Adolf Hitler. His nephew, Peter II, ruled for a few weeks until Axis troops invaded.

1945 - Nazi Germany launched its last V2 rocket at Britain from The Hague.

1964 - A United Nations peace force was formally established on Cyprus.

1968 - Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet hero after he became the first man in space in 1961, was killed in a plane crash near Moscow.

1977 - In the world's worst aircraft disaster, two Boeing 747s, owned by KLM and Pan-Am, collided and burst into flames on the runway at Tenerife in the Canary Islands; of a total of 644 on board the two planes, 583 died.

1980 - The Alexander Kielland, a floating platform for off-duty oil workers, capsized in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, killing 147.

1981 - The Soviet Union issued a statement attacking the Polish trade union Solidarity as counter-revolutionary.

1989 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leading a new wave of militancy in Iran's 10-year-old Islamic revolution, prompted the resignation of his moderate successor-designate, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

1994 - The Eurofighter, a four-nation project to develop a high-tech fighter jet for Europe's defence, made a successful maiden flight.

1995 - South African President Nelson Mandela personally fired his estranged wife Winnie, an outspoken critic of his national untiy government, from her position as deputy minister.

1995 - Maurizio Gucci, former chairman of the Gucci luxury leather goods and fashion dynasty, was shot dead outside his office in Milan.

1996 - An Israeli court jailed Yigal Amir for life for assassinating Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995.

1998 - Ferdinand Porsche, founder of German sportscar maker Porsche and one of the designers of the Volkswagen Beetle under Adolf Hitler's rule, died.

2000 - Vladimir Putin was declared winner of the Russian presidential election, with over 52 percent of the vote.

2000 - Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda quit politics, stepping down as head of the UNIP party.

2002 - Dudley Moore, British-born comedian, who became one of Hollywood's most unlikely sex symbols thanks to his starring role in the film ''10,'' died. He was 66.

2003 - Scientists in Hong Kong said they had identified the virus behind a mystery pneumonia as a new strain from the family of coronaviruses, which are the second leading cause of colds in humans.

2004 - Al-Qaeda linked militants killed eight Pakistani soldiers taken hostage in fighting near Wana in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal territories.

**2005 - Ahmed Zaki, one of Egypt's most popular cinema actors, died aged 55. He was best known for his roles in dramatised documentaries, in which he played former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat.

REUTERS CH RAI1159

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