This Day In History, April 27th

What happened on this day in history: Ferdinand Magellan is killed in the Philippines, the tomb of Herod the Great is discovered near Jerusalem, and more.

1521: Ferdinand Magellan Is Killed

Ferdinand Magellan

Science Source/Photo Researchers History/Getty ImagesA depiction of Ferdinand Magellan from the 16th century.

Ferdinand Magellan is killed in the present-day Philippines by a poisoned arrow at the age of 41. A Portuguese explorer, Magellan is credited with discovering the Magellan Strait, which connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He and his men were sent by a local king to kill a rival, but Magellan lost his life in the subsequent Battle of Mactan.

1667: John Milton Sells Paradise Lost

John Milton sells his epic poem, Paradise Lost, to publisher Samuel Simmons. The terms of their contract stated that Milton would receive £5 immediately and £5 more if the poem sold more than 1,300 copies, plus £10 more for future editions. Milton’s death in 1674 meant that he only received £10 in total for his work, though Paradise Lost has since become a beloved masterpiece of the English language.

1865: The Sultana Explodes

The Sultana explodes on the Mississippi River. The worst maritime disaster in American history, the explosion killed 1,700 passengers, including hundreds of recently freed Union prisoners of war. Though stories have persisted that sabotage sank the ship, an official inquiry found that insufficient water in the ship’s boiler triggered the disaster.

1997: Andrew Cunanan Begins Killing Spree

Andrew Cunanan

Jamie Scott Lytle/Sygma via Getty ImagesA high school photograph of Andrew Cunanan.

Andrew Cunanan begins his killing spree by murdering his friend, Jeffrey Trail. A serial killer, Cunanan went on to kill four more people between April and July, including fashion designer Gianni Versace. Shortly after killing Versace, Cunanan died by suicide in Miami Beach, Florida.

2007: The Tomb Of Herod The Great Is Discovered

Archaeologists discover the tomb of Herod the Great near Jerusalem, Israel. The King of Judaea, Herod plays an important role in the Bible for allegedly ordering the deaths of all male infants in Bethlehem in hopes of killing the prophesized “King of the Jews.” He died in 4 B.C.E.