This Day In History, February 27th

What happened on this day in history: The Dominican Republic declares independence, Elizabeth Taylor is born, and more important events that happened on this day throughout history.

1827: The First New Orleans Mardi Gras Celebration Takes Place

Today In History February 27

Bettmann/Getty ImagesAn 1873 depiction of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, published in Harper’s Weekly.

The first citywide Mardi Gras takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana. A tradition that evolved from ancient festivals before it marked the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans now draws around 1 million revelers annually today.

1844: The Dominican Republic Declares Independence

The Dominican Republic declares independence. Previously ruled by the French and the Spanish, the country said that it was an independent nation from its neighboring country, Haiti. Though Haiti controlled the Dominican Republic at that time, the Dominican War of Independence led to the official separation of the two regions.

1932: Elizabeth Taylor Is Born

Elizabeth Taylor

Silver Screen Collection/Getty ImagesElizabeth Taylor was famous for her skills as an actress and for her seven husbands.

Elizabeth Taylor is born in London, England. An Oscar-winning actress, Taylor achieved renown for her performance in films like National Velvet (1944), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). In addition to her skills as a thespian, Taylor also became known for her violet eyes and her eight marriages to seven different men — all of which ended in divorce.

1961: Joe Gallo Kidnaps Members Of The Profaci Crime Family

Joe Gallo kidnaps members of the New York City Profaci crime family, including Joe Colombo, to demand less tribute to mafia bosses. This incident would spark the First Colombo War.

1962: The Presidential Palace In Saigon Is Bombed

Independence Palace in Saigon, South Vietnam, is bombed by two dissidents from the Republic of Vietnam Air Force. The dissidents had hoped to assassinate the president, Ngô Đình Diệm, but he escaped the attack. Three palace staff members died, however, and 30 other people were injured.

2012: T.J. Lane Perpetrates The Chardon High School Shooting

Chardon High School Memorial

Jeff Swensen/Getty ImagesMemorial for the victims of the Chardon High School shooting.

T.J. Lane, 17, perpetrates the Chardon High School shooting that left three students dead. Known as a “troubled kid,” T.J. Lane grew up in a dysfunctional household and often kept to himself. Two months before the shooting, Lane wrote disturbing messages on Facebook that largely went ignored. Then, at 7:30am, Lane stormed the school’s cafeteria and opened fire, killing three people and injuring three others. Two teachers ended his shooting spree by tackling him to the ground. The courts sentenced him to three life terms in prison, one for each life he took.