27 March 1809

Peninsular War: A combined Franco-Polish force defeats the Spanish in the Battle of Ciudad Real.

The Peninsular War was a conflict that lasted from 1807 to 1814, during the Napoleonic Wars. It was fought primarily on the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Spain and Portugal), hence the name.

Background: The war began when Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Portugal and Spain in 1807, despite having previously established alliances with these countries. The invasion was part of Napoleon’s strategy to enforce the Continental System, which aimed to blockade Britain economically.

Resistance: The invasion sparked widespread resistance among the Spanish and Portuguese populations. Guerrilla warfare tactics were employed by local militias and irregular forces, which harassed and disrupted French supply lines and communications.

British Intervention: The United Kingdom, led by the Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesley), intervened on the side of Portugal and Spain. British forces, alongside Portuguese and Spanish allies, played a crucial role in several key battles, including the decisive Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Key Battles: The Peninsular War featured several significant battles, including the Battle of Talavera, Battle of Salamanca, and the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. These battles saw both victories and defeats for the Allied forces, but ultimately contributed to the weakening of French control in the region.

End of the War: The Peninsular War came to an end in 1814 with the defeat of Napoleon and the subsequent Treaty of Paris. France withdrew its forces from the Iberian Peninsula, allowing Spain and Portugal to regain their independence.

The Peninsular War was a crucial theater of conflict during the Napoleonic Wars, marked by resistance movements, guerrilla warfare, and significant battles that ultimately contributed to the downfall of Napoleon’s empire. If you had a different event or conflict in mind for 1908, please provide more details, and I’d be happy to assist further.

27 March 1871

The first international rugby football match, when Scotland defeats England in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.

Rugby football has a long and interesting history, dating back to the early 19th century in England. The game was originally developed at Rugby School, a boarding school in Warwickshire, England, in 1823. Legend has it that the game was invented when a student named William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a game of soccer and ran with it.

The first official rugby football match was played in 1871 between England and Scotland, and the sport quickly spread throughout the British Empire. The first international rugby football tournament, now known as the Six Nations, was held in 1883, and the first Rugby World Cup was held in 1987.

Rugby football has gone through many changes and transformations over the years. In the early days, the game was played with an oval ball and no set rules. It wasn’t until 1845 that the first written rules were established, and even then, the rules continued to evolve.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rugby football became increasingly popular in other parts of the world, particularly in the southern hemisphere. New Zealand and South Africa both established their own national rugby teams in the early 20th century, and the sport soon became a source of national pride and identity.

Today, rugby football is played at all levels, from amateur clubs to international teams. The sport has become known for its physicality and athleticism, as well as its emphasis on teamwork and sportsmanship. Despite its popularity, rugby football continues to evolve and change, with new rules and techniques being developed all the time.

27 March 1915

Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States is put in quarantine for the second time, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

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27 March 1915

Typhoid Mary is put in quarantine for the rest of her life.

Mary Mallon September 23, 1869 – November 11, 1938, also known as Typhoid Mary, was an Irish-American cook. She was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was twice forcibly isolated by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation.

Mary Mallon was born in 1869 in Cookstown, County Tyrone, in what is now Northern Ireland. She migrated to the United States in 1883 or 1884. She lived with her aunt and uncle for a time and later found work as a cook for affluent families.

From 1900 to 1907, Mallon worked as a cook in the New York City area for seven families. In 1900, she worked in Mamaroneck, New York, where, within two weeks of her employment, residents developed typhoid fever. In 1901, she moved to Manhattan, where members of the family for whom she worked developed fevers and diarrhea, and the laundress died. Mallon then went to work for a lawyer and left after seven of the eight people in that household became ill.

In the year 1906, Mary took a position in Oyster Bay, Long Island, and within two weeks 10 of the 11 family members were hospitalized with typhoid. She changed jobs again, and similar occurrences happened in three more households. She worked as a cook for the family of a wealthy New York banker, Charles Henry Warren. When the Warrens rented a house in Oyster Bay for the summer of 1906, Mallon went along, too. From August 27 to September 3, six of the 11 people in the family came down with typhoid fever. The disease at that time was “unusual” in Oyster Bay, according to three medical doctors who practiced there. Mallon was subsequently hired by other families, and outbreaks followed her.

In late 1906, one family hired a typhoid researcher named George Soper to investigate. Soper published the results on June 15, 1907, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He believed Mallon might be the source of the outbreak. He wrote:

It was found that the family changed cooks in August 4. This was about three weeks before the typhoid epidemic broke out. The new cook, Mallon, remained in the family only a short time, and left about three weeks after the outbreak occurred. Mallon was described as an Irish woman about 40 years of age, tall, heavy, single. She seemed to be in perfect health.

Soper discovered that a female Irish cook, who fitted the physical description he was given, was involved in all of the outbreaks. He was unable to locate her because she generally left after an outbreak began, without giving a forwarding address. Soper learned of an active outbreak in a penthouse on Park Avenue and discovered Mallon was the cook. Two of the household’s servants were hospitalized, and the daughter of the family died of typhoid.

When Soper approached Mallon about her possible role in spreading typhoid, she adamantly rejected his request for urine and stool samples. Since Mallon refused to give samples, he decided to compile a five-year history of Mallon’s employment. Soper found that of the eight families that hired Mallon as a cook, members of seven claimed to have contracted typhoid fever. On his next visit, he brought another doctor with him but again was turned away. During a later encounter when Mallon was herself hospitalized, he told her he would write a book and give her all the royalties. She angrily rejected his proposal and locked herself in the bathroom until he left.

The New York City Health Department finally sent physician Sara Josephine Baker to talk to Mallon. Baker stated “by that time she was convinced that the law was only persecuting her when she had done nothing wrong.” A few days later, Baker arrived at Mallon’s workplace with several police officers, who took her into custody.

Mallon attracted so much media attention that she was called “Typhoid Mary” in a 1908 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Later, in a textbook that defined typhoid fever, she was again called “Typhoid Mary”.

Mallon admitted she did not understand the purpose of hand-washing because she did not pose a risk.[citation needed] In prison, she was forced to give stool and urine samples. Authorities suggested removing her gallbladder because they believed typhoid bacteria resided there. However, she refused as she did not believe she carried the disease. She was also unwilling to cease working as a cook.

The New York City Health Inspector determined she was a carrier. Under sections 1169 and 1170 of the Greater New York Charter, Mallon was held in isolation for three years at a clinic located on North Brother Island.

Eventually, Eugene H. Porter, the New York State Commissioner of Health, decided that disease carriers should no longer be kept in isolation and that Mallon could be freed if she agreed to stop working as a cook and take reasonable steps to prevent transmitting typhoid to others. On February 19, 1910, Mallon agreed that she was “prepared to change her occupation, and would give assurance by affidavit that she would upon her release take such hygienic precautions as would protect those with whom she came in contact, from infection.” She was released from quarantine and returned to the mainland.

Upon her release, Mallon was given a job as a laundress, which paid less than cooking. After several unsuccessful years of working as a laundress, she changed her name to Mary Brown and returned to her former occupation despite having been explicitly instructed not to. For the next five years, she worked in a number of kitchens; wherever she worked, there were outbreaks of typhoid. However, she changed jobs frequently, and Soper was unable to find her.

In 1915, Mallon started another major outbreak, this time at Sloane Hospital for Women in New York City. 25 people were infected, and two died. She again left, but the police were able to find and arrest her when she brought food to a friend on Long Island. After arresting her, public health authorities returned her to quarantine on North Brother Island on March 27, 1915. She was still unwilling to have her gallbladder removed.

Mallon remained confined for the remainder of her life. She became a minor celebrity and was occasionally interviewed by the media. They were told not to accept even water from her. Later, she was allowed to work as a technician in the island’s laboratory, washing bottles.

27 March 1986

A police office is killed as a car bomb explodes outside Russell Street Police HQ in Melbourne, Australia.

We make an estimated 35,000 decisions a day, from what socks to wear to the contents of our lunchtime sandwich. Most are inconsequential but there are those that only in hindsight can be seen as life changing.
Thirty years ago there was that sliding door moment. It was 47 seconds past 1pm, March 27, 1986 – the moment the bomb went off outside the Russell Street Police Station.

Crime writer John Silvester takes a look back at the infamous 1986 bombing of the Russell St police headquarters.

It was a terrorist act, not one motivated by a mutated religious mindset or a twisted ideology but – as they all are – by blinding hatred.
In the moments before the massive blast hundreds of people in Russell Street made mundane decisions that would decide their futures.

A total of 21 people were injured and police Constable Angela Taylor was killed after she was engulfed in the fireball – the first Australian policewoman murdered on duty.
The bombers were disappointed – they expected the toll would be greater. Call it fate or the roll of the dice but those unrelated decisions moments before conspired to save many.
Such as Wayne “Teddy” Taylor, a policeman stationed at Prahran. He and his crew had locked the keys inside their police car outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
They were unaware that parked across the road was a stolen Commodore packed with 60 sticks of gelignite with the clock ticking.

Rather than wait for replacement keys Taylor went into the court to find a car thief he knew was appearing that day.
The crook produced his zip tool and opened the police car in seconds allowing Taylor and his team to drive away.

It was 12.55pm – five minutes before the bomb detonated.
“If we hadn’t driven off, we would have been blown to smithereens,” he recalled.

Almost at the exact moment Taylor left the danger zone a car with false number plates pulled up behind the explosive-laden Commodore.
It was driven by Charlie Bezzina who would become a long-serving homicide investigator. Then he worked in the anti-corruption surveillance unit, which is why he was driving a car with fake plates.

Just five minutes before the bomb detonated he parked and ran down Russell Street to buy camping gear for the Easter holidays. If he had drunk a second cup of coffee that morning or been sidetracked by an office conversation he may not have survived the massive explosion.
If the crooks had picked a different day the toll would have been so different, according to a key investigator into this act of terrorism.

It was the Thursday before Easter and there were no school tours scheduled for D24. On a normal day around 40 students and teachers would have been leaving the building to board a bus parked next to the bomb car.
“Luckily the bombers picked the wrong day,” taskforce investigator Gary Ayres says.
Even if the bomb had gone off five minutes later the toll would have been worse as many more police and court staff would have been in the street heading for lunch.
But for Angela Taylor, 21, there would be no reprieve. Taylor was a rising star, having graduated as Police Academy Dux, but, like all newbies, she started at the bottom and was working at the watchhouse connected to the court complex.
On that day she lost the toss on the lunch run, which meant she was walking to the police canteen and was a metre away when the bomb car exploded.
She died 24 days later.

There were immediately plenty of theories and a key suspect. The man squarely in the frame was Phillip Grant Wilson, a neo-Nazi and suspected murderer, with an interest in explosives who was appearing in court that day.
The first theory was Wilson, who had planned to abduct and kill a Special Operations Group policeman by throwing him from a light plane, planted the bomb car in the hope of killing the police who charged him.
Wilson knew he was the main suspect and feared he would be killed before he could establish his innocence. He contacted me that afternoon and we met that night.
“I am not a terrorist. I’ll take a lie detector test or truth serum to prove I am not involved,” he said.
He was right but it only delayed the inevitable. He was shot dead outside outside a South Yarra chiropractic clinic 17 months later.

Next on the list was Claudio Crupi, an armed robber with a hatred of detectives and an interest in bomb-making.
The Russell Street bomb taskforce found Crupi had built a device on his kitchen table just before the bombing with the intention of attacking a police station.
He said it was a fake that he wanted to plant at the Flemington police station but when interviewed he admitted he had a hatred for detectives who worked at Russell Street.
The real breakthrough came not through a network of informers or the dark art of interrogation but from meticulous forensic work.

The bomb car was slowly rebuilt – a massive task considering the size of the explosion. Debris was found on the Queen Victoria Hospital roof three blocks away.
Eventually Stolen Car Squad Sergeant Arthur Adams realised that the bomb car and a second stolen car used in a Donvale bank raid the same day had chassis numbers removed by a method favoured by car thief Peter Reed.
At first police thought Reed may have stolen the Commodore for Crupi and it was decided to bring in the suspected car thief for questioning.

What was not known was that Reed was connected to Stan Taylor, a career criminal who turned a group of willing apprentices into a vicious armed robbery gang.
Armed Robbery Squad Detective Sergeant Mark Wylie was to lead the arrest team into Reed’s Kallista home on Anzac Day 1986.

Wylie was uncomfortable as the raiding party was selected from different groups and had not trained together. But this was not a request, it was an order.
It seems hard to believe today but the 10-strong arrest team had only three ballistic vests between them.
Then another sliding door moment. Wylie was shotgun trained but when the team met pre-dawn at the Nunawading police station he found the gun was a make and model he had never used. His last minute training was to stand alone in the police station car park and pump the weapon three times.

As Wylie was to be one of the last through the door he was not wearing a vest.
When the team fanned out in the darkened house Wylie was the first to see the wanted man. “He’s on his haunches … and he’s pointing a .45 revolver straight at me,” Wylie recalled.
Reed fired two shots and Wylie returned fire with two rounds until his shotgun jammed. Unfamiliar with the weapon he was helpless as he tried to clear the gun. “He fired off his third and fourth, and basically I walked into the fourth and it went straight through me,” he told me on the ABC documentary Trigger Point.
Wylie nearly died while Reed was shot and wounded by another policeman.
Wylie said, “What I sense is that death, even in violent circumstances, is an extremely peaceful event. A couple of times I was pegging down; I was getting almost peaceful, surreal, elevated. You just drift, you drift peacefully, even in violent circumstances as a result of a gunshot wound; you drift into the big sleep.”
While Wylie recovered physically he battled many mental demons in the years that followed. In 2014 he took his own life – another victim of the bombing.

The arrest of Reed led to the rest of the gang, brothers Craig and Rodney Minogue and the leader, Stan Taylor.
Taylor, a cunning career crook, tried to cut a deal by dobbing in his followers but there is no prize for running second in the race to inform. Another member of the group, Paul Hetzel, had already made a statement and Taylor would ultimately be sentenced to life with no minimum.

In what was one of the most cold-blooded crimes in Australia’s history, one of the bombers organised the murder of Prue Bird, the 13-year-old granddaughter of Hetzel’s partner Julie, as a payback for him giving evidence. Prue was abducted from her Glenroy home in February 1992 and never seen again.
In 2013, the despicable Les Camilleri was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years after pleading guilty to the murder.
Camilleri, who was already serving life with no minimum for the murder of two schoolgirls in Bega, said he acted alone and grabbed Prue off the street in a random attack.
He also claimed he couldn’t remember where he left the body.
In sentencing Camilleri, Justice Elizabeth Curtain rejected his story. He is a killer and a liar with no redeeming features.

Police say Craig Minogue threatened that if anyone spoke to police he would kill them and their families, telling Julie Hetzel, “It would be a shame if anything happened to your sweet little Prue, wouldn’t it?”
Minogue, who admits to his involvement in Russell Street and has apologised to his victims, maintains he was not involved in Prue’s murder.
Taylor is now gravely ill and appears likely to die in jail. Both Reed and Taylor were brutalised, generations apart, when they were sent into care as kids.
Which proves what the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has already found. If you can’t protect kids in care then you may pay the price later.
Taylor, it turned out, transformed the younger men from mere car thieves into a ruthless gang of armed robbers – and we paid him for the privilege.

Taylor had been released after serving 17 years for earlier armed robberies. In a deadly version of poacher turned gamekeeper, he was employed as project officer for the Commonwealth Youth Support Scheme in Mooroolbark. This put him in direct contact with the younger crooks.
He and Craig Minogue produced a version of Robin Hood as bush theatre for kids. Naturally Taylor starred as Robin Hood and the chubby Minogue as Friar Tuck.

Why they set the bomb has never been established but it was designed to kill as many police as possible.
Minogue was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years. There is a perception that courts have become softer but there is no doubt if he was sentenced today he would be given no minimum term.

In July 1988, two weeks after his July 12, 1988, conviction, he killed multiple murderer Alex Tsakmakis inside Pentridge Prison by repeatedly smashing a pillowcase filled with gym weights into his head.
And yet when he was convicted and given another life sentence not one extra day was added to his minimum, which means he has never been punished for the killing.
It was, frankly, outrageous, but since then Minogue has been close to a model prisoner, devoting himself to education.
An early teacher remains unimpressed.
“He’s turned himself from an uneducated thug to an educated one. He could be a smart arse. He was a very organised and literate man who liked to portray himself as dumb but he was anything but.”
That was some years ago. Since then he has completed a PhD and likes to be referred to as Doctor.
On his website he says, “The sentence of imprisonment is my punishment and I have accepted it and I am serving it; and I have admitted my guilt and expressed my remorse. I am also meeting my obligations to rehabilitate myself and to prepare myself in such a way so as to lesson the risk of re-offending upon release.”
While there is real anger at his possible release the Parole Board is not an appeal court and cannot re-sentence Minogue. We know what he did but the question remains, what will he do?

27 March 1998

Viagra is approved by the FDA for a treatment for male impotence.

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Viagra is an FDA-approved medication used to treat erectile dysfunction problems in men. After being introduced in 1998, Viagra became the most popular treatment for erectile dysfunction issues. Viagra is a fast-acting medication that can last up to four hours. It works well for men at any age, regardless of how long the patient has been having issues getting and maintaining an erection.

Viagra interferes with the production of a hormone called PDE5. It relaxes the blood vessels surrounding the penis to allow increased blood flow during sexual arousal. When using Viagra, men can easily get and maintain a hard erection after being sexually stimulated. You will only get an erection after becoming sexually aroused and the erection will go away on its own. Even if you have been having erectile dysfunction problems for a long time, Viagra will start working right away.

Viagra can start working within 15 minutes. It’s a popular treatment for ED issues because it has been scientifically proven to help approximately 80% of men experiencing sexual difficulty. It was the first FDA-approved treatment for erectile dysfunction problems and it has a long history of success. Clinical trials from around the world have shown that Viagra is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction issues. Each dose lasts up to four hours and some men can get multiple erections from a single dose. Typically, Viagra is covered by most health insurance plans.