On August 27th

The date of August 27th is Independence Day in Moldova, and it’s a day that’s witnessed many other famous events over the years, decades and even centuries. Let’s look back at some fascinating things that happened on August 27th.

August 27th Famous Events

1665: First Play Performed in North America

On this date, the first known English-language play was put on at a tavern in Accomack, Virginia. We know about it because one of its authors and all three actors were arrested on charges of public wickedness. The court made them perform the play, titled Ye Bare and Ye Cubb (The Bear and the Cub), in court. It must’ve been good because the magistrate dropped the charges.

1859: Drilling of First Commercial Oil Well

Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial oil well on this date in 1859, setting off the oil boom in the U.S. Some say that the Titusville, Pennsylvania, oil well was the first commercial one in the world, but that idea is disputed by similar claims worldwide. What’s known for certain is that the Drake Well was the first of its kind in the U.S.

1913: All-Purpose Zipper Patented

Getting dressed would never be the same after this date in 1913. That’s when Swedish-American engineer Gideon Sundback filed a patent application for an all-purpose zipper. While working for the Universal Fastener Company, he improved on earlier prototypes by changing the size and number of teeth, putting two rows of teeth facing each other and adding a slider that joined them for a successful zip.

1955: First Guinness Book of Records Published

British twin brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter compiled the facts presented in the first-ever Guinness Book of Records, which was published on this day. The book was the brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, who was Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery at the time. He believed that the book would provide a great way to settle disputes in pubs. His hunch that a book of facts and figures could be popular proved right — Guinness World Records has gone on to sell more than 100 million copies.

1965: The Beatles Meet Elvis

It was the stuff of a 1960s teeny-bopper’s dream: The Fab Four and the King of Rock and Roll spending an evening together. This legendary meeting happened on this day in 1965; it was the only time the Beatles and Elvis Presley met. Adding to that night’s mystique is the absence of any photos or recordings. Both sides insisted on keeping it a pure meeting of musical minds — no reporters or photographers allowed.

2003: Mars Makes a Close Approach to Earth

On this date in 2003, Mars was closer to Earth than it’s been in about 60,000 years. The Red Planet was a mere 56 million kilometers away. According to NASA, humans need to wait until the year 2287 for Mars to get that close again.

Famous August 27th Birthdays

1952: Paul Reubens

Paul Reubens, the creator of Pee-Wee Herman, was born this day in 1952, in Peekskill, New York. Born Paul Rubenfeld, he started acting at a local theater in Sarasota, Florida, when he was 11 years old. Reubens’ big break came when he joined The Groundlings comedy troupe in L.A., where he developed the now well-known Pee-Wee Herman character.

Famous August 27th Deaths

1990: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Revered blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash near East Troy, Wisconsin. The American musician was 35 years old. He’s fondly remembered by music fans around the world and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.