Meydan Racecourse opened and Quentin Tarantino was born: Five events that happened on March 27 in history
This is our new daily list of important events from the last century and beyond
A popular TV show first aired, a Russian cosmonaut died and one of Dubai's most popular landmarks opened to the public – here are some of the most interesting things that happened on this day in history.
Marlon Brando refused an Oscar
During the 45th Academy Awards in 1973, Marlon Brando won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather. Except he declined it.
On the night of the ceremony, Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather attended in his place, explaining that the actor and director, who died in 2004, “very regretfully” could not accept the award, as he was protesting Hollywood’s general portrayal of Native Americans in film.
Today, Brando is known as one of the best actors of his time and was named in 1999 by Time magazine in its list of 100 Most Important People of the Century, where he was designated as Actor of the Century.
Meydan Racecourse opened in Dubai
On this day 10 years ago, one of Dubai’s most important landmarks was inaugurated, as Meydan Racecourse opened, replacing the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.
Within the 7.5-million-square-metre space there’s a five-star trackside hotel, two race tracks, a grandstand and a museum.
Every year, people from all over the country and the world descend on the course decked out in their finest attire, hats and fascinators to attend the Dubai World Cup, one of the world’s richest horse races. It is usually held on the last Saturday of March, however it has been postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The track was even once used as a filming location for Star Trek Beyond, transforming into the docking bay where the USS Enterprise is moored.
The first man in space died
Neil Armstrong may be remembered for being the first person to walk on the moon, but Yuri Gagarin beat him into outer space. The Russian cosmonaut’s capsule Vostok 1 completed one orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961, ensuring his name would go down in history books forever.
Gagarin, who was born on March 9, 1934, received many medals and awards after that, such as Hero of the Soviet Union and Order of Lenin.
However, while on a routine training flight, Gagarin and flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin died when their jet fighter aircraft crashed, when he was only 34 years old.
After his death, Gzhatsk, a town near the village of Klushino, where he was born, was renamed Gagarin in his honour.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ aired for the first time
While this might not be a milestone for many people reading, for those who avidly watch the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy – and the show has many, many loyal viewers – this was a big moment in history.
Created by Shonda Rhimes (Scandal), the TV series premiered on the American Broadcasting Company and focuses on the lives of surgical interns, residents and attending doctors. It famously stars Ellen Pompeo as Dr Meredith Grey.
It’s now on season 16, but due to the outbreak of Covid-19 the team shut down filming mid-March. They had reportedly already completed 21 episodes, but it was slated for 25, so whether or not there will be a season finale is unknown at the time of writing.
A beloved American filmmaker was born
He’s best known for a certain aestheticisation of violence, recruiting ensemble casts and some lengthy scenes of dialogue – but all of this has made Quentin Taratino one of the most famous filmmakers of his time.
Born on March 27, 1963 in Knoxville, Tennesse, Tarantino was an only child and wrote one of his earliest works when he was just 14 years old. At age 15, he worked as an usher at a movie theatre, going on to work a number of odd jobs throughout the 1980s. He got a break in the early 1990s, when he was asked to write the script for From Dusk till Dawn.
Famously, he’s said he’s only going to write, direct and create 10 movies altogether, the ninth of which, Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, came out last year to much acclaim.
His other films – from Inglourious Basterds and The Hateful Eight – have also been well received by films fans and critics over the years, leading him to win two Academy Awards, both for Best Original Screenplay, for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained.
Updated: March 27, 2020 10:54 AM