On this day: Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs returns to Britain

Ronnie Biggs. Picture: Getty Images

Ronnie Biggs. Picture: Getty Images

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries on 7 May

1544: Earl of Hertford invaded Scotland in an attempt to force the Scottish estates to agree to the marriage of Edward, son of Henry VIII, and Mary Queen of Scots. Known as “The Rough Wooing”, it saw the burning and destruction of Border towns and abbeys and of Edinburgh.

1765: The warship Victory was launched at Chatham. She is now preserved at Portsmouth.

1791: First British veterinary surgeon, William Moorcroft, set up after qualifying in France.

1824: Beethoven conducted the first performance of his choral symphony, his ninth and last.

1832: Greece proclaimed an independent kingdom.

1848: Polish rebels surrendered after Prussian troops crushed insurrection in Warsaw.

1888: George Eastman patented his Kodak box camera.

1907: The first Isle of Man TT Race was won by Charles Collier on a Matchless, at an average speed of 38.22mph.

1915: The 762-foot Cunard passenger liner, Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine ten miles off Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, with the loss of 1,198 lives.

1918: In the Budget debate, HH Asquith announced the government’s intention to introduce an old age pension – five shillings (25p) a week for every person over 70, or seven shillings and sixpence for married couples.

1926: Women’s suffrage in Britain was lowered from the age of 30 to 21.

1932: French president Paul Doumer was assassinated.

1941: In possibly the biggest intelligence coup of the war, Germany’s Enigma master codes were uncovered by Allies via documents found aboard a seized German ship.

1945: Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies.

1954: Dien Bien Phu was lost by French forces to Viet Minh.

1970: Somalia nationalised all foreign oil companies and banks.

1971: US removed all controls on use of dollars in United States transactions with China.

1973: The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize for the work of its reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in exposing the Watergate scandal.

1980: Paul Geidel was released from New York jail after serving 68 years and eight months, for murder, the longest recorded term in United States history.

1990: In Hungary, the Prince and Princess of Wales began the first official Royal tour to a Warsaw Pact country.

1994: Foreigners were forced to flee Aden as civil war erupted.

1995: Right-wing Gaullist Jacques Chirac was elected president of France, ending 14 years of socialist rule.

2000: Vladimir Putin was inaugurated president of Russia.

2001: The Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs, arrived back in Britain from Brazil, ending more than 35 years on the run.

2002: A China Northern Airlines MD-82 plunged into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people.

2008: Cannabis was reclassified as a class B drug.

2015: In the UK General Election, the Conservative Party was returned to government with a clear majority; the SNP won 56 of a possible 59 seats at Westminster.

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