On this day: Scottish National Party (SNP) formed

Gordon Wilson, then-leader of the SNP, speaking at a party conference in Rothesay in 1980. Picture: Donald Macleod

Gordon Wilson, then-leader of the SNP, speaking at a party conference in Rothesay in 1980. Picture: Donald Macleod

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries on 7 April

1652: Dutch under Jan van Riebeeck founded Cape Town in South Africa.

1787: Mozart heard Beethoven, aged 17, play the piano and said: “Some day he will give the world something to talk about.”

1795: The metre was made the official measuring unit of length in France.

1827: Friction matches, the invention of John Walker, a Stockton chemist, went on sale.

1853: Queen Victoria became the first monarch to have chloroform administered, for the birth of her eighth child, Prince Leopold.

1906: In Italy, Mount Vesuvius erupted, and destroyed the town of Attaiano, leaving hundreds dead and injured.

1911: Copyright Act, giving authors protection of their works for life plus 50 years, was approved by Parliament.

1922: Six died in first airliner collision, between planes of the French line Grands Express and Britain’s Daimler Airlines over northern France.

1930: The electric razor was patented by Jacob Schick.

1934: Scottish National Party was formed by the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party. Its first programme said: “The object of the party is self-government for Scotland on a basis which will enable Scotland as a partner in the British Empire with the same status as England to develop its national life to the fullest advantage.”

1934: Mahatma Gandhi suspended civil disobedience campaign in India.

1943: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) was first synthesised by Albert Hoffman in his Swiss laboratory.

1945: United States aircraft carrier planes sank Japan’s largest battleship, the Yamato.

1948: The World Health Organisation was established.

1951: Only three out of 36 starters finished the Grand National, which was won by Nickel Coin.

1953: Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish diplomat, was elected secretary-general of United Nations.

1966: United States hydrogen bomb lost from bomber was recovered in Mediterranean Sea off coast of Spain.

1968: Jim Clark, of Kilmany, near Cupar, twice world motor racing champion, was killed taking part in a Formula 2 race when his car slid off the rain-soaked Hockenheim track in West Germany and hit a tree.

1982: Britain declared 200-mile exclusion zone round the Falkland Islands.

1988: Iran and Iraq bombed each other’s capitals and other towns, killing and wounding scores of people.

1990: The Grand National was won by Mr Fisk.

2001: Mars Odyssey was launched.

2003: American troops captured Baghdad; Saddam Hussein’s regime would fall two days later.

2008: An inquest jury in London ruled that Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed were unlawfully killed in Paris by the “gross negligence” of their drunken driver and a pack of paparazzi.

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