On this day: The Forth and Clyde Canal opened in 1790

The Forth and Clyde Canal opened in 1790. Picture: Stephen Mansfield

The Forth and Clyde Canal opened in 1790. Picture: Stephen Mansfield

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries on 8 July

8 July

951: The city of Paris was founded.

1249: King Alexander II died on the isle of Kerrara in Oban Bay.

1296: Abdication of King John Balliol at Montrose.

1497: Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama set out on his first voyage. He became the first European to reach India by sea.

1790: The Forth and Clyde Canal was opened after 22 years of construction.

1836: Charles Darwin reached St Helena aboad HMS Beagle.

1884: The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded.

1905: Soldiers of the Russian battleship Potemkin, who had mutinied, surrendered to Romanian authorities, who subsequently turned the ship over to Russian authorities.

1907: Florenz Ziegfeld staged the first of his Ziegfeld Follies shows on the rooftop of a Broadway theatre.

1911: Nan Aspinall became the first woman to complete a solo US coast-to-coast horseback ride when she delivered a letter from the mayor of San Francisco to the mayor of New York, having covered 4,500 miles in 301 days.

1918: National Savings stamps went on sale in Britain.

1941: All Jews living in the Baltic states were obligated to wear the Jewish star.

1947: Reports were received that a UFO had crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico.

1949: South Africa passed the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, banning the marriage or sexual relationship between white people and those of other race groups.

1957: Leaders of Sinn Fein were arrested by order of Irish premier Eamon de Valera.

1961: Freddie Trueman took five wickets for no runs in 24 balls for England against Australia.

1963: USA banned all monetary transactions with Cuba.

1965: Ronald Biggs, one of the Great Train robbers, escaped from prison. He settled in Brazil but returned to Britain and gave himself up in 2001.

1967: Billie Jean King beat Ann Jones 6-3, 6-4 to win the Wimbledon ladies singles title.

1969: USA began the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

1971: Riots erupted in Derry after British soldiers shot dead two Catholic civilians during street disturbances.

1973: Paul Getty III, grandson of John Paul Getty, the world’s richest man, was kidnapped. After having his right ear cut off, he was returned for a ransom of $2.9 million.

1992: Mike Gatting and 15 other English cricketers suspended for five years for touring South Africa had their bans lifted.

1994: A preliminary trial ruled that there was enough evidence to try OJ Simpson for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and waiter Ronald Lyle Goldman.

1994: Space Shuttle Columbia 17 was launched.

2010: Former Labour Party deputy leader John Prescott was introduced to the House of Lords as Baron Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull.

2014: Brazil suffered the humiliation of a 7-1 defeat by Germany in the World Cup semi-final, the host nation’s first competitive home loss for 39 years.

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