Now and Then

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16 October

1834: The Palace of Westminster was burned down; firemen managed to save Westminster Hall and St Stephen’s Chapel.

1908: The first aeroplane flight in Britain was made, at Farnborough in Hampshire, by American Samuel Frank Cody.

1920: Gordon Richards rode the first of his 21,834 mounts.

1946: The Nuremberg executions took place. The war criminals hanged were Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Sauckel, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, and Julius Streicher.

1978: Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope in conclave in Vatican, taking name John Paul II - the first non-Italian pope since 1522.

1994: A biography of the Prince of Wales by broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby said he was forced into a loveless marriage by the Duke of Edinburgh. The Prince described life at Gordonstoun school as "absolute hell".

1996: The Arts Council faced criticism after awarding 42.4 million out of 50.9 million National Lottery cash to two London theatres, following the 55 million it had awarded earlier to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

1997: The Government announced it would ban high-calibre handguns and semi-automatic weapons after Lord Cullen’s report into the Dunblane massacre in which 16 children and a teacher died. Labour and the SNP called for a total ban on guns.


Peter Bowles, actor, 65; Dr Stefan Buczacki, biologist, broadcaster and writer, 56; Max Bygraves, entertainer, 79; Alison Chitty, theatre designer, 53; Flea, rock bassist (Red Hot Chili Peppers), 39; Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, Secretary of State for Scotland 1995-97, 47; Sir Charles Annand Fraser, chairman, Adam & Co, 73; Gnter Grass, writer, 74; Terry Griffiths, snooker player, 54; Gary Kemp, actor and rock musician (Spandau Ballet), 42; Angela Lansbury, actress, 76; Greg Lawrence, actor, 32; Stuart MacLeod, fashion designer, 42; Bill McLaren, rugby commentator, 78; Tim Robbins, actor, 43; Simon Ward, actor, 61; William Webb, conductor, 54.


Births: 1430 King James II of Scotland; 1731 Henry Cavendish, scientist; 1758 Noah Webster, originator of the dictionary that bears his name; 1803 Robert Stephenson, civil engineer; 1854 Oscar Wilde, playwright and dramatist; 1863 Sir Austen Chamberlain, statesman; 1886 David Ben Gurion, first prime minister of Israel; 1888 Eugene O’Neill, American playwright; 1890 Michael Collins, Irish politician and revolutionary; 1917 Lord MacLehose of Beoch, Governor of Hong Kong 1971-1982; 1922 Robert Urquhart, actor.

Deaths: 1555 Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, Protestant reformers and Oxford martyrs (burnt at the stake for heresy); 1774 Robert Fergusson, poet; 1793 Marie Antoinette, Queen of France (guillotined); 1946 Sir Granville Bantock, composer; 1959 George Marshall, United States statesman who formulated the Marshall Plan for post-war aid to Britain; 1973 Gene Krupa, drummer and bandleader; 1981 Moshe Dayan, Israeli military leader; 1989 Cornel Wilde, actor; 1990 Art Blakey, jazz drummer; 1997 James A Michener, novelist.

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