On this day: James Earl Ray pleaded guilty

James Earl ray, right, pleaded guilty on this day in 1969 to murdering the US civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Picture: AP

James Earl ray, right, pleaded guilty on this day in 1969 to murdering the US civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Picture: AP

Events, birthdays and anniverasries for 10 March

1624: England declared war on Spain.

1801: First British census began.

1814: Napoleon Bonaparte was forced to withdraw at Battle of Laon, France.

1831: French Foreign Legion founded, with headquarters in Algiers.

1862: Britain and France recognised independence of Zanzibar.

1863: Edward, Prince of Wales, married Alexandra of Denmark. The day before, Queen Victoria took Edward and his bride to Prince Albert’s mausoleum, where she solemnly announced: “He gives you his blessing.”

1886: Cruft’s Dog Show, organised by Charles Cruft, general manager of a dog biscuit firm, moved to London. All 600 entries were terriers. The first show took place in Newcastle in 1859.

1900: Britain signed treaty with Uganda to regulate government, with British commissioner as adviser.

1910: The first film made in Hollywood was released, DW Griffiths’s In Old California.

1935: Hitler renounced the Versailles Treaty of 1919 and ordered conscription in Germany.

1952: Soviet Union proposed four-power conference on unification and disarmament of Germany.

1961: Bradshaw Monthly Railway Guide was published for the last time. It had been in existence since 1839.

1969: James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to murdering American civil rights leader Martin Luther King and was jailed for 99 years.

1977: The rings of Uranus were seen for the first time when it passed in front of a star.

1988: The Prince of Wales narrowly escaped death in an avalanche at Klosters, Switzerland. Major Hugh Lindsay, a former equerry to the Queen, was killed and Patty Palmer-Tomkinson was seriously injured.

1990: Georgia became the fourth Soviet republic to condemn its annexation to the Soviet Union.

1990: Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft was sentenced to death in Iraq as an alleged spy. He was executed five days later.

1991: 500,000 people rallied in Moscow in support of the Russian president, Boris Yeltsin.

1992: Chancellor Norman Lamont announced a new income tax band of 20p in the pound for the first £2,000 of taxable income.


Jimmie Macgregor, folk musician and broadcaster, 84; Edie Brickell, singer and songwriter, 48; Dr Lavinia Byrne, writer and journalist, 67; Tina Charles, singer, 60; Neneh Cherry, singer, 50; Lord Condon, Commissioner, Metropolitan Police 1993-2000, 67; Garth Crooks, footballer and broadcaster, 55; Lady Falkender CBE, former private and political secretary to Harold Wilson, 82; Terry Holmes, Welsh rugby player, 57; Walter Kidd, footballer, 56; Colin Murray, radio DJ, 37; Chuck Norris, actor, 74; Andrew Parrott, conductor and musicologist, 67; Rita Simons, actress (EastEnders) 37; Henry Smith, footballer, 58; Sharon Stone, actress, 56; Chris Sutton, footballer.


Births: 1748 John Playfair, Benvie-born mathematician, geologist and philosopher; 1848 Wyatt Earp, legendary marshal of Tombstone, Arizona; 1854 Sir Thomas Mackenzie (in Edinburgh), New Zealand statesman.

Deaths: 1615 St John Ogilvie, Banffshire-born Jesuit priest (hanged for refusing to renounce the supremacy of the Pope; canonised in 1976); 2003 Barry Sheene, motorcycle racing champion.




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