On this day: Lech Walesa election victory | Dame Judi Dench born

Lech Walesa, leader of the once outlawed Solidarity party, recorded a landslide election victory in Poland in 1990. Picture: AFP

Lech Walesa, leader of the once outlawed Solidarity party, recorded a landslide election victory in Poland in 1990. Picture: AFP

Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 9 December

National day of Tanzania.

1783: The first execution took place at Newgate Prison, London.

1824: Spain’s army was defeated at Ayacucho, Peru, by Simon Bolivar’s forces and agreed to leave South America.

1868: William Ewart Gladstone became prime minister for the first of his four terms of office.

1884: Roller skates were patented by L Richardson of Chicago. He advertised them as a health aid – to stimulate soles and heels and so maintain strong legs.

1905: Separation of church and state in France was decreed.

1906: Theodore Roosevelt awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

1933: The London to Singapore airline service was inaugurated.

1940: British 8th Army opened offensive in North Africa.

1941: China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

1946: Indian Constituent Assembly was boycotted by Muslim League.

1949: The republic of Indonesia was established.

1960: The first episode of Coronation Street was televised, although it was not networked until the spring of 1961. A critic wrote: “The programme is doomed with its dreary signature tune and grim scenes of a row of terraced houses and smoking chimneys.”

1962: Tanzania became a republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as its first president.

1972: North Vietnam and Soviet Union concluded agreement for economic and military aid to Hanoi.

1975: Death toll was put at 160 in two days as Muslims and Christians fought in Beirut.

1976: United Nations General Assembly called for Middle East peace conference at Geneva, Switzerland, with Palestine Liberation Organisation taking part.

1987: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met with United States president Ronald Reagan in Washington one day after the US-Soviet nuclear arms treaty was signed.

1988: West Germans demanded curbs on Nato military flights over their densely populated country.

1990: Lech Walesa won a landslide victory in Poland’s presidential election.

1992: Prime minister John Major told the House of Commons that the Prince and Princess of Wales were to separate.

1994: Sinn Fein had its first formal contact with government officials for 22 years.

2003: A blast in the centre of Moscow killed six people and wounded several more.

2008: Four people, including a 15-month-old girl, were killed when a US military F-18 fighter jet crashed into a house in San Diego. The pilot ejected.


Donny Osmond, pop singer, 56; Joan Armatrading MBE, singer-songwriter, 63; Beau Bridges, actor, 72; Susan Bullock, soprano, 55; Dame Judi Dench, actress, 79; Kirk Douglas, actor, 97; David Harsent, poet, 71; Felicity Huffman, actress (Desperate Housewives, 51;Tom Kite, American golfer, 64; John Malkovich, actor, 60; Joanna Trollope OBE, author, 70.


Births: 1608 John Milton, poet, notably Paradise Lost for which he was paid £5; 1770 James Hogg, the “Ettrick Shepherd”; 1886 Clarence Birdseye, American inventor of the deep-freezing process; 1942 Billy Bremner, footballer and manager.

Deaths: 1641 Sir Anthony van Dyck, Flemish painter; 1964 Dame Edith Sitwell, poet; 1992 Dan Maskell, tennis commentator; 2012 Sir Patrick Moore, British astronomer.


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