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On this day: Nelson Mandela freed from prison

In 2001, Ellen McArthur became the fastest woman and youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe in a single-handed race. Picture: Getty

In 2001, Ellen McArthur became the fastest woman and youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe in a single-handed race. Picture: Getty

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 11 February

1531: King Henry VIII was recognised as supreme head of the Church in England.

1543: Henry VIII signed treaty of alliance with Holy Roman Emperor Charles V against France.

1798: French forces took Rome.

1810: Napoleon married Princess Marie-Louise of Austria, having rejected Josephine because of her inability to fill the imperial nursery.

1922: Nine-power treaty was signed in Washington for securing China’s independence and maintaining “open door”.

1929: Lateran Treaty established an independent Vatican City.

1956: Traitors Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean appeared in Moscow after escaping from Britain.

1956: Referendum in Malta favoured integration with Britain.

1962: U2 spy pilot Captain Francis Gary Powers returned to United States after Soviets released him in exchange for Colonel Rudolf Abel.

1963: US recognised new government in Iraq after revolt.

1967: Military rule was imposed in Peking during civil strife in China.

1970: Japan launched its first earth satellite.

1975: Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of a British political party at the age of 49.

1986: Jewish dissident Nathan (then Anatoly) Shcharansky freed in Berlin after almost nine years in Soviet captivity on espionage charges, and went to Israel.

1990: Nelson Mandela freed in South Africa after 27 years in prison.

1991: British Rail gave as reason for chaos in the bad weather “the wrong kind of snow, like fine talcum powder”.

1993: John Major told the Commons that the Queen would pay income tax and capital gains tax on her private income.

1994: Spanish sea captain found guilty of smuggling £100 million of cocaine into Scotland.

1997: Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

2001: Ellen McArthur became the fastest woman and youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe in a single-handed race.

2008: Tolls ended on the Forth and Tay road bridges.

2011: The Egyptian revolution culminated in the resignation

of Hosni Mubarak and the

transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests.

2013: Pope Benedict XVI made the surprise announcement that he was to retire at the end of the month. It was the first case of a pope retiring in 600 years.

BIRTHDAYS

Mary Quant OBE, fashion designer, 80; Jennifer Aniston, actress, 45; Sheryl Crow, singer and songwriter, 52; Ross Finnie, MSP, former minister for environment and rural development, 67; Damian Lewis, actor, 43; Carey Lowell, actress, 53; Burt Reynolds, actor, director and producer, 78; Neil Archibald Primrose, 7th Earl of Rosebery, 85; Kelly Rowland, singer (Destiny’s Child), 33; Dennis Skinner, Labour MP, 82; John Surtees OBE, motorcycle and motor racing champion, 80.

ANNIVERSARIES

Births: 1800 William Fox Talbot, photography pioneer; 1847 Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the electric light; 1926 Sir Alexander Gibson, conductor and musical director.

Deaths: 1650 Rene Descartes, philosopher; 1892 James Augustus Grant, explorer who traced the Nile to Lake Victoria (Nairn); 1940 John Buchan, First Baron Tweedsmuir, novelist (notably The Thirty-Nine Steps) and governor-general of Canada.

 

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