Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 17 June
National day of Iceland.
1390: Elgin Cathedral burned by Wolf of Badenoch, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, son of Robert II.
1567: Queen Mary was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle by the Council of Scotland.
1579: Sir Francis Drake proclaimed England’s sovereignty over New Albion (now California).
1775: The Battle of Bunker Hill took place, with victory for the British under General Howe over American troops at the start of the War of Independence.
1823: Charles Macintosh, Glasgow-born chemist, patented waterproof cloth.
1843: Maori uprising against the British began in New Zealand.
1860: The 692-foot liner Great Eastern, designed by Brunel and Russell, began her first transatlantic voyage.
1867: Joseph Lister performed the first operation under aseptic conditions, on his sister Isabella, at Glasgow Infirmary.
1905: River steamboat service began on the Thames.
1939: German multiple-murderer Eugen Weidmann was the last to be publicly guillotined, outside Versailles prison.
1940: The British troopship Lancastria, carrying 4,000 troops, was sunk by enemy bombing off St Nazaire. About 2,500 died.
1944: Iceland became an independent republic.
1947: The first round-the-world airline service was opened by Pan-American Airways.
1950: The first kidney transplant was performed, at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Chicago, by Dr Richard Lawler.
1952: First drive on-drive off ferry, British Rail’s Lord Warden, was launched, for Dover-Boulogne route.
1969: Boris Spassky became world chess champion, beating Tigran Petrosian.
1970: Decimal postage stamps (10p, 20p, 50p) went on sale in Britain.
1982: General Leopoldo Galtieri resigned as president of Argentina after Falklands war humiliation.
1982: Italian banker Roberto Calvi, who was known as “God’s banker” due to his close ties with the Vatican, was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London.
1991: Iraq freed British engineer Douglas Brand, jailed for life for spying, after appeal by Edward Heath.
1991: In South Africa, the repeal of the Population Registration Act of 1950 officially ended apartheid.
1993: United Nations envoys admitted that the Owen-Vance peace plan for Bosnia was dead.
1994: American Football star OJ Simpson, facing charges of murdering his former wife and her boyfriend, surrendered to police after a motorway pursuit filmed live on television.
1995: Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams pulled his party out of peace talks with the government and hinted at a resumption of IRA violence in Northern Ireland.
2009: In the ongoing row over parliamentary expenses, Labour Treasury minister Kitty Ussher quit amid allegations she avoided paying £17,000 of tax on the sale of her constituency home.
2010: A £7 billion project to replace Sea King helicopters that support the country’s mountain rescue teams was suspended.
Venus Williams, Grand Slam-winning tennis champion, 34; Sir Gerald Gordon KBE, Sheriff of Glasgow and Strathkelvin 1978-99, 85; Derek Ibbotson MBE, athlete, 82; Greg Kinnear, actor, 51; Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London 2000-08, MP 1987-2001, 69; Ken Loach, film director, 78; Alistair McHarg, Scottish rugby player, 70; Barry Manilow, singer and songwriter, 71; Iain Milne, Scottish rugby player, 58; Diane Modahl, athlete, 48; Jason Patric, actor, 48; Chris Spedding, guitarist, 70; Dr Jonathan Wills, journalist and broadcaster, 67; Jordan Henderson, English international footballer, 24; Shane Watson, Australian Test cricketer, 33.
Births: 1239 King Edward I; 1703 John Wesley, evangelist and founder of the Methodist movement; 1818 Charles-François Gounod, French composer; 1832 Sir William Crookes, physicist, discoverer of thallium; 1882 Igor Stravinsky, composer; 1895 Very Rev Lord MacLeod of Fuinary, founder Iona Community; 1911 James Cameron, journalist; 1917 Dean Martin, singer and film actor; 1920 Beryl Reid, actress and comedienne; 1924 Sir Edward Downes CBE, conductor.
Deaths: 1719 Joseph Addison, poet, essayist and founder of the Spectator in 1711 with Sir Richard Steele; 1898 Sir Edward Burne-Jones, painter; 1894 William Hart, painter; 1957 Dorothy Richardson, novelist; 1997 Emilio Coia, cartoonist; 1999 Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster; 1999 Ken Oliver, racehorse trainer; 2001 Cardinal Thomas Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow; 2008 Cyd Charisse, dancer and actress; 2009 Walter Cronkite, American broadcaster.