On this day: Academy Awards | London Trams

The first Academy Awards were handed out on this day in 1929. Picture: AP
The first Academy Awards were handed out on this day in 1929. Picture: AP
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EVENTS, anniversaries and birthdays for 15 May

15 May is Whitsunday term day, the second term of the Scottish year after Candlemas.

1501: The first book of music using movable type was printed by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.

1567: Marriage of Mary Queen of Scots and James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, at Holyroodhouse.

1718: The world’s first machine-gun was patented by James Puckle, a London lawyer. A unique refinement was that it fired round bullets for Christians and square bullets for Turks.

1800: George III escaped a double-assassination attempt in London, first in Hyde Park and later at Drury Lane Theatre.

1903: Edward VII inaugurated the first London electric tram.

1929: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the first awards in Los Angeles for outstanding achievement by actors, directors, writers, etc. These were later to become known as Oscars.

1936: Amy Johnson arrived in England after a record-breaking 12-day, 15-hour flight from London to Cape Town and back.

1940: Nylon stockings went on sale in America. In the first eight hours, 72,000 pairs were sold in New York City alone.

1941: Britain’s first jet-propelled aircraft, designed by Frank Whittle, flew for the first time at RAF Cranwell.

1957: Britain dropped her first hydrogen bomb over Christmas Island in the South Pacific.

1960: Doctor Theodore Maiman flashed a beam of pure light out of a solid ruby crystal and discovered the laser.

1972: Governor George Wallace of Alabama was shot and critically wounded while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

1988: Soviet Union began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan after more than eight years of occupation.

1991: After a six-year ban on English clubs competing in Europe Manchester United won the European Cup Winners Cup.

1991: Edith Cresson became the first female prime minister of France.

2010: Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world.

2011: Glasgow Rangers, then in the Scottish Premier League, won the title for the third consecutive time.


Aly Bain MBE, Scottish fiddler, 67; Madeleine Albright, United States secretary of state 1997-2001, 76; Joseph Beltrami, solicitor, 81; Brian Eno, musician and composer, 65; Trini Lopez, American singer, 76; Andy Murray, Scottish tennis champion, 27; Zara Phillips, equestrian world champion, 32; Brad Rowe, American actor, 43; Sir Peter Shaffer, British playwright, 87; Emmitt Smith, American Football legend, 44; Ralph Steadman, British cartoonist and illustrator, 77; Greg Wise, British actor, 47.


Births: 1856 Lyman Frank Baum,author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Edwin Muir, poet and translator; 1890 Katherine Porter, author; 1909 James Mason, actor; 1914 Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who reached the summit of Everest in 1953.

Deaths: 1740 Ephraim Chambers, encyclopaedist; 1895 Joseph Whitaker, publisher who founded Whitaker’s Almanack in 1869; 1967 Edward Hopper, artist; 1987 Rita Hayworth, American film actress; 2001 Bobby Murdoch, footballer; 2008 Tommy Burns, footballer and manager; 2012 John Murray, 11th Duke of Atholl.