Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 24 August
St Bartholomew’s Day
1215: Pope Innocent III declared the Magna Carta was invalid.
1227: Genghis Khan died. His funeral escort is said to have murdered everyone who even looked at his coffin. He was reckoned to have slaughtered 22 million people, at that time a tenth of the world’s population.
1572: The St Bartholomew’s Day massacre took place in Paris when thousands of French Huguenots were killed by order of the Catholic French court.
1914: Allied troops retreated from Mons.
1932: Amelia Earhart made the first transcontinental non-stop flight by a woman, from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey.
1939: Germany and USSR signed a ten-year non-aggression pact.
1949: The treaty which created the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) came into effect.
1957: Seventeen-year-old Jimmy Greaves scored on his debut for Chelsea in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
1961: A6 murder in which Michael Gregson was killed and fiancée Valerie Storie raped and shot. After James Hanratty was hanged for the crimes there was controversy over the conviction, but, in 2002, a DNA sample taken from his exhumed body was matched to samples taken from the crime scene.
1968: France exploded hydrogen bomb at South Pacific testing ground and became world’s fifth thermonuclear power.
1969: Iraq executed 15 people on charge of spying for US and Israel.
1973: Garry Sobers of West Indies scored his 26th and last Test century – 150 against England at Lord’s.
1976: Two Soviet cosmonauts returned to Earth after 48 days in orbit around Earth in space laboratory.
1981: Mark Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life for the murder of John Lennon.
1982: The explorers Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Charles Burton completed three-year Transglobe expedition.
1982: Unemployment in Britain reached an all-time record of 3,292,702 – one in seven of the workforce.
1989: Voyager 2 discovered two more moons around Neptune, bringing the total to eight.
1990: Irish hostage Brian Keenan was freed in Beirut after almost four-and-a-half years of captivity.
1991: President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as head of Communist Party and urged its leadership to disband the party; Ukraine became the seventh of 15 Soviet republics to declare itself independent.
1991: Ukraine declared independence from the soviet Union.
2006: The International Astronomical Union redefined the term “planet” such that Pluto was to be considered a Dwarf Planet.
2008: The Olympic Games drew to a close with a glittering ceremony inside Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium. The Great Britain team ended the event fourth in the medals table with a tally of 19 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze.
2012: A Norwegian court found that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik was sane and sentenced him to 21 years in jail. Breivik admitted killing 77 people and wounding more than 240 others when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp last year.
2014: Nurse William Pooley flew back to UK for emergency treatment after contracting the Ebola virus while treating patients in Sierra Leone.
Professor Alexander McCall Smith CBE, Professor of Medical Law, Edinburgh University, and novelist, 67; Dame Antonia (AS) Byatt DBE, novelist, 79; Stephen Fry, actor, writer and comedian, 58; Anne Archer, actress, 68; Rupert Grint, actor, 27; Steve Guttenberg, actor, 57; Jean-Michel Jarre, French musician, 67; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, retired cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, 83; Madsen Pirie, president, Adam Smith Institute, 75; Sam Torrance OBE, Scottish golfer and commentator, 62.
Births: 1591 Robert Herrick, poet; 1724 George Stubbs, anatomist and painter of animals, especially horses; 1759 William Wilberforce, philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner; 1787 James Weddell, Antarctic explorer; 1829 Ernst Lubeck, pianist; 1872 Sir Max Beerbohm, author and caricaturist; 1899 Jorge Luis Borge, poet; 1932 Richard Meale, composer; 1952 Carlo Curley, American organist.
Deaths: 1680 Colonel Thomas Blood, adventurer; 1770 Thomas Chatterton, poet (suicide); 1906 Alfred Stevens, painter; 1949 John Dunne, philosopher; 1958 Johannes Strijdom, South African prime minister; 1989 Felix Topolski, artist; 1998 EG Marshall, American actor; 2013 Julie Harris, American actress; Lord Attenborough CBE, actor and director.