Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 21 September
National day of Malta.
1327: Edward II was murdered in the dungeon of Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, to ensure that his son, Edward III, could succeed to the throne.
1745: Battle of Prestonpans and defeat of the Hanoverian army under General John Cope by Prince Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites.
1802: France’s Napoleon Bonaparte annexed Piedmont.
1893: The first petrol-powered car was demonstrated in the United States by Frank Duryea of Springfield, Massachusetts.
1917: Independence of Latvia was proclaimed.
1939: Premier Armand Calinescu of Romania was assassinated by the Iron Guard.
1947: An American Skymaster flew from Ohio to Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, without a crew, under automatic control and guided by radio impulses.
1949: West Germany came into existence as US, British and French occupation zones were transferred to German control.
1949: People’s Republic of China was proclaimed by its Communist leaders.
1964: Malta became independent, after 164 years of British rule.
1965: British Petroleum became the first company to strike oil in the North Sea.
1978: Leaders of Syria, Algeria, South Yemen, Libya and Palestine Liberation Organisation announced in Damascus they were severing relations with Egypt because of that nation’s accord with Israel.
1981: Belize, previously known as British Honduras, became independent.
1985: Mexico counted at least 2,000 dead from earthquake that devastated four states.
1988: British rower Sean Crowley, 25, became the youngest person to row the Atlantic solo.
1991: Boxing safety row erupted after Michael Watson was critically injured in middleweight title fight with champion Chris Eubank.
1994: Scientists announced that 4.4-million-year-old human remains found in Ethiopia represented the missing link between apes and early man.
1999: Chi-Chi earthquake occurred in central Taiwan, leaving about 2,400 people dead.
2008: The United States claimed their first Ryder Cup win since 1999 with a crushing 16½-11½ victory over Europe.
Stephen King, American novelist, 66; Curtly Ambrose, West Indian cricketer, 50; Charles Clarke, home secretary 2004-6, 63; Ethan Coen, scriptwriter and film producer, 56; Shirley Conran, writer, 81; John Crawley, cricketer, 42; Chico Hamilton, American jazz drummer, 92; Faith Hill, singer, 46; Simon Mayo, radio broadcaster, 55; Bill Murray, American actor, producer and writer, 63; Nancy Travis, actress, 52; Sir Jimmy Young CBE, radio presenter, 92.
Births: 1452 Girolamo Savonarola, Italian political reformer and monk (hanged as a heretic); 1722 John Home, Leith-born dramatist; 1756 John McAdam, Ayr-born surveyor who introduced “macadam” road-surfacing; 1866 HG Wells, novelist; 1874 Gustav Holst, composer; 1930 Dawn Addams, actress.
Deaths: 19BC Virgil, Roman poet; 1832 Sir Walter Scott, novelist and poet; 1936 Frank Hornby, toy manufacturer; 1974 Walter Brennan, actor; 1974 Jacqueline Susann, novelist; 1996 Dorothy Lamour, actress and singer.