Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 21 November
1218: Bull of Pope Honorius III affirmed the independence of the Church of Scotland.
1783: Francois de Rozier and Marquis d’Arlandes lifted off from Bois de Boulogne in the Mongolfier brothers’ hot air balloon and flew for 25 minutes in man’s first free-flight.
1806: Napoleon Bonaparte issued Berlin Decrees, declaring French blockade of Britain.
1843: Vulcanised rubber patented in Britain by Thomas Hancock.
1875: The first “human cannonball”, Emilio Orwa, was shot from a Paris fairground.
1877: Thomas A Edison announced the invention of the phonograph in the United States.
1918: German High Seas Fleet handed over to the British Fleet for internment at Scapa Flow in Orkney.
1922: Ramsay MacDonald was elected leader of the Labour Party.
1934: Cole Porter’s Anything Goes opened in New York to run for 420 performances. The show made a star of Ethel Merman.
1936: First television gardening programme broadcast by BBC – In Your Garden.
1938: Western border areas of Czechoslovakia were forcibly incorporated into German Reich.
1953: The Piltdown Skull, “discovered” by Charles Dawson in Sussex in 1912, was found to be a hoax.
1956: United Nations General Assembly censured Soviet Union for its action in Hungary.
1958: Construction of the Forth Road Bridge began.
1963: Roman Catholic Vatican Council authorised use of vernacular instead of Latin in the Sacraments.
1967: In an attempt to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain, 134,000 animals were slaughtered.
1971: Six Edinburgh schoolchildren and a teacher from Ainslie Park School died in a blizzard while trying to walk from the top of the Cairn Gorm chairlift to Corrour Bothy.
1974: IRA bombs in Birmingham killed 21 and injured 120 when two pubs packed with young drinkers were blown up.
1979: In Tehran, the Iranians warned that if the United States attacked Iran all the embassy hostages would die “on the spot”.
1985: End of Geneva arms reduction talks between United States and Russia.President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev spent six hours together.
1986: Government began the first campaign to fight Aids.
1989: Protesting ambulance crews withdrew their service from all non-urgent cases throughout Britain.
1995: The presidents of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia accepted a United States-brokered peace deal aimed at ending the war in Bosnia.
1996: Forty-five people died in an office-block fire in Hong Kong.
2002: Nato invited Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.
2004: The island of Dominica was hit by the most destructive earthquake in its history. It was also felt in Guadeloupe.
2008: Pop star Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie were granted a divorce at the High Court in London.
2013: A supermarket roof collapsed in the Latvian capital Riga, killing more than 50 people.
Björk (born Björk Gudmundsdöttir), singer, 49; Tina Brown, Lady Evans, CBE, author, editor of Vanity Fair 1984-92, 61; Andrew Caddick, English cricketer, 46; Nickolas Grace, actor, 67; Goldie Hawn, actress, 69; Alex James, musician (Blur), 46; Dr John (Mac Rebennack), R&B musician, 74; Jacques Laffite, French racing driver, 71; Lorna Luft, actress, 62; Natalia Makarova, Russian ballerina and choreographer, 74; Juliet Mills, actress, 73; Nicolette Sheridan, actress, 51.
Births: 1694 Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet), French philosopher and writer; 1787 Samuel Cunard, shipowner; 1863 Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (“Q”), novelist and poetry editor; 1888 Harpo Marx, Marx Brother who never spoke on the screen; 1898 René Magritte, Belgian artist; 1904 Coleman Hawkins, jazz musician; 1913 Roy Boulting, film director; 1931 Malcolm Williamson, composer, Master of the Queen’s Music 1975-2003; 1934 Dame Beryl Bainbridge DBE, novelist; 1937 Ingrid Pitt, actress; 1944 Harold Ramis, American actor, director and writer.
Deaths: 1695 Henry Purcell, composer; 1835 James Hogg, writer (the Ettrick shepherd); 1916 Franz Josef I, ruler of Austro-Hungarian empire since 1848; 1949 Max Baer, United States heavyweight boxer and world champion 1934-35; 1969 Dominic Wyndham Lewis, author; 1999 Quentin Crisp, author, model and raconteur; 2002 Lord Emslie, Lord Justice-General of Scotland and Lord President of the Court of Session 1972-89.