On this day: Donald Campbell broke world water speed record

On this day in 1955 Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record on Ullswater, reaching 202.32mph in Bluebird. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1955 Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record on Ullswater, reaching 202.32mph in Bluebird. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 July

National day of Ethiopia and the United Arab Republic.

776 BC: The first Olympic Games opened in Olympia.

636 AD: Arabs gained control of most of Palestine from the Byzantine empire.

1637: During a presbyterian riot in St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, Jenny Geddes cried out: “Dost thou say Mass in my lug?” and threw her chair at the pulpit.

1745: Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the “Young Pretender”, landed on Eriskay.

1840: The province of Canada was established when the British parliament passed the Act of Union which united Upper and Lower Canada.

1903: The Ford Motor Company sold its first car.

1913: “Second Revolution” broke out in south China.

1914: Austria and Hungary issued ultimatum to Serbia after assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

1920: British East Africa was renamed Kenya and became British Crown colony.

1921: The Chinese Communist party was formed.

1929: The Fascist government of Italy banned the use of foreign words.

1940: The Local Defence Volunteers were renamed by Winston Churchill as the Home Guard.

1940: The London blitz began with an all-night German air raid.

1945: Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, head of state of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944, was put on trial. He died on the same date in 1951 while serving a life sentence for collaboration.

1949: Brian Close became the youngest Test cricketer when he played against New Zealand at Old Trafford. He was 18.

1955: Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record on Ullswater when he reached 202.32mph in Bluebird.

1958: The first four women were named to the peerage in the House of Lords.

1962: The first live Europe to USA television pictures were broadcast, via Telstar, featuring the BBC’s Richard Dimbleby in Brussels and CBS’s Walter Cronkite in New York.

1967: The pirate Radio Swinging Scotland closed down for financial reasons.

1973: President Richard Nixon refused to release tapes of conversations at the White House as part of the Watergate investigation.

1974: John Lennon reported seeing a UFO in New York.

1979: Bolshoi Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov defected while in New York.

1986: Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson.

1995: Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered.

1995: Jon Daly scored 282 to win the Open Championship at St Andrews.

1999: ANA flight 61, with 508 passengers on board, was hijacked shortly after taking off from Tokyo by a man wielding a kitchen knife. He forced his way into the cockpit, fatally stabbed the captain and briefly took over the controls before eventually being subdued.

2005: Terrorist bombs killed 88 people in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

2008: Canoeist John Darwin, who faked his own drowning in 2002, was jailed for more than six years at Teesside Crown Court for a £250,000 insurance fraud. His wife, Anne, who maintained the facade of a grieving widow for five years until she was discovered in Panama, was also jailed for her part in the fraud.


Francis Healy, Scottish musician (Travis), 42; David Essex OBE singer and actor, 68; Graham Gooch OBE, cricketer and coach, 62; Woody Harrelson, actor, 54; Monica Lewinsky, 42; Daniel Radcliffe, actor, 26; Lord Rogers of Riverside, architect, 82; Slash (born Saul Hudson), guitarist, 50; Jo Brand, comedienne, writer and actress, 58; Michelle Williams, singer-songwriter, 35; Martin Gore, musician (Depeche Mode), 54; Clive Rice, South African Test cricketer, 66; Blair Thornton, rock guitarist (Bachman-Turner Overdrive, 65).


Births: 1883 Lord Alanbrooke, soldier; 1886 Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, Glasgow-born aviator and companion of Alcock on first transatlantic flight; 1888 Raymond Chandler, writer; 1892 Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia 1930-74; 1907 Elspeth Huxley, writer; 1913 Michael Foot, leader, Labour Party 1980-3; 1942 Myra Hindley, Moors murderer; 1967 Philip Seymour Hoffman, actor.

Deaths: 1403 Sir Henry Percy (“Harry Hotspur”), medieval nobleman, valiant knight, captain in the Anglo-Scottish wars; 1875 Isaac Singer, inventor of the sewing machine; 1916 Sir William Ramsay, Glasgow-born chemist; 1966 Montgomery Clift, film actor; 1998 John Hopkins, playwright; Hassan II, king of Morocco, 1961-1999; 2007 Mohammed Zahir Shah, last king of Afghanistan 1933-1973; 2011 Amy Winehouse, singer-songwriter; 2012 Sally Ride, astronaut.