Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 April
St George’s Day – national day of England.
1349: The Order of the Garter, Britain’s senior chivalric order limited to 24 knights, was founded by King Edward III.
1533: Roman Catholic Church inquiry declared marriage of Catherine of Aragon to England’s King Henry VIII valid.
1795: Warren Hastings, former British governor-general of India, was acquitted of high treason.
1904: US acquired property of French Panama Canal Company.
1924: The Empire Exhibition opened at Wembley Stadium.
1945: Allied troops reached River Po in Italy.
1965: France’s president, Charles de Gaulle, emphasised his opposition to US Asian policies by withdrawing French units from naval manoeuvres held by South-East Asia Treaty Organisation.
1965: The Pennine Way was opened, covering 250 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Borders.
1968: The 5p and 10p decimal coins were issued in Britain.
1975: South Vietnam’s cabinet resigned as panic gripped Saigon and US president Gerald Ford declared Vietnam war was over.
1983: Cliff Thorburn scored the first televised maximum break of 147 in the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield.
1985: Princess Anne made her flat racing debut at Epsom.
1990: Premier Li Peng arrived in Moscow for first visit by Chinese head of government to Soviet Union in 26 years.
1991: Michael Heseltine, the environment secretary, announced successor to the poll tax – the council tax based on bands of property values.
1992: Princess Anne’s marriage to Captain Mark Phillips ended when she was granted an uncontested divorce.
1993: The World Health Organisation declared tuberculosis a global emergency, saying TB could kill 30 million people by 2003.
1995: Up to 8,000 refugees were reported dead in Rwanda, shot by government troops or trampled to death in the panic.
1997: Forty-two villagers killed in the Omaria massacre in Algeria.
2003: Beijing closed all schools for two weeks over the Sars virus.
2009: The gamma ray burst GRB 090423 was observed for ten seconds. The event signalled the most distant object of any kind and also the oldest known object in the universe.
John Hannah, East Kilbride-born actor, 52; Judy Davis, actress, 59; JP Donleavy, author and artist, 88; Victoria Glendinning CBE, biographer, novelist and literary critic, 77; Richard Keys, broadcaster, 57; Lee Majors, actor, 75; Michael Moore, Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author, 60; Dev Patel, actor (Slumdog Millionaire), 24; Mike Smith, broadcaster, 59; Tessa Wyatt, actress, 66; Alistair Brownlee MBE, Olympic athlete, 26; Brendan Cole, dancer (Strictly Come Dancing), 38.
Births: 1775 JMW Turner, landscape and seascape painter; 1858 Max Planck, scientist who originated the quantum theory; 1891 Sergei Prokofiev, composer; 1936 Roy Orbison, singer.
Deaths: 1616 William Shakespeare, playwright; 1850 William Wordsworth, poet; 1996 Pamela Travers, author (Mary Poppins), journalist and critic; 1997 Denis Compton, Test cricketer, footballer, commentator and Brylcreem model; 2005 Sir John Mills, actor; 2007 Boris Yeltsin, president, Russian Federation 1991-9.