On this day: First British nudist beach | Henry V born

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 9 August

1655: Oliver Cromwell divided England into 11 districts, each with a major-general as governor.

1721: Prisoners in Newgate prison were offered a pardon if they agreed to be inoculated — to test Doctor Charles Maitland’s theories. Seven volunteers all survived to live in freedom.

1842: The border between the United States and Canada was established.

1898: Spain formally accepted peace terms ending Spanish-American War.

1902: King Edward VII was finally crowned. The coronation, set for 26 June, had been postponed because he had an emergency appendicitis operation.

1941: RAF fighter ace Douglas Bader baled out of his Spitfire over German-occupied France after a collision with a Messerschmitt 109, leaving one of his artificial legs in the cockpit, and was taken prisoner. A replacement leg later dropped by parachute.

1942: Nationalist All-India Congress called for British to leave India. Gandhi and 50 others were promptly arrested.

1945: United States plane dropped second atomic bomb, destroying more than half of Japanese city of Nagasaki.

1965: Singapore seceded from the Federation of Malaysia to become an independent republic within the Commonwealth.

1969: The bodies of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four other people were found murdered at a Beverly Hills mansion. The self-styled Family, led by Charles Manson, were later found guilty and jailed.

1974: Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States on resignation of Richard Nixon and the first to serve without being chosen in a national election.

1979: Brighton established the first nudist beach in Britain, despite protests from those who feared “great depravity”.

1990: United Nations Security Council declared Iraq’s annexation of Kuwait null and void in 15-0 vote. Iraq sealed its borders raising concern about thousands of foreigners in Iraq and Kuwait.

1995: BBC radio reporter John Schofield, 29, was shot dead by Croatian troops in the former Yugoslavia.

1999: Russian president Boris Yeltsin fired his prime minister, Sergei Stepashin, as well as, for the fourth time, his entire Cabinet.


Gillian Anderson, actress, 45; Eric Bana, Australian actor, 45; Tam Dalyell, MP 1962-2005, 81; Daniela Denby-Ashe, British actress, 35; Mark Dwyer, jockey, 50; Sam Elliott, American actor, 69; Tyson Gay, American sprinter, 31; Melanie Griffith, actress, 56; Rod Laver, Wimbledon champion, 75; Kevin McKidd, Scottish actor, 40; Rhona Mitra, British actress and model, 37; James Naughtie, Scottish broadcaster, 62; Posy Simmonds MBE, cartoonist, 68; John Simpson CBE, broadcaster, 69; Audrey Tautou, French actress, 37.


Births: 1387 Henry V; 1631 John Dryden, poet-dramatist, first Poet Laureate to hold title officially; 1757 Thomas Telford, Dumfriesshire-born (Westerkirk) engineer of roads, canals and bridges; 1896 Jean Piaget, child psychologist; 1922 Philip Larkin, poet and novelist.

Deaths: 1886 Sir Samuel Ferguson, poet; 1919 Ernst Haeckel, naturalist; 1962 Hermann Hesse, writer and poet; 1967 Joe Orton, playwright (murdered); 
1975 Dmitri Shostakovich, composer; 1999 Helen Rollason, television sports presenter; 2005 Judith Rossner, novelist (Looking for Mr Goodbar).