Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 17 October
1346: David II was taken prisoner at the Battle of Neville’s Cross, in Durham, and spent the next 11 years in captivity.
1651: Charles II escaped from Cromwell’s army across the English Channel.
1850: James Young obtained a patent for the extraction of paraffin from shale, the beginning of the paraffin industry in West Lothian.
1855: Henry Bessemer patented his process for making steel.
1860: The first professional golf tournament was held at Prestwick, and won by Willie Park.
1899: Boers defeated by British troops at Glencoe, South Africa.
1912: Millie and Christine, American Siamese twins, died aged 60. They had been continually exhibited and even danced in a freak show chorus line.
1918: Republic of Yugoslavia was established formally.
1931: US gangster Al Capone was jailed for 11 years for tax evasion.
1945: Colonel Juan Peron staged coup in Buenos Aires and became absolute dictator of Argentina.
1956: Calder Hall in Cumbria, Britain’s first large-scale atomic energy station, was opened by the Queen when power was first fed into the grid system.
1970: Anwar Sadat succeeded Gamal Nasser as president of Egypt.
1972: The Queen became the first reigning monarch to visit a communist country when she arrived in Yugoslavia.
1977: West German commandos stormed hijacked Lufthansa airliner at airport in Somalia and freed all 86 hostages aboard.
1990: The Pope allowed two married men to be ordained as priests on condition they gave up sex and live forever as brother and sister with their wives.
1991: Four ITV companies, TV-am, Thames, TVS and TSW lost their licences under changes announced by the Independent Television Commission.
1993: US golfers beat England, the holders, in the final of the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews.
1995: A long-awaited report by the Scottish Constitutional Convention envisaged a Scottish parliament of 129 members elected under a proportional representation system.
2000: Four died and more than 100 were injured when a GNER King’s Cross to Leeds express was derailed at over 100mph at Hatfield, in Hertfordshire.
2001: New guidelines to prepare for terrorist attacks using bubonic plague, smallpox and botulism were sent to doctors and hospitals throughout Britain.
Ernie Els, golfer, 44; Aravinda DeSilva, cricketer, 48; Eminem, rapper, 41; Alan Garner OBE, British author, 79; Wyclef Jean, rapper (Fugees), 41; Margot Kidder, actress, 65; Stephen Kovacevich, pianist, 73; Anil Kumble, cricketer, 43; Sir Cameron Mackintosh, musical producer, 67; Ziggy Marley, reggae singer, 45; Kimi Raikkonen, world motor racing champion 2007, 35; Jim Smith, English football manager, 73.
Births: 1727 John Wilkes, political agitator; 1914 Earl of Dalhousie, governor-general of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; 1915 Arthur Miller, playwright; 1918 Rita Hayworth, actress; 1920 Montgomery Clift, actor; 1921 George Mackay Brown, Orcadian poet and story-teller; 1925 Harry Carpenter OBE, sports commentator; 1938 Evel Knievel, stuntman.
Deaths: 1849 Frédéric Chopin, pianist and composer; 1977 Sir Michael Balcon, film producer; 1998 Joan Hickson, actress; 2008 Levi Stubbs, singer (Four Tops).