On this day: First pro golf tournament at Prestwick

On this day in 2000 four people were killed and more than 100 injured when a train derailed at Hatfield in Hartfordshire. Picture: PA
On this day in 2000 four people were killed and more than 100 injured when a train derailed at Hatfield in Hartfordshire. Picture: PA
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 17 October

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).