On this day: First US nuclear submarine launched

On this day in 1954, the Nautilus, the first US nuclear submarine, was launched at Groton in Connecticut. Picture: Getty

On this day in 1954, the Nautilus, the first US nuclear submarine, was launched at Groton in Connecticut. Picture: Getty

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 21 January

AD304: Saint Agnes was martyred at the age of 13. A Roman girl, she refused to marry the husband chosen by her father, so he had her burnt at the stake.

1506: Formal founding of the Swiss Guard, the Vatican papal guard.

1793: Louis XVI, King of France since 1774, was guillotined in the Place de la Revolution after being found guilty of treason.

1922: Provisional Irish parliament voted narrowly to approve treaty with Britain and so begin independence moves.

1936: Edward VIII was proclaimed king.

1942: German forces started offensive in western African desert in Second World War.

1954: Nautilus, first US nuclear submarine, launched at Groton in Connecticut.

1970: Five members of the crew of the Fraserburgh lifeboat, the Duchess of Kent, a non-self-righting type, were lost when she was turned over by a freak wave 36 miles off Kinnaird Head while escorting a Danish fishing vessel to safety. The only survivor was picked up by a Russian trawler.

1970: Iraq foiled attempt to overthrow its government and executed 12 men.

1988: Microlight pilot Brian Milton touched down in Darwin, Australia, 51 days after leaving London dockland in 440cc aircraft Dalgety Flyer.

1990: John McEnroe was disqualified from the Australian Open and fined £4,000 for swearing at officials.

1992: UN Security Council urged Libya to surrender two agents indicted by United States in bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed on Lockerbie.

1996: Palestinians on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip chose Yasser Arafat as their first democratically elected leader after almost 30 years of military and political struggle.

2004: Nasa’s MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceased communication with mission control. The problem lay in the management of its flash memory and was fixed remotely from Earth on 6 February.

2008: Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. The FTSE-100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks dropped by as much as 14 per cent.

BIRTHDAYS

Emma Bunton, Spice Girl, 38; Geena Davis, actress, 58; Plácido Domingo, tenor, 73; Peter Fleming, tennis player, 59; Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, Minister of State, Scottish Office, 2001-2, 72; Alex McLeish, Scottish football manager; 55; Jack Nicklaus, golf championr, 74; Billy Ocean, singer, 64; Brian O’Driscoll, rugby player, 35; Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, President of the Supreme Court 2009-12, 76; Seona Reid CBE, former director, Glasgow School of Art, 64; Martin Shaw, actor, 69.

ANNIVERSARIES

Births: 1824 Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, American Confederate general; 1855 John Moses Browning, inventor of the automatic pistol and machine-gun; 1905 Christian Dior, fashion designer; 1912 Sir Laurence Whistler, artist and poet; 1925 Benny Hill, comedian.

Deaths: 1836 Leo Delibes, composer; 1924 Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), founder Bolshevism, Soviet Communist leader; 1950 George Orwell (pen-name of Eric Arthur Blair), author; 1959 Cecil B DeMille, film director; 1999 Susan Strasberg, actress; 2013 Michael Winner, film director and columnist.

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