On this day: General de Gaulle forms government in exile

On this day in 1941 French General Charles de Gaulle formed a government while in exile in London. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1941 French General Charles de Gaulle formed a government while in exile in London. Picture: Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on 23 September

National day of Saudi Arabia.

1122: The Concordat of Worms was agreed between Pope Calixtus II and the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V.

1459: The Battle of Blore Heath in Staffordshire was fought – the first major battle in the Wars of the Roses.

1678: The Earl of Mar was commissioned to raise a regiment, the “Earl of Mar’s Gray Breeks”, later the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

1739: Russia and Turkey signed the Peace of Belgrade.

1809: A compound fountain pen was patented by Joseph Bramah, a London cabinet maker, who in 1797 had patented a water closet.

1817: Spain signed treaty with Britain to end slave trade.

1846: Neptune was discovered by the German astronomer Johann Galle, following predictions of Leverrier and Adams.

1848: Chewing gum was first commercially produced by John Curtis on a stove in his home in Bangor, Maine, and sold under the name of the “State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum”.

1863: The Confederate siege of Chattanooga began during the American Civil War.

1868: Tom Morris Jnr scored 154 at Prestwick Golf Club, three shots better than his father, Tom Morris Snr, to win the Open Championship.

1889: Nintendo Koppei (which became the Nintendo Company Ltd) was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and market a playing-card game.

1913: Serbian troops marched into Albania.

1922: Berthold Brecht’s Drum In The Night premiered in Germany.

1926: Gene Tunney beat Jack Dempsey in ten rounds to win the world heavyweight boxing title.

1940: The George Cross, the highest British civilian award for acts of courage, was instituted.

1941: General de Gaulle formed a government while in exile in London.

1950: US Air Force Mustangs accidentally bombed British on Hill 282 Korea, killing 17.

1951: King George VI had an operation to remove his left lung at Buckingham Palace.

1951: United Nations forces captured “Heartbreak Ridge” in Korea from Communists.

1952: Rocky Marciano won the world heavyweight boxing title in Philadelphia, knocking out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round.

1969: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, premiered.

1973: Former Argentine dictator Juan Peron was returned to power in Buenos Aires in presidential election.

1974: Ceefax, the BBC’s teletext service, was inaugurated.

1990: Saddam Hussein said he would destroy Israel and launch an all-out war before allowing the United Nations embargo to “strangle” Iraq.

1994: Conditions in the Glenglova nursing home in Glasgow, where a 79-year-old woman died, were described as a scandal in a sheriff’s public inquiry judgment.

1999: Nasa announced that it has lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter.

2001: Britain was warned to prepare for casualties as America and its allies mobilised forces for an expected strike against Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organisation.

2004: At least 1,070 in Haiti were reported to have been killed by floods caused by Hurricane Jeanne.


Cherie Blair, QC, and wife of former prime minister Tony Blair, 61; Julio Iglesias, singer, 72; Larry Mize, golfer, 57; Karl Pilkington, radio personality, 43; Juan Martín del Potro, tennis player, 27; Clayton Blackmore, footballer, 51; Bruce Springsteen, singer, 66; Jeff Squire, Welsh rugby player, 64; Nicholas Witchell, broadcaster, 62; Jason Alexander, actor, writer, producer, singer, comedian, 56; Anthony Mackie, actor, 37; Yvette Fielding, broadcaster, producer and actress, 47; Alex Curran, model and fashion columnist, 33; Melanie Oudin, tennis player, 24; Henry Blofeld OBE, sports journalist and cricket commentator, 76; Steve Boone, musician (the Lovin’ Spoonful), 72.


Births: 480 Euripides, Greek playwright; 1215 Kublai Khan, emperor of Mongolia and China; 1863 Mary Church Terrell, civil rights activist; 1920 Mickey Rooney, actor; 1926 John Coltrane, jazz saxophonist and composer; 1929 James George Alexander Bannerman Carnegie, 3rd Duke of Fife; 1930 Ray Charles, singer; 1936 Toby Balding OBE, racehorse trainer.

Deaths: 1889 Wilkie Collins, novelist; 1939 Sigmund Freud, founder of psycho-analysis; 1940 Robert Hichens, quartermaster of the Titanic; 1974 Robbie McIntosh, Dundee-born drummer (The Average White Band); 1987 Bob Fosse, choreographer and film director; 1990 Lord Swann, BBC chairman and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh University 1965-73; 2011 Douglas John Moray Stuart, 20th Earl of Moray.