Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 27 September
1540: The Society of Jesus was founded.
1837: Glasgow’s first railway, from Townhead to Garnkirk, opened to passenger traffic.
1888: The Central News Agency in London received a letter which began: “Dear Boss, I keep on hearing the police have caught me, but they won’t fix me just yet…” It was signed Jack the Ripper, the first time the name had been used.
1923: Martial law was declared in Germany.
1938: League of Nations branded Japan an aggressor in China.
1938: Queen Consort Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, launched the largest passenger vessel, the 80,000-ton Queen Elizabeth.
1939: As Warsaw surrendered to German forces, Hitler announced that he was going to annex Sudetenland.
1940: Japan, Germany and Italy signed a ten-year military alliance pact in Berlin, presided over by Adolf Hitler.
1967: The liner Queen Mary arrived at Southampton at the end of her final transatlantic voyage.
1968: France barred Britain’s entry to European Common Market.
1969: The rock musical Hair opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London.
1970: Jordan’s King Hussein and Al Fatah guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat met in Cairo with ten Arab chiefs of state and signed 14-point agreement ending civil war in Jordan.
1973: Soviet Union launched spacecraft into orbit with two cosmonauts aboard.
1979: BBC’s Question Time was broadcast for the first time, with Robin Day in the chair.
1987: Europe’s golfers beat the United States on American soil for the first time to retain the Ryder Cup.
1988: In Seoul, Ben Johnson failed a second drugs test and was stripped of his Olympic gold medal.
1990: The IRA claimed responsibility for a bomb found in St James’s, London. A conference on terrorism was due to be held there hours later.
1993: After 34 years, Tony Benn lost his seat on Labour’s national executive.
1995: Government circles reacted with anger and disbelief at a European Court of Human Rights ruling which condemned the SAS killing of three IRA terrorists in Gibraltar, in 1988.
Irvine Welsh, novelist and film director, 55; Steve Archibald, football manager, 57; Dame Josephine Barstow DBE, opera soprano, 73; Barbara Dickson, Dunfermline-born singer and actress, 66; Michele Dotrice, actress, 65; Gordon Honeycombe, broadcaster and writer, 77; Denis Lawson, actor, 66; Avril Lavigne, Canadian singer-songwriter, 29; Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), rock singer, 66; Dougie MacLean, folk singer and songwriter, 59; Robbie Shakespeare, reggae musician, 60.
Births: 1722 Samuel Adams, organiser of the Boston Tea Party and signatory of the Declaration of Independence; 1895 George Raft, film actor; 1918 Sir Martin Royle, Astronomer Royal; 1927 Sada Thompson, American actress; 1946 Robin Nedwell, actor.
Deaths: 1917 Edgar Degas, artist; 1965 Clara Bow, actress and “It” girl; 1968 Sir Norman Brookes, tennis champion; 1979 Dame Gracie Fields, music hall entertainer; 1994 Jessie Kesson, novelist and playwright; 2012 Herbert Lom, Czech-born actor.