On this day: Gordon Brown becomes Labour leader

On this day in 2007, Gordon Brown was confirmed as Labour leader, and took over from Tony Blair, right, three days later. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

On this day in 2007, Gordon Brown was confirmed as Labour leader, and took over from Tony Blair, right, three days later. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

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EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

Midsummer Day.

1314: King Robert the Bruce inflicted a crushing defeat on Edward II of England at the Battle of Bannockburn.

1348: The Order of the Garter was instituted.

1497: John Cabot, explorer and navigator, landed at Cape Breton Island.

1509: The coronation of King Henry VIII took place.

1717: The first Freemason Lodge in England was inaugurated, in London.

1722: Queen Anne ordered French people in Nova Scotia to take oath of allegiance to her government within one year or leave.

1840: The Birmingham and Gloucester Railway between Cheltenham and Bromsgrove was opened, a stretch that includes the Lickey incline, the most severe gradient on a British main line.

1859: Henri Dunant, a Swiss businessman travelling through Italy, saw the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino and was inspired to found the International Red Cross.

1887: The St John Ambulance Brigade was established by bringing under central control several local corps which had been formed by people qualified in first aid under the St John Ambulance Association (formed ten years earlier).

1917: Russian Black Sea fleet mutinied at Sebastopol.

1947: A series of flying saucer stories started when a pilot reported seeing nine disc-shaped objects over Mount Rainier, Washington.

1948: Russia began the blockade of Berlin, stopping all land traffic between the capital and the west.

1952: US Air Force bombed hydro-electric plants in North Korea.

1953: The Honours of Scotland, Crown, Sword of State, and Sceptre, were carried in procession before the Queen on her first state visit to Scotland after her accession. It was the first occasion that the regalia had been borne in public since the visit of George IV to Edinburgh in 1822.

1970: Japanese students clashed with police in Tokyo in a huge demonstration against continuing United States-Japan security pact.

1971: The first tube of the second Mersey road tunnel, linking Liverpool to Birkenhead, was opened.

1989: British television series Thomas The Tank Engine won an Emmy Award in United States for outstanding direction.

1990: The Reverend Irene Templeton and the Reverend Kathleen Young became first women to be ordained as Anglican priests, at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.

1995: South Africa won the Rugby Union World Cup, beating New Zealand 15-12 in extra time.

2004: In New York state, capital punishment was declared unconstitutional.

2007: Gordon Brown vowed to deliver “power to the people” when he was confirmed as Labour Party leader at a party conference in Manchester, three days before taking over from Tony Blair as prime minister.

2010: John Isner of the United States defeated Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history.

BIRTHDAYS

Dame Elish Angiolini DBE, Glasgow-born former Lord Advocate 2006-11, 55; Jeff Beck, uitarist and composer, 71; Colin Blunstone, singer (The Zombies), 70; Stuart Broad, cricketer, 29; Anita Desai, novelist, 78; Mick Fleetwood, drummer, 68; Prof Betty Jackson CBE, fashion designer, 66; Minka Kelly, actress, 35; Glenn Medeiros, singer, 45; Lionel Messi, footballer, 28; Curt Smith, musician (Tears For Fears), 54; Sherry Stringfield, actress, 48; Betty Stöve, tennis player, 70; Peter Weller, actor, 68; Levi Roots, singer and chef, 57; Michele Lee, actress, 73/

ANNIVERSARIES

Births: 1532 Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; 1777 Sir John Ross, Arctic explorer; 1795 Ernst Heinrich Weber, physiologist and psychophysicist, founder of Weber’s Law; 1825 William Henry Smith, founder of bookselling chain and politician; 1850 Earl Kitchener, army commander, administrator and statesman; 1895 Jack Dempsey, world heavyweight boxing champion 1919-26; 1912 Mary Wesley, novelist; 1927 Bob Fosse, choreographer-director; 1930 Claude Chabrol, film director; 1932 Billy Casper, three-time Major golf champion; 1947 Clarissa Dickson Wright, barrister, cook and broadcaster.

Deaths: 1519 Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara; 1795 William Smellie, printer, author and naturalist; 1908 Grover Cleveland, United States Democrat president; 1964 Stuart Davis, abstract artist; 1972 Gene Austin, composer (on his 72nd birthday); 1985 Valentine Dyall, actor; 2014 Eli Wallach, actor.

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