On this day: Group of Dead Sea Scrolls discovered

A scholar at work on the Dead Sea Scrolls, many of which were discovered on this day in 1947. Picture: Getty
A scholar at work on the Dead Sea Scrolls, many of which were discovered on this day in 1947. Picture: Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on February 7.

1301: The first Prince of Wales was created – England’s future Edward II.

1793: Austria and Prussia signed alliance against France.

1905: The world’s laziest man died in Bristol, aged 82. Tom Oaksby never worked, never walked further than the nearest pub, and spent 47 years in bed.

1912: The ice-cream cornet was introduced in Britain.

1920: Admiral Alexander Kolchak was executed by Soviet Communists.

1922: Foot-and-mouth disease swept through Britain.

1928: An amended version of the Book Of Common Prayer was approved by the Church of England. It included sexual equality in the wedding service.

1940: Walt Disney’s Pinocchio had its world premiere.

1941: The British captured Benghazi.

1944: German forces began offensive against the Anzio bridgehead in Italy.

1947: British proposal for dividing Palestine into Arab and Jewish zones with administration as trusteeship was rejected by Arabs and Jews.

1947: Main group of Dead Sea Scrolls discovered.

1962: Coal mine explosion in Saarbruecken, Germany, killed 298 miners.

1969: Nigerian planes bombed and strafed crowded market in village in secessionist Biafra, killing more than 200 people.

1971: US Apollo 14 astronauts sped toward splashdown in Pacific Ocean after their visit to the Moon.

1976: Two women made sporting history: Joan Bazely became the first woman football referee of an all-male match at Croydon, and Diana Thorne became the first woman jockey to win under National Hunt Rules on Ben Ruler at Stratford.

1984: Bruce McCandless, from Challenger, became the first person to walk in space without being attached to his space craft.

1986: Haiti’s president-for-life, Jean-Claude Duvalier, went into exile, ending a 29-year family dynasty in the Caribbean republic.

1986: Linda Chamberlain, the mother convicted in the “dingo baby” case, was freed in Australia when new evidence emerged to support her innocence.

1988: Panamanian General Manuel Antonio Noriega said drug charges levelled against him in the United States were false.

1989: The River Ness burst its banks, flooding parts of Inverness and wrecking the 127-year-old railway bridge over the river.

1990: In the USSR, the Central Committee agreed to end the communists’ monopoly on power.

1991: The IRA launched a mortar bomb attack on 10 Downing Street from a van in Whitehall. One of the bombs blasted a hole in the back garden, shattering the window of the room in which John Major and his war cabinet were meeting. No-one was hurt.

1992: German sprinter Katrin Krabbe, world champion at 100m and 200m, was suspended after a drugs test.

1995: Allan Stewart resigned as Scottish Officer industry minister over a pick-axe incident with M77 protesters.

1999: Crown Prince Abdullah became the King of Jordan on the death of his father, King Hussein.

2008: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Doctor Rowan Williams, faced demands for his resignation after calling for parts of Islamic law, or sharia, including aspects of marriage and financial laws, to be introduced in Britain.

2009: Bushfires in Victoria, Australia, caused more than 200 deaths.

Birthdays

Eddie Izzard, actor and comedian, 53; Garth Brooks, country music singer, 53; Stuart Burrows OBE, British tenor, 82; Gerald Davies CBE, Welsh rugby player, 70; Ian Jack, Scottish editor of Granta 1995-2007, 70; Peter Jay, writer and broadcaster, 78; Ashton Kutcher, actor, 37; Alan Lancaster, rock instrumentalist (Status Quo), 66; Chris Rock, comedian and actor, 50; James Spader, actor, 55.

Anniversaries

Births: 1478 Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII; 1812 Charles Dickens, novelist; 1847 Ernst Frank, composer and conductor; 1849 William Hurrell Mallock, author; 1870 Alfred Adler, Austrian pioneer in psychiatry; 1883 James Hubert (“Eubie”) Blake, American pianist and songwriter (I’m Just Wild About Harry); 1885 Sinclair Lewis, American novelist; 1912 Sir George Russell Drysdale, artist; 1946 Pete Postlethwaite OBE, British actor; 1923 George Henry Hubert Lascelles KBE, 7th Earl of Harewood, artistic director of the Edinburgh Festival 1961-65; 1923 Dora Bryan OBE, British actress.

Deaths: 1878 Pope Pius IX, after 31-year reign; 1894 Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone; 1954 Maxwell Bodenheim, novelist and poet; 1959 Daniel Malan, South African prime minister and creator of apartheid; 1993 Joseph Mankiewicz, film director and writer; 1998 Carl Wilson, guitarist and singer (The Beach Boys); 2004 Norman Thelwell, cartoonist and illustrator.