Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 21 October
Close season for killing of stags begins
1520: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his fleet entered the strait separating the southern tip of South America from Tierra del Fuego. It would be named the Magellan Strait.
1555: English parliament refused to recognise Philip of Spain as king.
1805: Battle of Trafalgar in which Lord Nelson defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets, preventing a French invasion.
1854: Florence Nightingale was despatched, along with a team of 38 nurses, to the Crimean War.
1858: The Can-Can was first performed in Offenbach’s Orpheus In The Underworld, in Paris.
1879: The first effective electric light bulb worked for 14hr 30min. It was invented by Thomas Edison of New Jersey.
1918: The “Spanish flu” epidemic started in Britain, eventually killing approximately twice as many people as were killed in the First World War.
1940: Purchase tax introduced in Britain.
1948: A KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Constellation, flying from Amsterdam to New York, crashed in poor visibility near Tarbolton as it tried to land at Prestwick, with the loss of 39 lives. One passenger survived.
1950: Chinese forces occupied Tibet.
1950: The death penalty was abolished in Belgium.
1952: Britain declared state of emergency in Kenya as Mau Mau guerilla activity intensified. More than 2,000 terrorism suspects were rounded up and Jomo Kenyatta, president of the Kenyan African Union, was arrested.
1958: First women peers were introduced to the House of Lords.
1959: The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in New York.
1960: Britain’s first nuclear-powered submarine, Dreadnought, was launched at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria on Trafalgar Day by Queen Elizabeth II.
1966: A colliery slag tip slid down the side of a hill and engulfed houses, a farm, and a school in the Welsh mining village of Aberfan, killing 144 people, 116 of them children.
1967: Israeli destroyer Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missiles.
1969: Willy Brandt was elected chancellor of West Germany.
1971: A gas explosion tore apart the centre of a block of 26 shops at Clarkston, Glasgow, killing 20 and injuring 105.
1980: Mikhail Gorbachev was elected as a full member of the Soviet Union’s Politburo.
1990: Edward Heath met Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who promised to release some of his “human shield” hostages.
1991: Jesse Turner, an American hostage, was freed in Beirut after nearly five years in captivity.
1993: Garry Kasparov beat Nigel Short by 12.5 matches to 7.5 in their unofficial world chess championship encounter.
1996: It was announced that the Stone of Destiny would be housed in the Crown Room at Edinburgh Castle when it was returned on St Andrew’s Day.
1997: Candle In The Wind, Elton John’s tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, became the world’s all-time best-selling single.
2014: Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Geoff Boycott OBE, cricketer and commentator, 75; David Campese, rugby player, 53; Julian Cope, rock musician and writer, 58; Maureen Duffy, poet, playwright and novelist, 82; Carrie Fisher, actress, novelist, screenwriter, 59; Peter Mandelson, Baron Mandelson PC, 62; Manfred Mann, rock band leader, 75; Kim Kardashian, media personality, 35; Judith Sheindlin, lawyer and TV personality (Judge Judy), 73; Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, 66; Paul Ince, football manager and former player, 48; Eric Faulkner, Edinburgh-born musician (Bay City Rollers), 62; Tom Everett, actor, 67.
Births: 1772 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet; 1788 George Cooke, Edinburgh-born phrenologist; 1833 Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist and inventor of dynamite in 1867, founder of Nobel prizes; 1917 Dizzy Gillespie, jazz trumpeter and composer; 1926 Leonard Rossiter, actor.
Deaths: 1805 Lord Nelson, naval hero; 1969 Jack Kerouac, poet and novelist; 1984 François Truffaut, film director, producer, actor; 1993 James Leo Herlihy, novelist (Midnight Cowboy); 2014 Gough Whitlam, Australian prime minister 1972-1975.