On this day: Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 opened

Heathrow's Terminal 5 opened for business ' only to find the baggage handling system hardly worked. Picture: Getty
Heathrow's Terminal 5 opened for business ' only to find the baggage handling system hardly worked. Picture: Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on March 27.

1703: Russia’s Czar, Peter the Great, founded city of St Petersburg.

1713: Spain agreed at Utrecht to cede Gibraltar and Minorca to Britain.

1802: Peace of Amiens between Britain and France, which achieved complete pacification of Europe.

1854: France declared war on Russia.

1871: The first rugby international was played, Scotland defeating England in Edinburgh.

1914: The first citrated blood transfusion was given in a Brussels hospital. Citrate, introduced by a Belgian surgeon, A Hustin, enabled blood to be bottled without clotting.

1942: British commandos made a dawn raid on the French port of St Nazaire, in which an old destroyer, the Campbeltown, full of explosives, rammed the main dock gate and put it out of action for the rest of the war.

1943: Aircraft carrier HMS Dasher blew up and sank off Arran, with the loss of more than 350 crew members. There were 149 survivors.

1960: Iraqi premier General Kassem founded Palestine army.

1961: Britain’s first women traffic wardens went on duty in Leicester.

1964: Earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale struck Alaska, claiming 118 lives.

1966: World Cup football trophy, which had been stolen from Central Hall, Westminster, on 20 March, was found under a hedge in a south-east London garden by a man walking his dog.

1970: Severe earthquake struck western Turkey, killing at least 1,087 and leaving 90,000 homeless.

1977: Two aircraft collided and exploded in fog on airstrip at Los Rodeos Airport at Tenerife, Canary Islands, with 582 deaths.

1991: Commandos stormed a Singapore Airlines jet, killing four Pakistani hijackers who had threatened to set fire to the aircraft and its 120 passengers.

1992: Rosemary Aberdour – self-styled “Lady Aberdour” – was jailed for four years at the Old Bailey for stealing £2.7 million from a hospital charity.

1994: The Eurofighter took its first flight in Manching, Germany.

1995: President Nelson Mandela dismissed his estranged wife Winnie from South Africa’s government.

1998: The Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence.

2004: HMS Scylla, a decommissioned Leander class frigate, was sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall.

2007: Police in Scotland revealed that there were 17 race-hate crimes in the country each day.

2008: The first day of operations at Heathrow Airport’s new £4.3 billion Terminal 5 descended into farce when flights were cancelled due to a series of problems including faulty lifts, broken escalators and the complete collapse of the baggage system.

2009: The rare 29-year-old whisky Port Ellen, which comes from an abandoned distillery in Islay that has been closed for 26 years, won the award for the world’s best single malt.

2009: A school near Aberdeen banned children from taking Easter eggs in due to fears over allergies.


David Coulthard MBE, Scottish Formula 1 driver and television presenter, 44; Tony Banks, musician (Genesis), 65; Mariah Carey, singer and actress, 45; Maria Ewing, opera singer, 65; Fergie, pop singer (The Black Eyed Peas), 40; Neil Finn OBE, singer (Crowded House), 57; Keith Flint, singer (The Prodigy), 46; Julian Glover CBE, actor, 80; Duncan Goodhew MBE, gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer, 58; Patrick McCabe, novelist, 60; Admiral Sir Jock Slater, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff 1995-98, 77; Talisa Soto, actress, 48; Quentin Tarantino, director, 52; Daphne Todd OBE, portrait painter, 68; Michael York OBE, actor, 73.


Births: 1746 Michael Bruce, Kinrosshire-born poet; 1845 Wilhelm von Röntgen, discoverer of X-rays; 1863 Sir Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce motor company; 1894 Dashiell Hammett, writer; 1898 Gloria Swanson, film actress; 1902 Mary Armour, artist; 1912 Lord Callaghan of Cardiff, Labour Prime Minister 1976-79; 1924 Sarah Vaughan, jazz singer; 1927 Mstislav Rostropovich, cellist and conductor; 1952 Maria Schneider, actress.

Deaths: 1625 King James VI and I; 1889 John Bright, radical statesman and reformer; 1923 Sir James Dewar, physicist who invented vacuum flask; Yuri Gagarin, Russian astronaut, who was the first man in space; 1975 Sir Arthur Bliss, composer and Master of the Queen’s Music; 2000 Ian Dury, singer, songwriter; 2001 Sir Kenneth Alexander, Chancellor, Aberdeen University 1986-96; 2001 Irene Thomas, broadcaster; 2002 Dudley Moore, actor and musician; 2011 Farley Granger, actor; 2011 H R F Keating, crime novelist.