EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on February 21.
1795: Dutch surrendered Indian Ocean island of Ceylon to British.
1804: A self-powered railway locomotive was demonstrated in Wales by Richard Trevithick.
1849: British forces defeated Sikhs at Gujerat in India.
1901: First republic of Cuba was founded.
1916: Battle of Verdun in France began, the longest and bloodiest battle of the First World War, with more than one million killed before Petain achieved victory in June.
1921: Premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s film The Kid.
1922: British protectorate in Egypt ended.
1931: Leon Trotsky was stripped of Soviet citizenship.
1943: King George VI awarded Sword of Honour to Soviets for defence of Stalingrad.
1951: Canberra, Britain’s first jet bomber, crossed the Atlantic to Canada in four hours 40 minutes.
1952: Identity cards were abolished in Britain.
1956: The Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme for enterprising young people was inaugurated.
1965: Malcolm X, the American black Islamic militant leader, was murdered in New York, while making a speech.
1963: Soviet Union warned US that an American attack on Cuba would mean world war.
1972: US president Richard Nixon arrived in China on historic visit.
1973: Israel shot down a Libyan airliner, killing 74 people, for failing to land after it overflew an Israeli military airfield in the Sinai.
1975: Thirty-two-member United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in Geneva, accused Israel of violating “basic norms of international law” in Arab territories it occupied.
1975: John Ehrlichman, HR Haldeman and John Mitchell were sentenced in United States after the Watergate affair.
1986: South Africa government opened “whites only” districts of Johannesburg and Durban to all races – the first break with apartheid policy of segregated business areas.
1988: The grave of Boadicea, the warrior queen who fought the Romans in Britain nearly 2,000 years ago, was located by archaeologists under Platform 8 at King’s Cross railway station, London.
1989: Britons were warned by the Foreign Office not to travel to Iran unless it was absolutely necessary.
1991: Government accused by Commons select committee of “seriously misleading” MPs over grants of £38 million “sweeteners” during sale of £150 million Rover Group to British Aerospace in 1988.
1992: US Navy said its official farewell to the Holy Loch submarine base.
1994: MPs voted to reduce the age of consent for homosexuals from 21 to 18, rejecting an amendment to reduce the age limit to 16.
1995: Andrew Wilson survived for 62 hours in the snow after getting lost while skiing at Glenshee, Perthshire.
1997: Three men jailed for the murder of paperboy Carl Bridgewater walked free after serving nearly 19 years in prison when the Court of Appeal in London quashed their convictions, which it said were “unsafe”.
2002: Over five million television viewers in Britain watched the all-Scots curling team of Rhona Martin, Fiona Macdonald, Janice Rankin, Debbie Knox and Margot Morton win the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Britain’s first gold for 18 years.
Alan Rickman, actor, 60; William Baldwin, actor, 52; Kirsty Balfour, Edinburgh-born swimmer, 31; Maurice Bembridge, golfer, 70; James Dean Bradfield, singer (Manic Street Preachers), 46; Mary Chapin Carpenter, singer and songwriter, 57; Charlotte Church, singer, 29; Jilly Cooper OBE, novelist, 78; Tyne Daly, actress (Cagney & Lacey), 69; Hubert de Givenchy, fashion designer, 88; Kelsey Grammer, actor, 60; Ffion Hague, 47; Jennifer Love Hewitt, actress, 36; Magnus Linklater CBE, journalist, chairman, Scottish Arts Council 1996-2001, editor, The Scotsman 1988-94, 73; Ellen Page, actress, 28; David Wood OBE, actor and playwright, 71.
Births: 1728 Peter III, Tsar of Russia; 1836 Léo Delibes, composer; 1859 George Lansbury, Labour leader and founder of Daily Herald; 1907 WH Auden, poet; 1910 Sir Douglas Bader, Battle of Britain fighter ace who used artificial legs; 1933 Nina Simone, singer.
Deaths: 1437 James I, King of Scotland (murdered in the Dominican Friary at Perth); 1741 Jethro Tull, agricultural pioneer and inventor; 1851 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author; 1938 George Ellery Hale, astronomer; 1958 Duncan Edwards, footballer (from injuries received in Munich air crash 15 days earlier); 1987 Andy Warhol, artist; 1991 Dame Margot Fonteyn, prima ballerina; 2002 John Thaw, actor; 2013 Bruce Millan, MP 1959-88, Secretary of State for Scotland 1976-79.