Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 15 May
Whitsunday term day, the second term of the Scottish year, next after Candlemas.
1501: The first book of music using movable type was printed by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
1567: Marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, and James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, at Holyroodhouse.
1602: Bartholomew Gosnold, navigator, discovered America’s Cape Cod.
1718: The world’s first machine-gun was patented by James Puckle, a London lawyer. It fred round and square bullets.
1767: Genoa sold island of Corsica to France.
1800: George III had two escapes from assassination in one day in London. The first was in Hyde Park when a bullet intended for him hit a man standing alongside, the second was at Drury Lane Theatre when, as the audience cheered him, two bullets missed his head and hit the panel behind. The assailant was James Hatfield, who was found to be insane.
1858: The present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (the third on the site) was opened.
1903: Edward VII inaugurated the first London electric tram.
1928: The Flying Doctor service began in Queensland, Australia.
1929: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave its first awards in Los Angeles for outstanding achievement by actors, directors, writers, etc. These were later to become known as Oscars.
1936: Amy Johnson arrived in England after a record-breaking 12-day, 15-hour flight from London to Cape Town and back.
1940: Nylon stockings went on sale in the United States. In the first eight hours, 72,000 pairs were sold in New York City alone.
1940: The Netherlands surrendered to Germany.
1941: Britain’s first jet-propelled aircraft, designed by Frank Whittle, flew for the first time at RAF Cranwell.
1948: New state of Israel was attacked by Egyptian planes and invaded in the north and east by troops from Lebanon and Transjordan.
1957: Britain dropped her first hydrogen bomb over Christmas Island in the South Pacific.
1960: Dr Theodore Maiman flashed a beam of pure light out of a solid ruby crystal in a research laboratory in Malibu and discovered the laser.
1971: Egyptians demonstrated in Cairo after president Anwar Sadat purged opponents from cabinet and emerged as new strongman.
1976: Iran approved friendship treaty with Iraq.
1982: SAS commandos raided Pebble Island base on the edge of Falklands archipelago, destroying Argentine aircraft.
1988: Soviet Union began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan after more than eight years of occupation.
1989: Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, in Peking, declared end to Sino-Soviet split.
1990: Thousands of Soviet soldiers tried to break into Latvia’s parliament in anti-independence demonstration.
1991: After a six-year ban for English football in Europe, Manchester United beat Barcelona to win the European Cup Winners Cup.
1991: Edith Cresson became France’s first female prime minister.
1993: Siege at a Paris nursery school ended when commandos shot dead a gunman holding six children and a teacher hostage.
Aly Bain MBE, Scottish fiddler, 68; Madeleine Albright, United States secretary of state 1997-2001, 77; Joseph Beltrami, solicitor, 82; Ted Dexter CBE, cricketer, 79; Brian Eno, musician (Roxy Music) and composer, 66; Trini Lopez, singer, 77; Andy Murray OBE, Scottish tennis champion, 27; Mike Oldfield, musician and composer (Tubular Bells), 61; Zara Phillips MBE, equestrian world champion, daughter of the Princess Royal, 33; Brad Rowe, actor, 44; Sir Peter Shaffer, British playwright, 88; Ralph Steadman, cartoonist and illustrator, 78; Greg Wise, actor, 48; Patrice Evra, Senegal-born French international footballer, 33.
Births: 1779 William Lamb (later Viscount Melbourne), statesman; 1856 Lyman Frank Baum, journalist and playwright (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz); 1859 Pierre Curie, scientist; 1887 Edwin Muir, poet and translator; 1890 Katherine Porter, author; 1914 Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, reached the summit of Everest with Sir Edmund Hilary in 1953; 1926 Anthony Shaffer, playwright; 1934 Sir John Keegan OBE, military historian.
Deaths:1164 Héloise, abbess and wife of Peter Abelard; 1740 Ephraim Chambers, encyclopaedist;1886 Emily Dickinson, poet; 1895 Joseph Whitaker, publisher who founded Whitaker’s Almanack in 1869; 1937 Philip Snowden, Labour statesman; 1967 Edward Hopper, artist; 1977 Herbert Wilcox, film producer; 1987 Rita Hayworth, film actress; 2001 Bobby Murdoch, Lisbon Lion footballer; 2008 Tommy Burns, football player and manager; 2012 John Murray, 11th Duke of Atholl.