On this day: Mesa Redonda shopping centre fire

At least 291 people died when fire swept through the Mesa Redonda shopping centre in Lima. Picture: Getty
At least 291 people died when fire swept through the Mesa Redonda shopping centre in Lima. Picture: Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries.

29 DECEMBER

1170: Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights, apparently acting on orders of King Henry II.

1675: English parliament ordered closure of all coffee houses. It was believed they had become hotbeds of radicalism.

1860: Britain’s first ironclad warship, Warrior, launched.

1890: Battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the last major conflict between Native Americans and United States troops, took place.

1914: The first Zeppelin appeared over the British coast.

1921: US, Britain, France, Italy and Japan signed Washington treaty to limit naval armaments. It was renounced by Japan on the same day 13 years later.

1930: Radio Luxembourg began broadcasting.

1931: The discovery of heavy water (deuterium) announced by US chemist HC Urey.

1933: Jews protested over immigration restrictions in Palestine.

1940: Eight Christopher Wren churches and Guildhall, London, were destroyed when the Nazi Luftwaffe dropped 10,000 bombs.

1965: Independence for Bechuanaland was announced.

1972: Sixteen survivors from a crashed Uruguayan plane chartered by a rugby team en route to Montevideo, were rescued in the Andes. The crash happened on 13 October and it was revealed they survived by eating the flesh of dead companions.

1973: Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos ended his elected term and began to rule on basis of a takeover decree.

1986: Thousands of activists led by students from Peking Teachers’ University marched through the Chinese capital.

1989: Czechoslovakian parliament elected playwright Vaclav Havel as president.

1995: The Conservative MP Emma Nicholson defected to the Liberal Democrats, cutting prime minister John Major’s Commons majority to three.

2001: A fire at the Mesa Redonda shopping centre in Lima, Peru, killed at least 291.

2007: Thousands of tributes poured in after Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell collapsed and died on the pitch minutes before the end of his side’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Dundee United.

BIRTHDAYS

Marianne Faithfull, singer and actress, 68; Andrew Balding, racehorse trainer, 42; Ted Danson, actor, 67; Yvonne Elliman, singer, 63; Sir Bill Gammell, Scotland rugby player, chairman, Cairn Energy, 62; Jude Law, actor, 42; Mary Tyler Moore, actress, 78; Iain Paxton, rugby player and coach, 57; Jon Voight, actor, 76; Iain De Caestecker, Scottish actor, 27; Kei Nishikori, tennis player, 25; Dave Pelzer, author, 54; Fred MacAuley, Scottish comedian and radio presenter; Aled Jones MBE, singer, TV and radio broadcaster, 44; Allan McNish, Dumfries-born racing driver and commentator, 45; Jim Reid, Scottish singer (Jesus and Mary Chain), 53; Ray Thomas, musician and singer (the Moody Blues), 73.

ANNIVERSARIES

Births: 1766 Charles Macintosh, chemist and inventor of waterproof clothing; 1800 Charles Goodyear, pioneer of rubber vulcanising; 1809 William Ewart Gladstone, four times prime minister; 1947 Cozy Powell, drummer.

Deaths: 1894 Christina Rossetti, poet; 1926 Rainer Maria Rilke, poet; 1986 Harold Macmillan, first Earl of Stockton, former prime minister; 2003 Bob Monkhouse, comedian, actor and game show host; 2003 Dinsdale Landen, actor; 2012 Tony Greig, cricketer.