On this day: Mikhail Gorbachev won Nobel Peace Prize

On this day in 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev became the first communist leader to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev became the first communist leader to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 15 October

1520: King Henry VIII order bowling alleys to be installed at the Palace of Whitehall.

1582: Many Catholic countries changed over to the Gregorian calendar and skipped ten days.

1705: The British fleet, under the command of Lord Peterborough, occupied Barcelona.

1756: The Saxon army surrendered to Prussia.

1783: The first manned balloon ascent took place when Pilatre de Rozier rose 84ft in a hot-air craft before it reached the end of its tether.

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte arrived on the island of St Helena to begin his exile.

1827: Charles Darwin was admitted to Christ’s College, Cambridge.

1839: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were betrothed. She proposed to him and confided to her diary: “It was a nervous thing to do, but Albert could not propose to the Queen of England. He would never have presumed to take such a liberty.”

1851: The Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace at London’s Hyde Park closed after five months.

1851: Gold was discovered in Melbourne, Australia.

1895: The first motor show in Britain was held at the Agricultural Showground, Tunbridge Wells.

1915: HMS Hawke was sunk off the east coast of Scotland by submarine action and more than 400 of her crew perished.

1917: Spy Mata Hari was executed by firing squad in Paris, having been found guilty of espionage for the Germans.

1924: US president Calvin Coolidge declared the Statue of Liberty a national monument.

1928: German dirigible Graf Zeppelin made first commercial flight across Atlantic, landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, US.

1928: The voting age for women was reduced from 30 to 21 in Britain, equal with men.

1940: A 500lb bomb hit Broadcasting House, London, killing seven people. Bruce Belfrage was reading the news at the time, and paused for only a second before continuing.

1940: The Great Dictator, a satirical movie starring charlie Chaplin, was released.

1945: Pierre Laval, French leader of Vichy government’s collaboration with the Germans, was executed for treason.

1962: King Olav V of Norway arrived in Edinburgh on first royal state visit to Scotland since the Union of the Crowns.

1964: Nikita Khrushchev was replaced as First Secretary of Communist Party in Soviet Union.

1987: A hurricane killed 18, destroyed millions of trees and caused estimated £300 million of damage to buildings, mainly in south-east England.

1990: Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

1990: In France, a man’s foot was reattached to his leg after being stitched to his arm for seven months - a first in plastic surgery.

1993: Nelson Mandela and South African president FW de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle apartheid.

1995: There were fresh demands for boxing to be banned after Scottish bantamweight champion James Murray died in hospital from injuries he received in a British title fight in Glasgow two days earlier.

2012: Hilary Mantel won the Man Booker Prize for her novel Bring Up The Bodies.


Sarah, Duchess of York, 56; Chris de Burgh, singer, 67; Richard Carpenter, singer, 69; Stephen Tompkinson, actor, 50; Dominic West, actor, 46; Michael Caton-Jones, Broxburn-born film director, 58; Jacky Montgomery, Scottish golf professional, 50; Michael Lewis, author and financial journalist, 55; William David Trimble, Baron Trimble, first minister of Northern Ireland 1998-2002, 71; Dougie Vipond, Scottish broadcaster and drummer (Deacon Blue), 49; Bobby Joe Morrow, Olympic gold medal-winning athlete, 80; Stewart Stevenson, MSP 2001 to 2011, 69.


Births: 70BC Virgil, poet; 1844 Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher and composer; 1872 Edith Wilson, US first lady; 1880 Marie Stopes, Edinburgh-born scientist and sex education reformer; 1887

Frederick Fleet, lookout on the Titanic who first spotted the iceberg.

Deaths: 1788 Samuel Greig, Scottish-born Russian admiral; 1917 Mata Hari, exotic dancer and spy; 1946 Hermann Goering, Nazi war criminal (suicide); 1964 Cole Porter, composer and lyricist; 1971 Sylvester Magee, last living former American slave; 2011 Betty Driver MBE, actress.