Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 30 April
National day of Netherlands.
1772: The dial weighing machine was patented by John Clais.
1789: George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States.
1803: US purchased Louisiana from France for less than three cents an acre.
1804: Shrapnel was first used in warfare, by the British against the Dutch in Surinam.
1891: An Comunn Gàidhealach was formally instituted.
1900: Casey Jones, American driver of the Cannonball, died at the throttle of his engine slowing down the train to save the passengers’ lives. His courageous deed inspired a song that earned the composers $250,000.
1906: For ease of identification, numbers were given to bus routes in London.
1938: The cup final from Wembley, shown on the BBC, was the first football match to be televised live in Britain.
1944: The first of 500,000 prefabricated homes (prefabs) went on show in London.
1945: German Führer Adolf Hitler shot himself in his underground bunker beneath the chancellery in Berlin. Eva Braun, who he had married the previous day, died beside him by taking a cyanide pill.
1964: BBC2 began transmission, introduced by Gerald Priestman.
1966: First regular cross-Channel hovercraft service was started between Ramsgate and Calais.
1972: Brighton Belle luxury express made its last journey from Victoria, London, to the south coast.
1973: Four of president Richard Nixon’s aides resigned in Watergate affair.
1975: The Vietnamese War – the longest conflict in the 20th century – ended.
1979: Prince Charles opened London’s Jubilee Underground Line, running from Charing Cross to Stanmore.
1980: Queen Juliana abdicated as Queen of the Netherlands in favour of her daughter Beatrix.
1980: Armed terrorists took 20 hostages in Iranian Embassy in London and threatened to blow it up if their demands were not met.
1982: US backed Britain over Falklands crisis.
1982: United Nations Law of the Sea Conference adopted convention to govern the use and exploitation of seas and seabeds.
1986: Soviet Union admitted that a nuclear reactor was ablaze at Chernobyl – four days after the event.
1990: Ten airmen were killed when RAF Shackleton plunged into hillside on Harris.
1990: The Commons rejected a national dog registration scheme.
1990: American hostage Frank Reed was released in west Beirut after three years six months in captivity.
1992: The death toll in the Los Angeles riots stood at 58 with hundreds more injured and scores of buildings and shops destroyed.
1993: While playing in a tournament in Germany tennis star Monica Seles was stabbed by a spectator claiming to be a Steffi Graf fan.
1995: Stephen Hendry won the Embassy World Snooker Championship for the fourth time in a row, his fifth triumph in six years, beating Nigel Bond.
1999: A neo-fascist group, the White Wolves, claimed responsibility after a nail-bomb killed three people and injured more than 130 others in a gay pub in London’s Soho.
2004: United States media released graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
Kirsten Dunst, actress, 32; Jane Campion, film director, 60; Dickie Davies, television sports presenter, 81; Leslie Grantham, actor, 67; King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden, 68; Tony Harrison, poet, 77; Willie Nelson, American country singer, 81; Emma Pierson, actress, 33; Baron Sanderson of Bowden, chairman, Scottish Conservative Party 1990-93, 81; Bobby Vee, American singer, 71; Burt Young, actor, 74; Dianna Agron, actress, 28; Stephen Harper, Canadian prime minister, 55.
Births: 1662 Queen Mary II, wife of William III; 1723 Mathurin Jacques Brisson, zoologist; 1822 Hannibal Goodwin, Episcopalian minister, pioneer of celluloid roll film; 1870 Franz Lehár, composer (The Merry Widow); 1883 Jaroslav Hasek, author (The Good Soldier Schweik); 1893 Joachim von Ribbentrop, politician; 1926 Janey Buchan, Glasgow-born MEP 1979-94; 1944 Jill Clayburgh, actress.
Deaths: 1883 Édouard Manet, Impressionist painter; 1912 Wilbur Wright, aviation pioneer; 1936 Alfred Housman, poet and scholar; 1941 Edwin Porter, film director; 1943 Beatrice Webb, writer and socialist; 1945 Adolf Hitler, Nazi dictator; 1972 Gia Scala, actress; 1985 Sir Max Aitken, newspaper publisher; 2009 Maurice Lindsay, Glasgow-born broadcaster, writer and poet.