On this day: NHS created | Nelson Mandela

The National Health Service was introduced in 1948. Picture: TSPL
The National Health Service was introduced in 1948. Picture: TSPL
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EVENTS, anniversaries and birthdays for 5 July

National day of Venezuela.

1530: John Armstrong of Gilnockie, a Border reiver, and 50 of his men, were hanged for blackmail by James V at Carlanrig.

1695: Scottish Parliament established a General Post Office.

1811: Venezuela became first South American country to declare independence from Spain.

1817: Sovereigns were first issued as coins in Britain.

1865: The Locomotives and Highway Act stipulated that the speed limit for road vehicles in Britain should be 4mph in the country, 2mph in towns. One person drove, one stoked the engine, a third walked 60 yards ahead with a red flag. The act became known as The Red Flag Act and lasted 31 years.

1924: The eighth Olympic Games opened in Paris.

1943: German offensive on Soviet front began with Battle of Kursk.

1946: Bikini swimwear, designed by Louis Reard, was first modelled, at Paris fashion show. It was named after the Bikini Atoll where an atomic bomb had been exploded four days earlier.

1948: Clement Attlee’s Labour government introduced the National Health Service.

1955: Western European Union’s first assembly opened in Strasbourg.

1965: Opera star Maria Callas gave her last stage performance – in Tosca – at Covent Garden, at 41.

1975: Arthur Ashe became the first black tennis player to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title.

1977: Pakistan army seized power in coup that unseated prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

1991: Bank of England closed down Bank of Credit and Commerce International, as evidence emerged of biggest fraud in banking history.

1991: Nelson Mandela named president of African National Congress.

1993: Christine Witcutt, of Edinburgh, a British aid worker in Bosnia, was shot dead by a sniper while driving in a relief convoy near Sarajevo.

1999: US president Bill Clinton imposed trade and economic sanctions against the Taleban regime in Afghanistan.

2009: The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered, consisting of more than 1,500 items, was found near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire.


Edie Falco, (Carmela Soprano, Nurse Jackie) actress, 50; Matthias Bamert, Swiss conductor, 71; Gary Callander, rugby player, 54; Mark Cox, tennis player and coach, 70; Susannah Doyle, actress, 47; Elizabeth Emanuel, fashion designer, 60; Shane Filan, pop singer (Westlife), 34; John Frieda, hairdresser, 62; Huey Lewis, rock singer, 63; Amélie Mauresmo, tennis player, 33; Maggie Moone, singer, 60; Michael O’Neill, Northern Irish footballer, 44; Robbie Robertson, rock musician and songwriter, 70; Sir Paul Smith CBE, fashion designer, 67; Nicola Stephenson, actress, 42; Gianfranco Zola, Italian footballer and manager, 47.


Births: 1752 Luke Hansard, printer of reports of parliamentary debates; 1853 Cecil Rhodes, administrator, financier and central Africa pioneer; 1889 Jean Cocteau, French poet, author and film-maker; 1911 Georges Pompidou, French president.

Deaths: 1974 Georgette Heyer, novelist; 1998 Johnny Speight, scriptwriter (Till Death Us Do Part); 1998 Danny Kyle, folk singer and broadcaster; 1998 Roy Rogers (Leonard Franklin), Hollywood cowboy star.