Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 March
National day of Pakistan.
1695: Window Tax imposed in England.
1765: The Stamp Act, intended for taxing colonists in America, was passed in Parliament.
1775: US statesman Patrick Henry made plea for American freedom from Britain, declaring: “Give me liberty or give me death.”
1841: Britain’s first photographic portrait studio opened, at the Royal Polytechnic Institution.
1848: Free Church of Scotland settlement established at New Edinburgh, later Dunedin, New Zealand, under the Rev Thomas Burns, nephew of the poet.
1866: First national athletic championships staged by Amateur Athletic Club at Beaufort House, Walham Green, London.
1891: Goal nets, the invention of JA Brodie of Liverpool, used for the first time in an FA Cup Final.
1918: Magician Choo Ling Soo was killed on stage at the Empire Theatre, London. His act was to catch rifle bullets ostensibly fired at him by his woman assistant. He was shot dead when his trick gun went wrong.
1918: Lithuania proclaimed its independence.
1919: The Fascist Party was founded by Benito Mussolini in Milan.
1933: German Reichstag granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers until April, 1937.
1936: Italy, Soviet Union and Hungary signed defence treaty.
1956: The foundation stone of Coventry Cathedral was laid by the Queen.
1956: Pakistan was proclaimed an Islamic republic within the Commonwealth.
1962: World’s first nuclear– powered merchant ship, Savannah, was launched in New Jersey.
1965: United States spacecraft Gemini 3 was launched, with Virgil Grissom and John Young on board.
1966: A Pope and an Archbishop of Canterbury met for the first time in 400 years.
1987: Willy Brandt resigned as chairman of Germany’s Social Democratic Party after 23 years.
1988: United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn United States move to shut mission of Palestine Liberation Organisation.
1989: The Prince of Wales’s first winning racehorse, Devil’s Elbow, was disqualified by the Jockey Club for failing a dope test.
1992: A woman attacked Margaret Thatcher with a bunch of daffodils during an election walkabout in Cheshire.
1995: Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona was jailed for two weeks (later reduced to 120 hours community service) for assaulting a fan at Crystal Palace.
2001: The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.
2010: It was revealed that the St James Centre in Edinburgh would close for up to four years to make way for an £850 million development.
Chaka Khan, singer, 62; Damon Albarn, British pop singer (Blur), 47; Mike Atherton, former England cricket captain 1993-98, broadcaster and journalist, 47; Norman Bailey, British baritone, 82; Sir Roger Bannister CBE, neurologist, world’s first sub four-minute miler (1954), 86; Alan Bleasdale, British playwright, 69; Barry Cryer OBE, British writer and comedian, 80; Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, Irish civil rights leader, 68; Sir Chris Hoy MBE, triple Olympic cycling gold medallist 2008, 39; Chaka Khan, singer, 62; Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor, 24th Chief of Clan Gregor, writer, 56; Michael Nyman CBE, British composer, 71; Marti Pellow, Clydebank-born singer (Wet Wet Wet), 50; Amanda Plummer, American actress, 58; Sir Steven Redgrave CBE, five-times Olympic gold medallist oarsman, 53; Princess Eugenie of York, 25;
Births: 1769 William Smith, engineer, surveyor, recognised as founder of British geology; 1860 Horatio Bottomley, journalist and swindler; 1876 Sir Muirhead Bone, Glasgow-born watercolourist, etcher and war artist; 1887 Juan Gris, pioneer of Cubism; 1908 Joan Crawford, film actress and dancer; 1912 Wernher von Braun, pioneer of rocketry; 1920 Jimmy Edwards, comic actor; 1921 Donald Campbell, land and water speed record holder.
Deaths: 1801: Tsar Paul I, assassinated; 1842 Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle), novelist; 1921 EW Hornung, novelist and creator of Raffles, the “gentleman burglar”; 1945 Steve Donoghue, champion jockey; 1964 Peter Lorre, film actor; 1981 Field Marshal Sir Claude John Auchinleck; 1985 Lord Beeching, reorganiser of British Rail; 1992 Friedrich von Hayek, economist; 1995 Davie Cooper, Scotland and Rangers football player; 2002 Ben Hollioake, England cricketer (car crash); 2011 Dame Elizabeth Taylor DBE, film actress; 2011 Fred Titmus, cricketer.