EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries for 28 May
585BC: A timely total eclipse of the sun decided the Battle of Mesopotamia between Medes (now Iran) and Lydians (now Turkey). The blackened sky was read as a sign of God’s anger and an immediate truce was called.
1742: World’s first indoor swimming pool for the public opened in London. Entrance to the 43ft-long establishment in Lemon Street, Goodman’s Fields was one guinea.
1841: Seven ministers of the Presbytery of Strathbogie were deposed by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for obeying the civil rather than the ecclesiastical law.
1842: Britain’s first public library was opened in Frederick Street, Salford, Manchester.
1887: Seventy-three miners died in firedamp explosion at Udston Colliery, Lanarkshire.
1907: The first Isle of Man motor cycle TT race was held.
1919: Armenia declared its independence.
1931: Swiss professor Auguste Piccard and Charles Kipfer became first men to reach the stratosphere, ascending in their balloon to 52,462ft.
1934: The first Glyndebourne Festival of opera opened with Mozart’s Figaro.
1937: A National Government was formed under the leadership of Neville Chamberlain.
1951: Battersea Pleasure Gardens, built for the Festival of Britain, opened.
1967: Francis Chichester arrived back at Plymouth after sailing round the world single-handed in Gipsy Moth IV.
1982: Pope John Paul II arrived at Gatwick Airport – the first reigning Pope to visit Britain.
1982: A youth was jailed for 12 years for rape at the end of Scotland’s first private prosecution since 1909.
1982: Paratroopers recaptured Goose Green and Darwin in Falklands conflict, taking 1,400 Argentine prisoners. They lost 17 men, including Lieutenant-Colonel H Jones, commanding officer.
1987: Mathias Rust, a 19-year-old West German, flew his small aircraft through Soviet air space from Helsinki to Moscow, landing in Red Square.
1990: First all-woman crew to race round the world crossed the Whitbread Round the World Race Southampton finishing line in their yacht, Maiden.
1993: Nurse Beverley Allitt was given 13 life sentences for murdering four children and attacking others in her care.
1995: Serb forces took hostage more than 350 United Nations peace-keeping personnel, including 33 Britons, and used them as human shields against attacks on their weapon supplies.
2002: The Mars Odyssey found signs of large ice deposits on Mars.
Kylie Minogue, pop singer and actress, 45; David Baddiel, comedian, novelist and television presenter, 49; Carroll Baker, actress, 82; Jesse Bradford, actor, 34; Faith Brown, comedienne and impressionist, 69; Michelle Collins, actress, 50; Roland Gift, singer (Fine Young Cannibals) and actor, 51; Rudolph Giuliani, mayor of New York 1994-2001, 69; Gladys Knight, singer-songwriter, 69.
Births: 1738 Joseph Guillotin, French physician who advocated use of beheading machine; 1759 William Pitt the Younger, prime minister; 1908 Ian Fleming, novelist who created “James Bond”; 1911 Dame Thora Hird, actress.
Deaths: 1805 Luigi Boccherini, composer; 1843 Noah Webster, lexicographer and originator of Webster’s Dictionary in 1828; 1972 Duke of Windsor, the abdicated King Edward VIII; 1984 Eric Morecambe, comedian.