On this day: Queen unveils memorial to JFK

Jacqueline Kennedy attends the inauguration of a memorial to her husband John F. Kennedy in Runnymede, Surrey. Picture: Getty Images
Jacqueline Kennedy attends the inauguration of a memorial to her husband John F. Kennedy in Runnymede, Surrey. Picture: Getty Images
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on May 14th

1610: François Ravaillac, a fanatic, assassinated France’s King Henry IV, who was succeeded by Louis XIII, aged nine, with Maria de Medici, the Queen Mother, as Regent.

1643: Louis XIV ascended the French throne, aged four years 231 days, on the death of his father Louis XIII and reigned for more than 72 years.

1660: Charles II proclaimed restored king at Edinburgh.

1754: The Society of St Andrews Golfers was constituted, and became (in 1834) the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.

1791: British under Lord Cornwallis overthrew Tippoo of Mysore at Seringapatam in India.

1796: Edward Jenner made his first vaccination against smallpox, and laid the foundation for modern immunology.

1867: Diamonds were first discovered in South Africa.

1878: Robert A Chesebrough, British-born chemist and inventor of petroleum jelly, patented as Vaseline.

1912: The Royal Flying Corps was established.

1921: The British Legion was founded in London by Earl Haig. It became the Royal British Legion in 1971.

1921: Fascists gained in Italian elections.

1931: Interest rate cut by Bank of England to 2.5 per cent in financial crisis.

1940: Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for War, broadcast an appeal to all men between 17 and 60 who could hold a rifle to enrol as Local Defence Volunteers (later called Home Guard) to oppose landings in Britain by German parachute troops. Some 400,000 joined in the first week.

1948: British mandate in Palestine ended, and an independent Jewish state of Israel was established with Chaim Weizmann as president and David Ben-Gurion as premier; Arab Legion of Transjordan invaded Palestine and entered Jerusalem.

1951: New law removed Coloured (mixed race) people from voting registers in South Africa.

1964: Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev opened Aswan Dam in Egypt.

1965: The Queen unveiled a memorial to the late president John F Kennedy at Runnymede.

1972: Okinawa reverted to Japan after 27 years under United States jurisdiction.

1973: America’s Skylab I was launched, returning to Earth on 11 July, 1979, after 34,981 orbits, where it disintegrated on impact with the atmosphere.

1975: United States announced that marines had recaptured by force the United States merchant ship Mayaguez which had been seized by Cambodians, and that US planes destroyed three Cambodian naval vessels.

1990: Gordon Wilson quit as leader of Scottish National Party.

1991: Mao Tse-Tung’s widow, Jiang Qing, Gang of Four member, committed suicide in Peking. Chinese kept her death secret until 4 June.

2005: The former USS America, a decommissioned supercarrier of the United States Navy, was deliberately sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after four weeks of live-fire exercises. She was the largest ship ever to be disposed of as a target in a military exercise.

2014: An Iron Age village and a host of ancient artefacts, including tools and jewellery dating back 9,000 years, were discovered during the construction of the A75 Dunragit bypass in Wigtownshire.

BIRTHDAYS

David Byrne, Dumbarton-born musician (Talking Heads), 63; Francesca Annis, actress, 70; Natalie Appleton, singer (All Saints), 42; Cate Blanchett, actress, 46; Hazel Blears, Labour politician, 59; Sir Chay Blyth CBE, Scottish yachtsman, 75; Sofia Coppola, director and producer, 44; George Lucas, film director and producer, 71; Sir George Mathewson, chairman, Royal Bank of Scotland Group 2001-06, 75; Frank Nobilo, golfer, 55; Siân Phillips CBE, actress, 82; Tim Roth, actor, 54; Tony Stanger, Scottish rugby player, 47; Olly Murs, singer-songwriter, 32; Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, 31; Martine McCutcheon, singer and actress, 39.

ANNIVERSARIES

Births: 1686 Gabriel Fahrenheit, physicist and inventor of mercury thermometer; 1727 Thomas Gainsborough, landscape and portrait painter; 1771 Robert Owen, Welsh industrialist and social reformer; 1771 Thomas Wedgewood, physicist; 1926 Eric Morecambe, comedian; 1943 Jack Bruce, Bishopbriggs-born rock musician (Cream).

Deaths: 1812 Duncan MacIntyre (Donnchadh Ban), gamekeeper, soldier, Gaelic poet; 1881 Mary Seacole, Jamaican nurse heroine of the Crimea War; 1912 August Strindberg, playwright; 1919 Henry John Heinz, food manufacturer; 1925 Sir Rider Haggard, novelist; 1936 Viscount Allenby, army commander in Palestine; 1979 Jean Rhys, novelist; 1998 Frank Sinatra, singer and actor; 2003 Dame Wendy Hiller, actress.