Events, birthdays and anniversaries for the 24th of May
1738: John Wesley first attended evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral, then went on to a meeting at Aldersgate where he experienced his conversion – the start of Wesley’s Methodism.
1809: Dartmoor Prison was opened to house French prisoners of war – from 1850 it was used for convicts.
1844: The first telegraphic message in Morse code, “What hath God wrought”, was sent from Washington to Baltimore by its inventor, Samuel Morse.
1862: Westminster Bridge, London, was opened.
1883: New York’s Brooklyn Bridge was opened.
1902: Empire Day was first celebrated in Britain.
1916: Conscription began in Britain.
1930: Amy Johnson became the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia.
1941: Battle cruiser HMS Hood was sunk by the Bismarck 13 miles off the coast of Greenland. Only three of her 1,421 crew survived.
1956: The first Eurovision Song Contest was won by host country Switzerland.
1959: Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day.
1962: London conference of Barbados, Windward and Leeward Islands ended with proposals of “Little Eight” to form new West Indies federation.
1964: 301 spectators died at football stadium in Lima in panic after police used tear gas to stop a riot which broke out when referee disallowed a goal by Peru against Argentina.
1969: The Black And White Minstrel Show, at London’s Victoria Palace, closed after 4,354 performances in seven years, to become the longest-running musical show in Britain.
1972: Spaghetti Junction, the most complex interchange on the British road system, was opened at Gravelly Hill, Birmingham.
1972: Rangers won the European Cup-winners’ Cup by beating Dynamo Moscow 3-2 in Barcelona.
1976: Supersonic Concorde jets began regular flights from London and Paris to Dulles International Airport near Washington.
1978: Princess Margaret’s 18-year marriage to Lord Snowdon was ended on the grounds of two years’ separation.
1981: Ecuador’s President Jaime Roldos Aguilera was killed in plane crash in Andes Mountains near Peru border.
1990: Flotilla of 76 sailed to Dunkirk to commemorate 50th anniversary of the British evacuation.
1992: Nigeria was clearing up after ethnic clashes left more than 200 dead.
1993: IRA bomb caused £5 million damage to the centre of Magherafelt, Co Londonderry.
1994: Four men convicted of bombing the World Trade Centre in New York in 1993 were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.
2000: Israeli troops withdrew from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.
2001: Fifteen-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri became the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.
2010: Research from Aberdeen University revealed that pregnant women who have been born prematurely carry an increased chance of having a pre-term baby.
Stanley Baxter, Scottish comedian, 88; Jim Broadbent, actor, 65; Eric Cantona, footballer and actor, 48; Rosanne Cash, American country singer, 59; Nula Conwell, actress, 55; Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman), singer and songwriter, 73; Patti LaBelle (born Patricia Holt), Grammy Award-winning singer, 70; Richard Lochhead, SNP MSP and Cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment, 45; Paul McCreesh, conductor, 54; Alfred Molina, actor, 61; Adrian Moorhouse MBE, swimmer and journalist, 50; Dave Peacock, musician (Chas and Dave), 69; Priscilla Presley, actress, 69; Kristin Scott Thomas OBE, actress, 54; William Trevor KBE, novelist, 86; Sir Arnold Wesker, playwright, 82; Dermot O’Leary, TV presenter, 41.
Births: 1686 Gabriel Fahrenheit, physicist who invented mercury thermometer; 1743 Jean Paul Marat, revolutionary; 1819 Queen Victoria (reigned 1837-1901); 1836 Joseph Rowntree, cocoa manufacturer and philanthropist; 1852 Robert Cunningham Graham, Gartmore-born author and politician; 1854 Admiral Prince Louis Mountbatten; 1912 Dame Joan Hammond, soprano.
Deaths: 1153 David I, first feudal King of Scotland; 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus, founder of modern astronomy; 1879 William Lloyd Harrison, US leader of slavery abolition; 1908 “Old” Tom Morris, four times Open champion and course designer; 1950 Lord Wavell, field marshal and Viceroy of India; 1959 John Foster Dulles, US diplomat; 1974 Duke Ellington, jazz musician and bandleader; 1988 Hamish Hamilton, publisher; 1994 Forsyth Hardy, co-founder of Edinburgh Film Festival; 2013 W Garth Morrison CBE, chief scout 1988-96, and Lord-Lieutenant for East Lothian.