On this day: Terry Waite was kidnapped in Beirut

On this day in 1987 Terry Waite, second from right, was kidnapped while negotiating the release of hostages in Beirut. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1987 Terry Waite, second from right, was kidnapped while negotiating the release of hostages in Beirut. Picture: Getty
Share this article
Have your say

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 20 January

1265: England’s parliament met for first time.

1805: London Docks opened.

1841: Hong Kong was ceded by China, in what was termed the “Unequal Treaties”, after the Opium Wars, and was first occupied by Britain.

1846: The Reverend Matthias Lloyd-Thomas of Cwmbran, South Wales, officiated at his 3,000th funeral - the burial of his 95-year-old father. In his 61 years as a minister, he preached more than 10,000 sermons, although he was stone deaf.

1882: Coxon & Co, drapers, of Newcastle upon Tyne, became the first shop in Britain to be lit by incandescent electric light.

1887: United States Senate approved leasing Pearl Harbour in Hawaii as naval base.

1892: The game of basketball, devised by a Canadian doctor, James Naismith, was first played at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts.

1910: Canberra officially became the capital of Australia.

1936: King Edward VIII acceded to the throne on the death of King George V. He was to abdicate after 325 days, on 10 December, after causing a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to divorcée Wallis Simpson.

1942: Adolf Eichmann and Reinhard Heydrich met to draw up plans for the Final Solution.

1964: British forces quelled mutinies of Tanganyika Rifles and troops in Uganda and Kenya.

1971: Four members of RAF Red Arrows aerobatics display team were killed in mid-air collision.

1987: Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy in the Middle East, was kidnapped while negotiating the release of western hostages in Beirut.

1990: Soviet troops stormed Azerbaijani capital of Baku, leaving dozens dead and wounded, as president Mikhail Gorbachev defended action on national television.

1991: In Moscow, hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens protested against bloody crackdown on Lithuania and demanded resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev.

1991: Captured RAF pilots were paraded on Iraqi television.

1994: Official report into the Braer tanker disaster on the Shetland coast accused the captain of a serious dereliction of duty.


Gary Barlow OBE, singer, 44; Dr Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, astronaut (second man on Moon in 1969), 85; Tom Baker, actor (fourth Doctor Who), 81; Kirsty Gallacher, television presenter, 39; David Lynch, film director, 69; Eddie Shah, publisher, 71; Heather Small, singer, 50; Eric Stewart, guitarist (10cc), 69; Charlie Swan, jockey, 47; Countess of Wessex, 50; Nicky Wire, bassist and lyricist (Manic Street Preachers), 46; Will Young, singer and actor, 36; Colin Calderwood, Scottish football manager and former player, 50; Owen Hargreaves, footballer, 34; Ian Hill, musician (Judas Priest), 64.


Births: 1775 André-Marie Ampère, physicist; 1812 Thomas Meik, Midlothian-born engineer; 1908 Ian Peebles, Aberdeen-born journalist, Test cricketer; 1910 Joy Adamson, wildlife conservationist, author; 1920 Federico Fellini, film director; 1920.

Deaths: 1790 John Howard, prison reformer; 1819 King Carlos IV of Spain; 1900 John Ruskin, art critic; 1936 King George V; 1984 Johnny Weissmuller, Olympic swimming champion and screen Tarzan; 1993 Audrey Hepburn, actress; 1994 Sir Matt Busby CBE, Scottish football manager and player; 2012 Etta James, singer.