On this day: The Queen opened Scottish Parliament

The Queen at the opening of Scottish Parliament with the then presiding officer George Reid and first minister Jack McConnell. Picture: Reuters
The Queen at the opening of Scottish Parliament with the then presiding officer George Reid and first minister Jack McConnell. Picture: Reuters
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 9 October

9 October

National day of Uganda.

1779: The first Luddite riots broke out in a lace factory in Loughborough when workers protested against labour-saving machinery.

1874: The Universal Postal Union established, with headquarters in Berne, Switzerland.

1888: The 555ft white marble Washington Monument, designed by Robert Mills, was opened in Washington, DC.

1905: Sarah Bernhardt, playing Floria in Tosca, jumped from a parapet but stage hands had forgotten to put down mattresses and she fell heavily on her right knee. She eventually lost her leg.

1921: The Laird Line Glasgow-Dublin ferry Rowan sank, with the loss of 34 passengers and crew after collisions with two ships off Wigtownshire. After the first collision, in dense fog, with the inward-bound American steamship West Chamak, the ferry’s captain sent out an SOS which was answered in ten minutes by the Clan Malcolm. The Clan Line ship, however, struck the Rowan amidships “with great violence” and she sank within a minute.

1962: Uganda became independent after nearly 70 years of British rule, with Milton Obote as its first prime minister.

1967: Ernesto “Che” Guevara, guerrilla leader and revolutionary, was killed in Bolivia.

1968: Harold Wilson and Ian Smith met on HMS Fearless, off Gibraltar, for unsuccessful talks about Rhodesia’s independence.

1988: The BBC announced a new radio network to be known as Radio 5, which would carry live sport and educational programmes.

1992: The IRA continued its mainland bombing campaign when two more devices exploded in central London. Nobody was hurt.

1994: A London protest march against the Criminal Justice Bill erupted into a riot as demonstrators clashed with police and then looted shops in Oxford Street.

1999: The last flight of the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird”.

2004: The Queen opened the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood, in Edinburgh. It was completed three years late and cost ten times the estimated price.

2006: North Korea allegedly tested its first nuclear device.

2011: German racing driver Sebastian Vettel won the Formula 1 title and became the youngest man to secure two World Drivers’ Championships.


David Cameron, Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, 47; Brian Blessed, actor and mountaineer, 76; Jackson Browne, singer and songwriter, 65; Sally Burgess, classical singer, 60; John Doubleday, painter, sculptor, 66; PJ (Polly Jean) Harvey, singer, 44; Duke of Kent, 78; Sean Lennon, singer, 38; Steve Ovett OBE, athlete, 58; John Pilger, journalist, author and film-maker, 74; Sir Donald Sinden CBE, actor, 90; Guillermo del Toro, filmmaker, 49.


Births: 1900 Alastair Sim, actor; 1907 Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, Lord Chancellor 1970-74 and 1979-87; 1908 Jacques Tati, actor and film director; 1940 John Lennon, songwriter and member of the Beatles; 1944 John Entwistle, musician (The Who).

Deaths: 1709 Barbara Villiers, Countess Castlemaine and long-time mistress of Charles II; 1781 Thomas Alexander Erskine, 6th Earl of Kelly; 1967 Che Guevara, revolutionary leader; 1995 Lord Home of the Hirsel, Conservative prime minister, 1963-4.