On this day: Tokyo underground sarin gas attack

A sarin gas attack on Tokyo's underground left 12 dead. Picture: Getty
A sarin gas attack on Tokyo's underground left 12 dead. Picture: Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on March 19.

St Joseph’s Day

1641: Foundation stone of Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow, laid by the philanthropist Thomas Hutcheson. It was established as a residential school for the poor of the city.

1707: Official copy of the Act of Union signed by the Scottish Chancellor.

1711: War was declared between Russia and Turkey.

1775: Portuguese fleet was repulsed in attack on Montevideo, Uruguay.

1799: Napoleon Bonaparte began siege of Acre (Israel) which was defended by British and Turks.

1812: Spanish Cortes passed liberal constitution under a hereditary monarch.

1859: First production of Charles Gounod’s opera, Faust, at the Theatre Lyrique, Paris.

1861: Maori War in New Zealand ended.

1882: The City Temple, Holborn, London, became the first church to be lit by electricity.

1932: The opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the widest ever built with single-arch span.

1938: Rugby was first seen on British television – the England versus Scotland Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham.

1963: Algeria demanded that France negotiate on ending of nuclear testing in Algerian Sahara.

1970: Willy Brandt and Willi Stoph, heads of West and East Germany, met for the first time.

1976: Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon announced their separation after 15 years of marriage.

1977: The Congo’s president Marien Ngouabi was assassinated in Brazzaville.

1978: Israeli army took control of almost all of Lebanon south of Litani River.

1986: Buckingham Palace announced engagement of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.

1991: Kurdish guerrillas claimed to have captured Kirkuk, Iraq’s main northern oil city.

1992: Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of York were to separate after five-and-a-half years of marriage.

1995: Twelve people died and thousands were injured in a sarin gas attack on Tokyo underground.

2003: President George W Bush ordered start of war against Iraq.

2008: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye was briefly observed.

2010: The government gave the go-ahead for the development of a £2.5 billion gasfield in the waters 90 miles off the west coast of Shetland.


Bruce Willis, actor, 60; Terry Hall, ska lead singer (of The Specials), 56; Ursula Andress, actress, 79; Ian Blair, Baron Blair of Boughton, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police 2005-08, 62; Rachel Blanchard, Canadian actress, 39; Glenn Close, actress, 68; Sir David Lumsden, principal, Royal Academy of Music 1982-93, 87; John Charles Sholto Douglas, 21st Earl of Morton, Lord-Lieutenant of West Lothian 1985-2001, 88; Philip Roth, writer, 82; Harvey Weinstein CBE (Hon), film producer, 63.


Births: 1721 Tobias Smollett, Dunbartonshire-born novelist; 1813 David Livingstone, Blantyre-born explorer and missionary; 1821 Sir Richard Burton, explorer and orientalist; 1907 Dame Elizabeth Maconchy, composer; 1922 Tommy Cooper, comedian and magician; 1928 Patrick McGoohan, actor.

Deaths: 1286 Alexander III, King of Scots; 1930 Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl, Conservative Prime Minister 1902-1905; 1979 Richard Beckinsale, actor; 2001 Gordon Brown, Scotland and British Lions rugby player; 2008 Paul Scofield, actor; 2010 William Wolfe, chairman, SNP 1969-79.


19 March, 1915

A message from Berlin states that the Reichstag has begun the second reading debate on the Budget.

Herr Bassermann, in the course of a speech dealing with the Estimates of the Foreign Office, praised the bravery of the German Army and Fleet, expressing special admiration of the grand achievements of Field-Marshal von Hindenburg.

“We are all convinced,“ he said, “of the decisive success of our arms, and that our enemies will suffer an annihilating defeat.”

Herr Scheidemann, Socialist, associated himself with the tribute to the bravery of the German troops and pointed out that it was the duty of the Reichstag to provide for the families of soldiers.

• archive.scotsman.com