Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 25 October
St Crispin’s Day.
1415: Battle of Agincourt at which England’s longbowmen defeated the French knights during the Hundred Years’ War.
1586: Death sentence was pronounced against Mary Queen of Scots.
1854: Lord Cardigan led the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade in the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War.
1874: Britain annexed Fiji Islands.
1900: Britain annexed the former Boer Republic and renamed it the Transvaal Colony.
1918: Canadian Pacific liner Princess Sophia was wrecked off Alaska with the loss of 343 lives.
1932: George Lansbury was elected leader of the Labour Party.
1938: Japanese troops took Hankow, and Chinese government established itself at Chungking.
1938: Libya was declared part of Italy.
1941: Germany’s first offensive against Moscow in the Second World War failed.
1951: Conservatives won General Election with 321 seats (Labour 295) and Winston Churchill became prime minister. It was the beginning of 13 years of Tory power. One of the unsuccessful Tories was Margaret Roberts (Thatcher), at 26 the youngest candidate to stand at a General Election.
1956: Egypt, Jordan and Syria formed unified military command.
1961: First issue of Private Eye was published.
1971: United Nations admitted China and expelled Nationalist China.
1974: Foreign ministers of 19 Arab countries met in Rabat, Morocco, and voted strong support for Palestine Liberation Organisation.
1983: Six guests and hotel workers were killed and 15 injured when the Royal Darroch Hotel at Cults, Aberdeen, was destroyed by a gas explosion.
1984: Catherine Deneuve chosen as France’s fifth Marianne, symbol of the French Republic whose bust is displayed in French town halls.
1987: Indian peacekeeping forces wrested control of most of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, but still faced Tamil rebel snipers.
1989: Soviet State Bank announced the rouble would be devalued by nearly 90 per cent for tourists and businessmen.
1989: Britain decided to repatriate 40,000 Vietnamese refugees from Hong Kong.
1990: Kazakh republic declared sovereignty from Soviet government and factional fighting threatened to break out in Moldavia.
1990: Polly Peck International, one of Britain’s top 100 companies, with debts of more than £1.3 billion, called in administrators.
1992: About 100,000 people demonstrated in London against the government’s planned pit closures.
1995: A commuter train slammed into a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois, killing seven students.
2004: Fidel Castro, Cuba’s president, announced that transactions using the American dollar would be banned.
2007: Oil giant BP was fined a total of £182 million by the United States Department of Justice over a Texas refinery explosion in which 15 people died and also a price-fixing scam.
2009: Bombings in Baghdad killed 155 and wounded more than 700.
Katy Perry, singer, 30; Jon Anderson, singer (Yes), 70; Glynis Barber, actress (Dempsey and Makepeace), 59; Phil Daniels, actor, 56; Sir Martin Gilbert CBE, historian, 78; Adam Goldberg, actor, 44; Nick Hancock, TV presenter, 52; Steve Hodge, footballer, 52; Fred Housego, Dundee-born taxi driver and Mastermind winner, 70; Mark McNulty, golfer, 61; Helen Reddy, Australian singer-songwriter, 73;
Zadie Smith, author, 39; Chad Smith, musician (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), 53; Glenn Tipton, guitarist (Judas Priest), 67; Anne Tyler, novelist, 53; Russell Anderson, footballer, 36; Shaun Wright-Phillips, footballer, 33; Robbie McIntosh, guitarist (The Pretenders), 57; Sir Martin Gilbert CBE, historian, 78.
Births: 1340 Geoffrey Chaucer, author of Canterbury Tales (died on his birthday in 1400); 1735 Doctor James Beattie, Laurencekirk-born poet and philosopher; 1800 Thomas Babington (Lord) Macaulay, historian; 1825 Johann Strauss the Younger, composer; 1838 Georges Bizet, composer; 1864 John Francis Dodge, automobile pioneer; 1881 Pablo Picasso, artist; 1888 Richard Byrd, American admiral, aviator and explorer; 1926 Galina Vishnevskaya, Russian soprano.
Deaths: 625 Pope Boniface V; 1154 King Stephen of England; 1760 King George II; 1892 Caroline Harrison, US first lady; 1957 Albert Anastasia, gangster; 1986 Forrest Tucker, actor; 1989 Mary McCarthy, novelist; 1993 Vincent Price, actor; 2004 John Peel, DJ; 2012 John Connelly, footballer; 2013 Nigel Davenport, UK actor.