THE SCOTSMAN: "What, can ye lull the winged winds asleep, Arrest the rolling world, or chain the deep?" That puzzling couplet from Thomas Campbell's The Pleasures of Hope greeted readers of the first edition of The Scotsman on 25 January 1817.
An anti-establishment Saturday paper, it was not until the abolition of newspaper stamp duty in 1855 that daily publication began, and another 152 years before Recommends commenced.
IOLAIRE: At 2:30am on New Year's Day 1918, the Admiralty yacht Iolaire, carrying sailors who had fought in the First World War back home to Lewis, struck a rock outside Stornoway harbour and sank. At least 205 men drowned. They were wearing full uniform and many couldn't swim. The effects on Lewis were profound and resonated through succeeding generations. Although the inquiry was inconclusive, it is likely that a navigational error in poor weather was responsible.
TELEVISION: On 26 January 1926, in his laboratory in London's Soho, John Logie Baird gave the first demonstration, to scientists, of a true TV system, broadcasting live images between rooms. In 1927, his system was demonstrated over 438 miles of telephone line between London and Glasgow. In 1937 the BBC, after a trial, adopted, in preference to Baird's, the system developed by Marconi in America.
BELL FOR QUEEN VIC: On 14 January 1878, Alexander Graham Bell went to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight to demonstrate his telephone to Queen Victoria. Vic was not amused when Bell committed the ultimate crime against propriety by tapping the royal shoulder to attract attention. She wasn't impressed by his phone either. "It was faint," she said.
MERCURIUS CALEDONIUS Previous short-lived papers – such as the Mercurius Scoticus, printed at Leith in 1651 – were largely reprints of London titles. Mercurius Caledonius was arguably the first true Scottish newspaper. Published in Edinburgh, 8 January 1661, and carrying domestic news such as reports of Scottish parliamentary debates, it ceased after nine weekly issues.