On this day: Wealth of Nations | James II | Vietnam War

On this day in 1987 the Channel ferry the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in Zeebrugge. Picture: PA
On this day in 1987 the Channel ferry the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in Zeebrugge. Picture: PA
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Events, birthday’s and anniversaries for 6 March

6 March

National day of Ghana.

1457: Act of Parliament of James II decreed regular target practice and military parades and “that the futball and the golf be utterly cryit doune and nocht usyt”. It was the first mention in Scottish history of those games.

1776: Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations was first published.

1836: The Siege of the Alamo ended after 13 days — the garrison included Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, who died with 183 others defending the Texas fort against Mexican forces.

1899: Chemist Felix Hoffmann patented aspirin.

1902: British soldiers were given the right to wear spectacles.

1922: United States prohibited export of arms to China.

1930: Clarence Birdseye marketed the first frozen foods, in Massachusetts. He discovered the rapid-freeze method on a trip to Labrador, when he threw a cabbage into a butt of water, watched it freeze, and recovered it weeks later in prime condition.

1942: Daily Mirror published Philip Zec’s contentious cartoon showing a torpedoed sailor adrift on a raft, with the caption: “The price of petrol has been increased by one penny — official.” Winston Churchill was so furious he threatened to close the paper.

1953: GM Malenkov succeeded the late Joseph Stalin as Soviet leader.

1957: Former British colony of Gold Coast formed independent west African nation of Ghana, with Kwame Nkrumah as premier.

1965: US Defence Department announced that 3,500 marines were being sent to South Vietnam — first US ground combat troops committed to fighting against Communist guerrillas.

1987: The Channel ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized with its bow door open leaving Zeebrugge harbour, with 193 drowned.

1988: Three IRA terrorists shot dead by SAS men in Gibraltar.

1990: Prestwick lost its monopoly as Scotland’s transatlantic gateway.

1991: Britain released 32 Iraqis held during Gulf conflict at an army camp on Salisbury Plain; 33 more remained in custody at Full Sutton, Yorkshire.

1996: The IRA said it was prepared for another 25 years of war if progress was not made in the Northern Ireland peace process.

2008: The Crown Office said it was to take no action against Wendy Alexander, the Scottish Labour leader, over her failure to register donations to her leadership campaign in 2007.


Tom Arnold, actor, 54; Alan Davies, comedian and actor, 47; Kiki Dee, singer, 66; Dave Gilmour CBE, guitarist (Pink Floyd), 67; Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, opera singer, 69; Moira Kelly, actress, 45; Gabriel García Márquez, novelist, 86; Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space, 76; John Noakes, television presenter, 79; Richard Noble OBE, former land speed record holder, 67; Shaquille O’Neal, basketball player, 41; Mary Wilson, singer (the Supremes), 69.


Births: 1475 Michelangelo Buonarroti, Renaissance painter, sculptor, artist and poet; 1619 Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, novelist and playwright; 1806 Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet; 1917 Frankie Howerd, comedian.

Deaths: AD608 St Baldred, hermit of the Bass Rock; 1888 Louisa M Alcott, novelist; 1900 Gottleib Daimler, motor engineer; 1941 Gutzon Borglum, sculptor noted for Mount Rushmore presidents’ faces; 1951 Ivor Novello, actor, composer; 1961 George Formby, ukelele player.