On this day: Abba topped pop charts with Waterloo

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 4 May

On this day in 1974 Abba reached the top of the pop charts with Waterloo, the song with which they won Eurovision. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1974 Abba reached the top of the pop charts with Waterloo, the song with which they won Eurovision. Picture: Getty

1328: Treaty of Northampton ratified. In part, it said “…if we or our predecessors in past times have sought in any way any rights to the kingdom of Scotland, we renounce and abandon them by these presents to the King of Scots, his heirs and successors”.

1471: The Battle of Tewkesbury, a Yorkist victory in the Wars of the Roses.

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1595: Sir John Norris was sent from England to Ireland to put down resistance.

1654: Proclamations at the Mercat Cross, Edinburgh, of the Protectorate and Union with England by General George Monck.

1655: British fleet left San Domingo, West Indies, and later captured Jamaica.

1780: The first Derby was run at Epsom. Lord Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury tossed a coin to determine the name of the race – had the latter won, it would have been called “The Bunbury”.

1799: Tippoo of Mysore was killed at Seringapatam and his kingdom was divided between Britain and the Nizam of Hyderabad in India.

1809: Soda water was patented by William Hamilton.

1896: The Daily Mail, founded by Lord Northcliffe, was first published.

1904: Construction started on the Panama Canal.

1911: First plans for a national insurance scheme were unveiled by Chancellor David Lloyd George in his budget speech.

1917: British transport ship the Transylvania was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, with the loss of 413 lives.

1926: The General Strike began at midnight, the first in British history. It was called off on 13 May.

1935: Leicester Square tube station opened, with the world’s longest escalator.

1949: Thirteen women and girls died in a fire which destroyed Grafton’s four-storey gown store in Argyle Street, Glasgow.

1961: Anthony Wedgwood Benn won the by-election in Bristol South East caused by his elevation to the peerage as Viscount Stansgate. He was barred from the Commons but later succeeded in renouncing his peerage.

1974: Abba reached the top of the pop charts with Waterloo, the Eurovision Song Contest winner.

1976: Waltzing Matilda was adopted as the Australian national anthem, but was replaced by Australia Fair in 1986.

1979: Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first woman prime minister.

1982: HMS Sheffield was hit by an Exocet missile and destroyed during the Falklands conflict, with the loss of 20 men.

1988: Iraqi warplanes bombed an Iranian oil refinery and petrochemical plant, increasing pressure on Iran’s economy.

1989: Tens of thousands of Chinese students marched to Tiananmen Square, in Peking, calling for freedom and democracy.

1990: Five hospitals were earmarked for closure in Lothian Health Board cuts.

1992: Stephen Hendry was crowned world snooker champion after beating Jimmy White 18-14 in the final.

1993: Polly Peck founder Asil Nadir jumped £3.5 million bail and flew to Cyprus.

2001: The Bank of Scotland and Halifax merged as HBOS in a £28million deal, putting it in the top five UK banking groups.

2007: The SNP won the Scottish general election and became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time ever.

2014: Three female officers became the first women to serve as submariners in the Royal Navy.


AP McCoy OBE, jockey, 41; Oleta Adams, singer, 62; Jay Aston, Bucks Fizz singer, 54; Michael Barrymore, entertainer, 63; Kate Garraway, television presenter, 48; Charlotte Green, newsreader, 59; Rory McIlroy MBE, golfer, 26; Liz Robertson, actress and singer, 61; Gennadi Rozhdestvensky CBE, conductor, 84; Graham Swift, novelist, 66; Gillian Tindall, biographer and novelist, 77; Randy Travis, American country singer, 56; John Watson MBE, racing driver, 69; Cesc Fabregas, footballer, 28; Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt 1981-2011, 87; Little Boots, singer, 31.


Births: 1655 Bartolemeo Cristofori, developer of first piano; 1820 Joseph Whitaker, bookseller and publisher, founder of Whitaker’s Almanack; 1827 John Hanning Speke, Africa explorer, discoverer of the source of the Nile; 1882 Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and feminist; 1889 Baron Sieff, president of Marks & Spencer; 1923 Eric Sykes CBE, comedian and writer; 1929 Audrey Hepburn, actress.

Deaths: 1471 Edward, Prince of Wales; 1924 Edith Nesbit, poet and author of children’s books; 1980 Marshal Tito, president of Yugoslavia 1953-80; 1984 Diana Dors, actress; 1991 Bernie Winters, comedian; 2009 Dom DeLuise, actor, comedian; 2014 Elena Baltacha, Ukrainian/British tennis player.