On this day: Al Capone imprisoned for tax evasion

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 17 October

On this day in 1931 US gangster Al Capone, left, was imprisoned for tax evasion at the age of 33. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1931 US gangster Al Capone, left, was imprisoned for tax evasion at the age of 33. Picture: Getty

1346: David II of Scotland was taken prisoner at the Battle of Neville’s Cross, in Durham, and spent the next 11 years in captivity.

1651: Charles II escaped from Cromwell’s army across the English Channel.

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1662: Chalres II sold Dunkirk to France for 2.5 million livres (£320,000).

1740: Ivan VI became Tsar of Russia.

1814: In the London Beer Flood, a three-storey high vat in the Meux and Company Brewery exploded, causing a tidal wave of 323,000 gallons of beer, destroying two homes, crumbling the walls of a neighbouring pub and swamping two neighbouring streets with beer. Nine people were killed.

1850: James Young obtained a patent for the extraction of paraffin from shale, the beginning of the paraffin industry in West Lothian.

1855: Henry Bessemer patented his process for making steel.

1860: Willie Park senior scored 164 to win the inaugural Open Championship at Prestwick Golf Club.

1899: Boers defeated by British troops at Glencoe, South Africa.

1912: Millie and Christine, American Siamese twins, died aged 60. They had been continually exhibited and even danced in a freak show chorus line.

1912: Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia declared war on Turkey.

1918: Republic of Yugoslavia was established formally.

1922: Scottish workers in Glasgow set off on a hunger march to London.

1931: US gangster Al Capone was jailed for 11 years for tax evasion.

1933: Albert Einstein arrived in the USA as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

1945: Colonel Juan Peron staged a coup in Buenos Aires and became absolute dictator of Argentina.

1956: Calder Hall in Cumbria, Britain’s first large-scale atomic energy station, was opened by the Queen when power was first fed into the grid system.

1972: The Queen became the first reigning monarch to visit a communist country when she arrived in Yugoslavia.

1977: West German commandos stormed hijacked Lufthansa airliner at airport in Somalia and freed all 86 hostages aboard.

1990: The Pope allowed two married men to be ordained as priests on condition they gave up sex and live forever as brother and sister with their wives.

1991: Four ITV companies, TV-am, Thames, TVS and TSW lost their licences under changes announced by the Independent Television Commission.

1993: US golfers beat England, the holders, in the final of the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews.

1995: A long-awaited report by the Scottish Constitutional Convention envisaged a Scottish parliament of 129 members elected under a proportional representation system.

2000: Four died and more than 100 were injured when a GNER King’s Cross to Leeds express was derailed at over 100mph at Hatfield, in Hertfordshire.

2001: New guidelines to prepare for terrorist attacks using bubonic plague, smallpox and botulism were sent to doctors and hospitals throughout Britain.

2013: Fifty-nine people were killed during a wave of attacks on Shia Muslims in Iraq.


Ernie Els, golfer, 46; Aravinda de Silva, cricketer, 50; Eminem (born Marshall Bruce Mathers III), rapper, 43; Alan Garner OBE, author, 81; Wyclef Jean, rapper (Fugees), 46; Margot Kidder, actress, 67; Stephen Kovacevich, pianist and conductor, 75; Sir Cameron Mackintosh, musical producer, 69; Ziggy Marley, reggae singer, 47; Kimi Raikkonen, Formula One champion 2007, 36; Mark Gatiss, actor, comedian, novelist, 49; Gregg Wallace, TV presenter, 51; Patrick Lambie, South African rugby union internationalist, 25; Matthew Macfadyen, actor, 41; Peter Stringfellow, nightclub owner, 75; George Wendt, actor, 67.


Births: 1727 John Wilkes, political agitator; 1914 Earl of Dalhousie, governor-general of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; 1915 Arthur Miller, playwright; 1918 Rita Hayworth, actress; 1920 Montgomery Clift, actor; 1921 George Mackay Brown, Orcadian poet and story-teller; 1925 Harry Carpenter OBE, sports commentator; 1938 Evel Knievel, stuntman.

Deaths: 1849 Frédéric Chopin, pianist and composer; 1998 Joan Hickson, actress; 2002 Derek Bell MBE, harpist, pianist and composer; 2008 Levi Stubbs, singer (Four Tops).