On this day: The Battle of Loos began

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 25 September

In 1915 the Battle of Loos began, in which Piper Daniel Laidlaw played his regiment over the top during heavy bombardment. Picture: Getty

1066: King Harold II of England defeated Norwegian invaders at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire. Three weeks later, he was killed while fighting the Normans at the Battle of Hastings.

1340: England and France signed a disarmament treaty.

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1493: Columbus set sail on his second expedition to the Americas with a fleet of 20 ships.

1654: England and Denmark signed a trade agreement.

1829: Venezuelan military and political leader Simon Bolivar survived an assassination attempt.

1857: The relief of Lucknow by Havelock and Outram began.

1867: The US Congress created the first all-black university – Howard University – in Washington DC.

1878: British physician Dr Charles Drysdale, in a letter to the Times, warned against the use of tobacco in one of the earliest public health announcements on the dangers of smoking.

1894: British annexed Pondoland, connecting Cape Colony and Natal, in Africa.

1897: The first experimental bus services began in various towns and cities around Britain, including one in Edinburgh.

1911: The French battleship Liberté exploded in Toulon harbour, killing 226.

1912: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915: British forces used poisonous gas for the first time in the First World War.

1915: The Battle of Loos began, in which Piper Daniel Laidlaw, 7th King’s Own Scottish Borderers, won the Victoria Cross for mounting a parapet during heavy bombardment and playing his regiment “over the top”.

1923: Forty miners died when water broke through from old workings and on to the 66-man night shift at Redding No23 pit, near Polmont, Stirlingshire.

1934: Rainbow (US) defeated Endeavour (England) in the 16th America’s Cup.

1940: German High Commissioner in Norway set up a government headed by Vidkun Quisling.

1941: General de Gaulle announced over BBC World Service the creation of a French wartime government in exile.

1956: Inauguration of the first transatlantic telephone cable, running between Oban and Newfoundland.

1962: Sonny Liston won the world heavyweight boxing title, knocking out Floyd Paterson in the first round, in Chicago.

1970: Jordan’s King Hussein and Palestinian guerrilla leaders agreed on ceasefire to end fighting in Jordan.

1973: Three-man crew of US space laboratory, Skylab 2, splashed down in Pacific after record 59 days in orbit.

1977: Freddie Laker’s first Skytrain service began between Gatwick and New York.

1989: President George Bush said the United States would destroy 98 per cent of its chemical weapons if the Soviet Union would do the same.

1996: The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2010: Ed Miliband beat his brother David by a wafer-thin margin to be elected leader of the Labour Party.