On this day: Braer disaster report | CDs created

Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 17 May

On this day in 1978 Philips created compact discs. A technician gives a demonstration of how they work. Picture: Getty

National day of Norway.

1532: The Court of Session was instituted.

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1536: Archbishop Thomas Cranmer declared marriage of England’s King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn was invalid.

1792: United States Stock Exchange founded as 24 merchants and brokers began trading under cottonwood tree by 68 Wall Street.

1803: British Orders-In-Council placed first embargo on all French and Dutch ships in British ports.

1809: France’s Napoleon Bonaparte issued imperial decree annexing papal states.

1861: The first package holiday was arranged by Thomas Cook. The Whitsun Working Man’s Excursion set off from London Bridge to Paris. The six-day trip cost £2 6s (£2.30) and included travel and hotel.

1875: The first Kentucky Derby was run at Louisville, Kentucky.

1900: Mafeking defenders under Colonel Robert Baden-Powell were relieved by British forces in the Boer War after siege of 217 days.

1916: The government introduced the British Summertime Act.

1920: KLM airlines began its first scheduled service between London and Amsterdam.

1938: The Marquess of Bute sold half the city of Cardiff for £20 million, in the biggest British property deal. It included theatres, farmlands, villages, 20,000 houses, 1,000 shops and 250 pubs.

1962: United States officials said American troops that landed in Thailand would play defensive role and not invade Communist-threatened Laos.

1978: Compact discs were created by Philips.

1987: Mistaken Iraqi Exocet missile attack on warship USS Stark, patrolling in the Persian Gulf, killed 37 American crewmen.

1991: Iraq jailed Scottish engineer Douglas Brand for 20 years for espionage. He was freed on 17 June after intervention by Edward Heath.

1993: Rebecca Stephens became the first British woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1994: A report into the Braer tanker disaster off Shetland called for tougher action to reduce the threat of a similar oil spill on Britain’s coastline.

2004: Massachusetts became the first US state to legalise same-sex marriage.


Dick Gaughan, Scottish folk singer and guitarist, 65; David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie, Lord Chamberlain 1984-97, 87; Sue Carpenter, broadcaster, 57; Andrea Corr MBE, singer and actress, 39; Paul Crossley, pianist, 69; Professor Ian Deary, Professor of Differential Psychology, Edinburgh University, 59; Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin), singer, 52; Simon Fuller, creator of Pop Idol, 53; Lord Gordon of Strathblane CBE, chairman, Scottish Radio Holdings 1996-2005, chairman, Scottish Tourist Board 1998-2001, 77; Sugar Ray Leonard, boxer, 57; Christine Ohuruogu MBE, 400 metres Olympic and world gold medallist, 29; Trent Reznor, rock singer (Nine Inch Nails), 48; Tony Roche, Australian tennis player, 68.


Births: 1749 Edward Jenner, vaccination pioneer; 1836 Sir Norman Lockyer, astronomer; 1906 Jean Gabin, film actor; 1911 Maureen O’Sullivan, film actress; 1935 Dennis Potter, playwright; 1936 Dennis Hopper, actor.

Deaths: 1510 Sandro Botticelli, Florentine artist; 1935 Paul Dukas, composer; 1970 Nigel Balchin, novelist; 1998 Lord (Hugh) Cudlipp, journalist; 2012 Donna Summer, singer.