On this day: Bryan Allen’s Gossamer Albatross trip

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 12 June

On this day in 1979 Californian cyclist Bryan Allen pedalled from Folkestone to Cap Gris Nez in a craft Gossamer Albatross. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1979 Californian cyclist Bryan Allen pedalled from Folkestone to Cap Gris Nez in a craft Gossamer Albatross. Picture: Getty

National day of Philippines.

1683: Rye House plot to assassinate King Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York, was uncovered.

1798: French forces captured island of Malta.

1837: Sir William Cooke and Sir Charles Wheatstone patented the first electric telegraph.

1839: Abner Doubleday credited with inventing baseball in Cooperstown, New York.

1882: Anti-foreign riots broke out in Alexandria, Egypt.

1901: Cuban Convention made that nation virtually a protectorate of United States.

1908: The Rotherhithe-Stepney road tunnel under the Thames was opened.

1917: King Constantine of Greece abdicated, making way for his son, Alexander.

1921: Postmen delivered mail on a Sunday for the last time.

1922: Insulin, the treatment for diabetes, was patented by Frederick Banting.

1930: Germany’s Max Schmeling won the vacant world heavyweight boxing title against Jack Sharkey in New York on a disqualification in round four – the only man to win the title in such a manner.

1934: Political parties were banned in Bulgaria.

1937: Purge of Russian generals began.

1940: Japanese planes bombed Chungking, China.

1952: Chris Chataway ran two miles in a record eight minutes, 55.6 seconds. He was to beat this in 1953 with a time of eight minutes, 49.6 seconds.

1965: The Beatles were each created MBE in the Birthday Honours list.

1979: Bryan Allen, a Californian racing cyclist, pedalled across the Channel from Folkestone to Cap Gris Nez in his craft Gossamer Albatross.

1984: US secretary of state George P Shultz insisted US government had hard evidence that Nicaragua was providing war material to rebels in El Salvador.

1988: Demonstrations erupted over controversial constitutional amendment making Islam the state religion in Bangladesh.

1989: MPs voted 293 to 69 to allow television cameras into the House of Commons.

1990: Israel’s new right-wing government vowed to spend more money on new settlements in the Occupied Lands.

1990: Prime minister Margaret Thatcher ruled out a Channel Tunnel rail link subsidy.

1991: Boris Yeltsin crushed Communist rivals in Russia’s first presidential election by taking 60 per cent of the vote.

1992: At the Earth Summit in Brazil John Major pledged that Britain would step up efforts to halt global warming and curb population growth.

1994: Labour made sweeping gains from the Conservatives in the European elections.

2001: Robert Edward Dyer was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment for attempting to extort money from Tesco through a letter bomb campaign.

2007: Jamaican police, in a dramatic about-turn, said the Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer had died from natural causes and was not murdered. When the former England batsman was found unconscious in his hotel bedroom during the World Cup a pathologist’s report said that he had been strangled.

2009: Veteran horror star Christopher Lee and golfer Nick Faldo were knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.


George Bush, United States president 1989-93, 90; Timothy Busfield, actor, 57; Mark Calcavecchia, golfer, 54; John Copley, opera producer and director, 81; Chick Corea, jazz pianist, 73; John Ruaridh Grant Mackenzie, 5th Earl of Cromartie, explosives engineer, 66; Vic Damone, singer, 86; Pat Jennings OBE, footballer, 69; Oliver Knussen CBE, Glasgow-born composer, 62; Sophie Lawrence, actress, 42; Javed Miandad, cricketer, 57; Cathy Tyson, actress, 49; Bryan Habana, South African rugby union player, 31; Artem Chigvintsev, dancer, 32; David Narey, footballer, 58.


Births: 1819 Charles Kingsley, clergyman and author (The Water Babies); 1843 Sir David Gill, Aberdeen-born astronomer; 1897 Sir Anthony Eden, later Earl of Avon, Conservative prime minister 1955-57; 1901 Norman Hartnell, couturier; 1929 Brigid Brophy, novelist and playwright; 1929 Anne Frank, diarist of life under the Nazis; 1930 Innes Ireland, racing driver; 1941 Reg Presley, singer (The Troggs).

Deaths: 1759 William Collins, poet; 1842 Thomas Arnold, educationist and headmaster of Rugby School; 1957 Jimmy Dorsey, bandleader; 1962 John Ireland, composer; 1968 Sir Herbert Read, poet and critic; 1972 Edmund Wilson, novelist, playwright, poet; 1980 Sir Billy Butlin, holiday camp pioneer; 1982 Dame Marie Rambert, ballet producer and choreographer; 2001 Emeritus Professor Thomas Wilson, composer; 2003 Gregory Peck, actor.