On this day: Concorde’s first commercial flight for BA

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 21 January

On this day in 1976, Concorde took off from Heathrow Airport in London on its first commercial flight for British Airways. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1976, Concorde took off from Heathrow Airport in London on its first commercial flight for British Airways. Picture: Getty

AD304: Saint Agnes was martyred at the age of 13. A Roman girl, she refused to marry the husband chosen by her father, so he had her burnt at the stake.

1506: Formal founding of the Swiss Guard, the Vatican papal guard that was created in the 15th century and is the oldest army still in existence.

1793: Louis XVI, King of France since 1774, was guillotined in the Place de la Revolution after being found guilty of treason.

1876: Fourteen people were killed in a collision on the Great Northern Railway at Ripon. It prompted the end of the old-style semaphore signalling system.

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1911: The first Monte Carlo Rally was held, won seven days later by Henri Rougier from France.

1914: Finishing touches were made to Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.

1922: Provisional Irish parliament voted narrowly to approve treaty with Britain and so begin independence moves.

1936: Edward VIII was proclaimed king.

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1942: German forces started offensive in western African desert in Second World War.

1949: Chiang Kai-Shek resigned presidency of China after Nationalist Party reversals.

1954: Nautilus, first United States nuclear submarine, launched at Groton in Connecticut.

1970: Five members of the crew of the Fraserburgh lifeboat the Duchess of Kent, a non-self-righting type, were lost when she was turned over by a freak wave 36 miles off Kinnaird Head while escorting a Danish fishing vessel to safety. The only survivor was picked up by a Russian trawler.

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1970: France’s sale of Mirage jet planes to Libya was announced.

1970: Iraq foiled attempt to overthrow its government and executed 12 men.

1974: United States rejected South Vietnam’s request for naval support in fighting with Chinese for Paracel Islands.

1976: Concorde entered supersonic service with simultaneous take-offs from London to Bahrain and Paris to Rio de Janeiro.

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1986: Car packed with explosives blew up near office of President Amin Gemayel’s Phalange Party in east Beirut, Lebanon, killing 22 people and wounding 102.

1988: Microlight pilot Brian Milton touched down in Darwin, Australia, 51 days after leaving London’s Docklands in 440cc aircraft Dalgety Flyer.

1990: John McEnroe was disqualified from the Australian Open and fined £4,000 for swearing at officials.

1991: Latvia’s parliament formed volunteer home guard, and authorities bolstered defences at public buildings hours after Soviet commandos staged a pre-dawn assault on republic’s police HQ.

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1992: United Nations Security Council urged Libya to surrender two agents indicted by United States in bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed on Lockerbie.

1994: Jury in Virginia found Lorena Bobbitt not guilty by reason of insanity of maliciously wounding her husband by cutting off his penis.

1996: Palestinians on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip chose Yasser Arafat as their first democratically elected leader after almost 30 years of military and political struggle.

2008: Black Monday in world stock markets. The FTSE-100 had its biggest one-day points fall; European stocks had worst result since 11 September, 2001.

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BIRTHDAYS

Emma Bunton, Spice Girl, 39; Geena Davis, actress, 59; Plácido Domingo, tenor, 74; Jill Eikenberry, actress, 68; Peter Fleming, American tennis player, 60; Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, Minister of State, Scottish Office, 2001-2, 73; Alex McLeish, Scottish football manager; 56; Jack Nicklaus, American 18-time Major-winning golfer, 75; Brian O’Driscoll, Irish rugby union player, 36; Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, President of the Supreme Court 2009-12, 77; Dame Seona Elizabeth Reid DBE, director, Glasgow School of Art (1999-2013), 65; Martin Shaw, actor, 70.

ANNIVERSARIES

Births: 1824 Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, American Confederate general; 1855 John Moses Browning, American inventor of the automatic pistol and machine-gun; 1867 John Bratton, composer of songs, including The Teddy Bears’ Picnic; 1905 Christian Dior, French fashion designer; 1912 Sir Laurence Whistler, artist and poet; 1922 Paul Scofield, actor; 1925 Benny Hill, comedian; 1933 Norman Willis, British trade unionist; 1941 Richie Havens, American singer and songwriter.

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Deaths: 1793 Louis XVI, King of France (guillotined); 1802 John Moore, physician and writer; 1836 Leo Delibes, composer; 1924 Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), founder of Bolshevism and Soviet Communist leader; 1932 Lytton Strachey, biographer and critic; 1933 George Moore, novelist; 1950 George Orwell (pen-name of Eric Arthur Blair).