On this day: Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race at Leith Docks

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 17 July

On this day in 1995 150,000 people watched a fireworks display at Leith Docks to celebrate the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race

1453: The Hundred Years’ War ended after the defeat of the English at Castillon.

1537: John, Master of Forbes, was executed at Edinburgh Castle.

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1585: Secret service agents discovered Anthony Babington’s plot to murder Elizabeth I.

1603: Sir Walter Raleigh was arrested by the forces of King James VI and charged with assisting Spain in attempting to put Arabella Stuart on the throne.

1652: The Great Fire of Glasgow destroyed almost one-third of the city.

1695: Bank of Scotland was established.

1762: Catherine II became Tsar of Russia following the murder of Peter III.

1791: Members of the French National Guard, under the command of General Lafayette, opened fire on a crowd of radicals in Paris, killing around 50 people.

1832: Scottish Reform Bill became law.

1841: The first issue of the magazine Punch was published.

1895: The east coast express train from London to Aberdeen set a record time of 10 hours 21 minutes for the 540 miles.

1917: The Royal Family changed its name from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor.

1936: Spanish Civil War started as General Francisco Franco led army forces in revolt against Spain’s government.

1944: The largest convoy of the Second World War embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia under Royal Canadian Navy protection.

1945: The Potsdam Conference involving Allied leaders Harry S Truman, Josef Stalin and Winston Churchill began.

1948: The Israeli army captured Nazareth.

1955: Walt Disney’s Disneyland was opened in California.

1958: King Hussein declared himself head of the Jordan/Iraq federation.

1959: Paleoanthropologist Dr Mary Leakey discovered the 600,000-year-old skull of an early human ancestor, who lived in Africa.

1962: New altitude record for winged aircraft was established by US Major RM White, who piloted an X-15 rocket to a height of 354,300ft (more than 67 miles).

1964: Donald Campbell attained a world speed record of more than 403mph – by a wheel-driven car, Bluebird – on the salt flats at Lake Eyre in South Australia.

1973: Afghanistan was proclaimed republic after palace coup which ended 40-year rule of King Mohammed Zahir Shah.

1975: Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 made the first US/USSR link-up in space.

1979: Sebastian Coe set a new world record of 3 minutes 49 seconds for running the mile in Oslo.

1988: Florence Griffith Joyner set a new world record of 10.49 seconds for the women’s 100 metres.

1994: Brazil defeated Italy in a penalty shoot-out to win their fourth World Cup.

1995: 150,000 people watched a fireworks display at Leith Docks, Edinburgh, to celebrate the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race. The next day thousands more crowded vantage points as the 90 ships left the Forth under sail for Germany.

1998: The remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family were buried in St Petersburg.

2005: Tiger Woods won the Open at St Andrews – his tenth major – to become only the second golfer after Jack Nicklaus to have won each of the four majors more than once.


Konnie Huq, television presenter, 40; Wayne Sleep OBE, dancer, actor and choreographer, 67; Donald Sutherland, actor, 80; Alun Armstrong, actor, 69; Tim Brooke-Taylor OBE, actor, 75; Darren Day, British actor and singer, 47; Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, 68; Diahann Carroll, actress, 80; Ray Galton OBE, British scriptwriter (Hancock’s Half Hour), 85; David Hasselhoff, actor, 63; Lord Patten, MP 1979-92, governor of Hong Kong 1992-7, 70; Peter Sissons, television presenter, 73; Angela Merkel, German chancellor 2005-, 61; Gino D’Acampo, TV chef, 39.


Births: 1889 Erle Stanley Gardner, author who created Perry Mason; 1899 James Cagney, actor; 1909 Sir Hardy Amies, couturier; 1912 Art Linkletter, radio and TV presenter; 1917 Phyllis Diller, comedienne.

Deaths: 924 King Edward the Elder of England; 1537 Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis (burnt at the stake in Edinburgh); 1645 Robert Carr, first Earl of Somerset, Scottish politician; 1790 Adam Smith, Kirkcaldy-born economist; 1953 Maude Adams, actress; 1959 Billie Holiday, jazz singer; 1967 John Coltrane, jazz musician and composer; 2005 Geraldine Fitzgerald, actress; 2005 Sir Edward Heath MBE, British prime minister 1970-1974; 2009 Walter Cronkite, US broadcaster and journalist; 2009 Gordon Waller, Scottish singer/songwriter; 2014: Elaine Stritch, actress and singer.