On this day: Eric Liddell wins Olympic 400m sprint

EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

On this day in 1924, Scottish athlete Eric Liddell won the Olympic 400 metres sprint in Paris. Picture: Getty Images

National day of Mongolia

1274: Robert the Bruce was born at Turnberry Castle.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

1370: Marjory Stewart, the daughter of King Robert II, married John Dunbar, the first Earl of Moray, without her father’s consent.

1690: William III defeated the deposed James II at the Battle of the Boyne.

1739: Pluto moved from being the ninth to the eight most distant planet from the sun.

1750: Halifax in Nova Scotia was almost totally destroyed by fire.

1776: Captain Cook sailed from Portsmouth in the Resolution, accompanied by the Discovery, on his third and last expedition.

1801: French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons discovered his first comet.

1818: John Keats visited the first home of Robert Burns in Alloway and wrote his sonnet Written In the Cottage where Burns was born.

1848: Waterloo Station in London was opened.

1859: The chime of Big Ben in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament was heard for the first time.

1881: The “ghost-ship” Flying Dutchman was sighted at 4am 50 miles off the Cape of Good Hope, by the crew of HMS Inconstant.

1892: The US patent office declared that the electric light carbon for the incandescent lamp was invented by JW Swan and not Thomas Edison.

1895: Auguste and Louis Lumiere, who invented film, demonstrated it to scientists.

1924: Scottish athlete Eric Liddell won the Olympic 400 metres sprint in Paris.

1950: Puppets Andy Pandy, Teddy and Looby Loo first appeared on BBC television. The episodes were repeated for more than 25 years.

1962: The first transatlantic TV transmission took place via the satellite Telstar I.

1969: David Bowie released his single Space Oddity and the Rolling Stones released Honky Tonk Women.

1973: A Brazilian Boeing 707 crashed near Paris, killing 122 people.

1975: China’s great terracotta army was uncovered near the ancient capital of Xian. More than 6,000 life-sized warriors were made in about 206 BC to guard the tomb of the first emperor.

1976: France performed a nuclear test on Muruora island.

1979: America’s Skylab I returned to earth after 34,981 orbits since its launch on 14 May, 1973.

1981: Neva Rockefeller became the first woman ordered to pay her husband alimony.

1994: A report said that women in Glasgow have the world’s highest rate of heart disease.

1995: Actor Hugh Grant was fined £750 by a Los Angeles court and put on probation for two years when he admitted lewd conduct with a prostitute.

1995: More than 8,000 Bosnian men and children were killed by Serbian troops commanded by Ratko Mladic in Potocari near Srebrenica Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2007: Four suicide bomber refugees found guilty of plotting to detonate explosions on three Tube trains and a bus in London in 2005 were jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 40 years. All the bombs failed to go off.

2001: Neptune completed its first orbit since its discovery in 1846.


Suzanne Vega, singer-songwriter, 56; Giorgio Armani, fashion designer, 81; Craig Charles, comedian, 51; John Kettley, weatherman, 63; Lil’ Kim, rapper, 41; Lord Levy, 71; Dean Richards, rugby player and coach, 52; Richie Sambora, guitarist (Bon Jovi), 56; Peter de Savary, businessman and yachtsman, 71; Kellie Shirley, actress, 34; Leon Spinks, former world heavyweight boxing champion, 62; John Stride, actor, 79; Caroline Wozniacki, tennis player, 25; Bonnie Pointer, R&B and disco singer (The Pointer Sisters), 65; Ray Dodds, drummer (Fairground Attraction), 57.


Births: 1754 Thomas Bowdler, Scottish physician and publisher; 1767 John Quincy Adams, 6th United States president; 1834 James Whistler, painter and writer; 1862 Liza Lehmann, composer and singer; 1916 Reg Varney, actor; 1917 Yul Brynner, actor; 1924 Charlie Tully, Celtic and Northern Ireland footballer; 1926 Patrick Wymark, actor; 1929 David Kelly, Irish actor.

Deaths: 1937 George Gershwin, composer; 1941 Sir Arthur Evans, archaeologist; 1958 Karel Wellens, painter; 1973 Robert Ryan, actor; 1989 Lord Olivier, actor; 1992 Albert Pierrepoint, hangman; 1994 Charles “Lefty” Edwards, saxophonist; 2000 Right-Reverend Lord Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury 1980-91; 2011 George Henry Hubert Lascelles KBE, 7th Earl of Harewood, artistic director of the Edinburgh Festival 1961-65; 2006 John Spencer, former world snooker champion; 2007 Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady of US; 2014 Ray Lonnen, British actor.