On this day: Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 24 March

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska polluted large areas of the north-western seaboard of the United States. Picture: Getty
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska polluted large areas of the north-western seaboard of the United States. Picture: Getty

1267: St Louis of France called his knights to Paris to prepare for his second crusade to Holy Land.

1603: King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the throne of England to begin reign as James I of England on the death of Queen Elizabeth.

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1877: The only dead heat in the history of the Oxford-Cambridge University Boat Race.

1882: Robert Koch, German bacteriologist, announced isolation of tuberculosis germs.

1920: Royal Commission on decimal coinage reported against changing the existing system.

1924: Greece was proclaimed a republic.

1927: Chinese Communists seized Nanking.

1929: Fascists “won” single-party elections in Italy.

1942: The “national loaf” was introduced in Britain.

1946: Alistair Cooke read his first Letter from America on BBC radio. He read his weekly letter for 58 years, the last one a few weeks before his death at the age of 95 in 2004.

1956: The Queen Mother’s horse Devon Loch collapsed 50 yards from the winning post while leading the Grand National.

1962: Benny Paret taken to hospital with brain injury sustained in defending world welterweight title against Emile Griffith in New York. He died on 3 April.

1970: The world’s rarest stamp – the British Guiana one cent black on magenta – was sold for £115,666.

1972: As political and military situation deteriorated in Northern Ireland, Westminster announced that direct rule would be imposed.

1974: Uganda crushed coup attempt against president Idi Amin following machine-gun and mortar battle with rebels.

1976: Isabel Peron ousted as president of Argentina in a military coup.

1980: In daylight, on a main road in Barking, Essex, 321 silver bars imported from Germany were hijacked. Ten weeks later, 309 ingots were found in a lock-up garage near Enfield.

1982: Lieutenant-General Mohammad Hossein Ershad led military coup in Bangladesh.

1989: Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska polluted large areas of United States north-western seaboard.

1991: Police shot dead 11 ANC activists at a rally near Johannesburg.

1992: Graham Gooch and Ian Botham walked out of a cricket World Cup dinner in Melbourne when an Australian comedian made jokes about The Queen.

1997: British film The English Patient collected nine Oscars in Hollywood, including Best Picture and Best Director for Anthony Minghella.

1998: A tornado swept through Dantan in India killing 250 people and injuring 3,000 others.

2001: Apple released the first version of the Mac OS X operating system.

2003: The Arab League voted 21-1 in favour of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of US and British soldiers from Iraq.

2008: Bhutan officially became a democracy, with its first ever general election.

2010: The Royal College of Physicians called for a ban on smoking in cars over fears about growing evidence about the effect of cigarettes on children.


Liz McColgan-Nuttall MBE, Scottish athlete, 51; Lara Flynn Boyle, America actress, 45; Barbara Daly, American make-up artist, 66; Mo Farah CBE, Somali-born British athlete, 32; Dario Fo, Italian playwright, actor and Nobel laureate, 89; Archie Gemmill, Scottish footballer and coach, 68; Alyson Hannigan, American actress, 41; Tommy Hilfiger, American fashion designer, 64; Sonia Lannaman, British athlete, 59; Kelly LeBrock, actress, 55; Nick Lowe, British rock performer and composer, 66; Benjamin Luxon CBE, British baritone, 78; Patrick Malahide, British actor, 70; Peyton Manning, American football player, 39; Peter Powell, British DJ, 64; Baron (Alan) Sugar, businessman, 68.


Births: 1820 Fanny Crosby, American hymn-writer; 1834 William Morris, artist and poet; 1887 Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, American silent film comedian; 1903 Malcolm Muggeridge, author and broadcaster; 1909 Clyde Barrow, one half of American outlaws Bonnie and Clyde; 1911 Joseph Barbera, animator (Tom & Jerry and The Flintstones); 1930 Steve McQueen, film actor.

Deaths: 1603 Queen Elizabeth I of England; 1776 John Harrison, inventor of the chronometer; 1882 HW Longfellow, poet, author of The Song of Hiawatha; 1905 Jules Verne, novelist; 1909 John Millington Synge, dramatist; 1920 Mrs Humphrey Ward, novelist; 1953 Queen Mary, wife of King George V; 1962 Auguste Piccard, deep-sea explorer and balloonist; 1976 Viscount Montgomery of Alamein; 2012 Jocky Wilson, Fife-born darts player; 2014 Dan Stephen, Aberdeen-born artist.