On this day: Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 24 March

The clean-up begins after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska polluted large areas of the US north-western seaboard in 1989. Picture: AP

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

1595: Peace of Boulogne ended England’s war with France and Scotland.

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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.

1783: Spain recognised independence of United States.

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

1891: Britain and Italy reached agreement in Ethiopia, defining frontiers of their Red Sea colonies.

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

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.

1964: Stansted was provisionally chosen as the site of London’s third airport.

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 broad 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 garage near Enfield.

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

1990: Soviet tanks and troops moved into Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.

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.


Mo Farah CBE, Somali-born British athlete, 31; Dario Fo, Italian playwright, actor and Nobel laureate, 88; Archie Gemmill, Scottish footballer and coach, 67; Alyson Hannigan, actress, 40; Curtis Hanson, film director, 69; Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer, 63; Sonia Lannaman, athlete, 58; Kelly LeBrock, actress, 54; Nick Lowe, rock performer and composer, 65; Benjamin Luxon CBE, baritone, 77; Patrick Malahide, actor, 69; 38; Liz McColgan MBE, Scottish athlete, 50; Peter Powell, disc jockey, 63; Baron (Alan) Sugar, businessman, 67; Stephen Yardley, actor, 72.


Births: 1834 William Morris, artist and poet; 1887 Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, silent film comedian; 1903 Malcolm Muggeridge, author and broadcaster; 1909 Clyde Barrow, one half of United States outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.

Deaths: 1603 Queen Elizabeth I of England (after reigning for 44 years); 1953 Queen Mary, wife of King George V; 1976 Viscount Montgomery of Alamein; 2012 Jocky Wilson, Fife-born darts player.