On this day: First ironclad warship HMS Warrior launched

EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

On this day in 1860, the Royal Navys first ironclad warship, HMS Warrior, was launched on the Thames. Picture: Getty Images
On this day in 1860, the Royal Navys first ironclad warship, HMS Warrior, was launched on the Thames. Picture: Getty Images

1170: Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights, apparently acting on orders of King Henry II.

1675: English parliament ordered closure of all coffee houses. It was believed they had become hotbeds of radicalism from which malicious rumours about the government were spread.

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1860: Britain’s first ironclad warship, Warrior, launched.

1890: Battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the last major conflict between Native Americans and United States troops, took place.

1914: The first Zeppelin appeared over the British coast.

1921: US, Britain, France, Italy and Japan signed Washington treaty to limit naval armaments. It was renounced by Japan on the same day 13 years later.

1930: Radio Luxembourg began broadcasting.

1931: The discovery of heavy water (deuterium) publicly announced by US chemist HC Urey.

1933: Jews protested over immigration restrictions in Palestine.

1940: Eight Christopher Wren churches and Guildhall, London, were destroyed when German bombers dropped 10,000 bombs in the raid called “the second fire of London”.

1962: United Nations troops occupied Elisabethville, Katanga.

1965: Independence for Bechuanaland was announced.

1972: Sixteen survivors from a crashed Uruguayan plane which had been chartered by a rugby team en route to Montevideo, were rescued in the Andes. The crash happened on 13 October and it was revealed that their survival had been possible because they ate the flesh of dead companions.

1973: Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos ended his elected term and began to rule on basis of a takeover decree.

1986: Thousands of activists led by students from Peking Teachers’ University marched through the Chinese capital.

1989: Czechoslovakian parliament elected playwright Vaclav Havel as president.

1995: The Conservative MP Emma Nicholson defected to the Liberal Democrats, cutting prime minister John Major’s Commons majority to three.

2001: A fire at the Mesa Redonda shopping centre in Lima, Peru, killed at least 291.

2007: Thousands of tributes poured in after Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell collapsed and died on the pitch minutes before the end of his side’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Dundee United.


Births: 1709, Elizabeth, empress of Russia 1741 to 1762; 1766 Charles Macintosh, chemist and inventor of waterproof clothing; 1792 Sir Archibald Alison, 1st Baronet, Scottish advocate and historian; 1808 Andrew Johnson, 17th president of USA; 1809 William Ewart Gladstone, four times prime minister; 1947 Cozy Powell, drummer; 1914 Tom Weir MBE, Scottish climber, author and broadcaster (Weir’s Way).

Deaths: 1170: St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury; 1894 Christina Rossetti, poet; 1986 Harold Macmillan, first Earl of Stockton, former prime minister; 12003 Bob Monkhouse, comedian, actor and game show host; 2003 Dinsdale Landen, actor; 2012 Lord Rees-Mogg, editor, The Times 1967-81; 2007 Phil O’Donnell, Scottish footballer