On this day: Gas masks issued to British civilians

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 9 July

On this day in 1938 gas masks were first issued to the civilian population of Britain in anticipation of the Second World War. Picture: Getty

National day of Argentina

1191: Richard I, the Lionheart, married Berengaria, reputed to be extremely ugly. Although Queen, she never set foot on English soil.

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1357: Charles IV, the Holy Roman emperor, assisted in laying the foundation stone of the Charles Bridge in Prague.

1540: Henry VIII divorced Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife who was nicknamed The Flanders Mare, after six months of marriage.

1745: En route from France to Scotland, Bonnie Prince Charlie looked on anxiously for his ship, Doutelle, as his other ship, Elisabeth, engaged in a five-hour battle with HMS Lion. Badly damaged and with a number of crewmen killed, both vessels finally withdrew.

1776: The American Declaration of Independence was read on the parade ground at Lower Manhattan to thousands of George Washington’s troops who had moved up from Boston to help defend New York against the British.

1807: Napoleon I of France and Alexander I signed the treaties of Tilsit to end the War of the Fourth Coalition.

1816: Argentina declared independence from Spain.

1867: Queen’s Park Football Club was formed, the first senior club in Scotland.

1872: The first doughnut cutter was patented in America by John Blondel. A sea captain, he is said to have invented the hole so that he could slip the doughnut over the handle of the ship’s wheel and enjoy his snack while steering.

1877: Wimbledon staged its first lawn tennis championship at its original site in Worple Road, London.

1882: The Royal Navy bombarded Alexandria, Egypt.

1893: Chicago surgeon Daniel Williams performed the first open heart surgery without anaesthetic.

1900: The commonwealth of Australia was established in the British parliament.

1910: A stone tablet describing the fall of Jerusalem was discovered by archaeologists in Egypt.

1916: The first cargo submarine to cross the Atlantic arrived in the USA from Germany.

1917: HMS Vanguard blew up in Scapa Flow with the loss of more than 800 men.

1922: Johnny Weissmuller became the first man to swim 100 metres in less than a minute.

1937: Golfer Henry Cotton won the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

1938: Gas masks were first issued to the civilian population of Britain in anticipation of the Second World War.

1984: York Minster was struck by lightning and the roof destroyed.

1990: Four were killed and hundreds injured when celebrations of Germany’s victory over Argentina in the World Cup final turned violent.

1990: Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s president, denied that his country possessed a nuclear weapons capability.

1995: Pete Sampras won his third Wimbledon title, beating Boris Becker.

2007: The BBC was fined £50,000 for faking the winner of a phone-in competition on a Blue Peter programme.

2011: South Sudan became a nation in its own right, the climax of a process made possible by the 2005 peace deal that ended a long and bloody civil war.


Richard Demarco CBE, Portobello-born artist and gallery director, 84; Marc Almond, singer, 58; Steve Coppell, football manager, 59; Tom Hanks, actor, director and writer, 58; David Hockney, artist, 77; Jim Kerr, Glasgow-born singer (Simple Minds), 55; Courtney Love, singer and actress, 50; Kenneth Hilton Osborne, Lord Osborne, Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland, 77; Jack White, musician (White Stripes), 39; Richard Wilson OBE, Greenock-born actor director, 78; OJ Simpson, former American football player, actor and convicted felon, 67; Jimmy Smits, actor, 59; Kelly McGillis, actress, 57; Paolo Di Canio, football manager, 46; Brian Dennehy, actor, 76.


Births: 1819 Elias Howe, inventor of first practical sewing machine; 1888 Simon Marks, 1st Baron Marks of Broughton, founder of Marks & Spencer; 1901 Barbara Cartland, novelist; 1916 Sir Edward Heath, prime minister 1970-74; 1929 Lee Hazlewood, American country and pop singer, and producer; 1946 Mitch Mitchell, English drummer (Jimi Hendrix Experience).

Deaths: 1228 Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury; 1441 Jan van Eyck, Flemish painter; 1746 Philip V, king of Spain; 1797 Edmund Burke, statesman, writer; 1850 Zachary Taylor, 12th US president; 1855 Lord Raglan, commander of British forces in Crimean War; 1932 King Camp Gillette, safety razor inventor; 1985 Charlotte, grand duchess of Luxembourg; 1988 Barbara Woodhouse, animal trainer; 2002 Rod Steiger, American actor; 2006 Milan Williams, American musician (The Commodores).