On this day: Halley’s Comet was first observed

EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on September 11.

On this day in 1909 Halley's Comet was first observed in Heidelberg. It was next seen in 1986. Picture: Hulton/Getty
On this day in 1909 Halley's Comet was first observed in Heidelberg. It was next seen in 1986. Picture: Hulton/Getty

1297: Battle of Stirling Brig. William Wallace and Andrew de Moray, defeated the English.

1645: Thomas Fairfax’s “New Model Army” occupied Bristol.

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1714: French and Spanish troops under the Duke of Berwick stormed and occupied Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession.

1792: In the confusion of the French Revolution, thieves stole the country’s crown jewels, including the fabulous Hope Diamond. Most were recovered quickly but the Hope Diamond did not reappear until it was bought by a London banker more than 20 years later.

1855: Sebastopol was taken by the Allies after capitulation of the Russians in the Crimean War.

1895: The FA Cup, which had been won by Aston Villa, was stolen from a sports shop window in Birmingham. It was never recovered.

1906: Mahatma Gandhi coined the term “Satyagraha” as a reference to the non-violence movement in South Africa.

1909: Halley’s Comet was first observed in Heidelberg.

1926: Spain withdrew from the United Nations in response to Germany being admitted.

1940: Buckingham Palace was damaged by German bombs.

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1943: German troops occupied Rome.

1945: Hideki Tojo, the prime minister of Japan for most of the Second World War, attempted suicide rather than face a war crimes trial. His attempt failed and he was later hanged.

1945: Physician Willem J Kolff performed the first successful kidney dialysis using an artificial kidney machine, in the Netherlands.

1951: Florence Chadwick became the first woman to swim the English Channel from England to France. She completed the swim in 16 hours, 19 minutes.

1962: The Beatles recorded their first single, Love Me Do, for the Parlophone label.

1972: BBC television quiz programme Mastermind was first transmitted.

1973: The president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was deposed in a military coup.

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1990: The official report into the Lockerbie air disaster recommended reinforcing civil aircraft.

1994: There were renewed calls for a clamp-down on rave events after the fourth death in Scotland in as many months.

1997: After a nationwide referendum, Scotland voted to establish a devolved parliament, within the United Kingdom.

2001: Two hijacked passenger jets smashed into the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade

Centre. A third hijacked aircraft crashed into the Pentagon building in Washington, and a fourth, believed to be heading for the presidential retreat

Camp David, crashed near Pittsburgh. The death toll was 2,973,

2012: Andy Murray ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam singles champion with victory over Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.

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2014: South African athlete Oscar Pistorius was found not guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He was later found guilty of culpable homicide.


Graeme Obree, Scottish cylist, 50; Richard Ashcroft, rock singer, 44; Franz Beckenbauer, German football administrator, manager and former international player, 70; Catherine Bott, soprano 63; Paul Cole, racehorse trainer, 74; Harry Connick Jr, singer, 48; Brian De Palma, film director, 75; Virginia Madsen, actress, 54; Moby, composer and musician, 50; Brian Perkins, newsreader, actor and musician, 72; Jeff Sluman, golfer, 58; Johnny Vegas, actor and comedian, 44; Bashar Al Assad, president of Syria, 50; Richard Ashcroft, musician (the Verve), 44; Matthew Stevens, snooker player, 38; Mick Talbot, keyboard player (The Style Council), 57;

Jon Moss, drummer (Culture Club), 58.


Births: 1700 James Thomson, Scottish poet and playwright, author of lyrics to Rule Britannia; 1815 Allan Robertson, St Andrews-born golfer (The Open was established in his memory); 1862 Dr Hawley Crippen, murderer; 1885 DH Lawrence, novelist; 1917 Jessica Mitford, author, journalist, civil rights activist and political campaigner; 1917 Ferdinand Marcos, president of Philippines, 1965 to 1986; 1948 John Martyn, Glasgow-born singer and songwriter; 1950 Barry Sheene, motor bike racing world champion.

Deaths: 1968 Tommy Armour, Edinburgh-born major-winning golfer; 1971 Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Communist leader and prime minister 1958-1964; 1987 Peter Tosh, reggae musician; 1994 Jessica Tandy, actress; 2003 John Ritter, actor; 2006 William Auld, Scottish poet, author and translator; 2007 Ian Porterfield, Scottish footballer, FA Cup winner and manager; 2014 Sir Donald Sinden CBE, actor and author.