On this day: Human eggs fertilised in a test tube

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 13 February

On this day in 1969 British scientists announced that human eggs had been fertilised in a test tube for the first time. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1969 British scientists announced that human eggs had been fertilised in a test tube for the first time. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1969 British scientists announced that human eggs had been fertilised in a test tube for the first time. Picture: Getty

1633: Italian astronomer Galileo arrived in Rome and was detained by Roman Catholic Inquisition.

1689: English Parliament adopted a Bill of Rights.

1692: The Massacre of Glencoe, in which 34 men, two women and two children, members of the Macdonald clan, were slaughtered by Campbells and other soldiery on government orders after inadvertent failure of clan chief to sign allegiance to William III.

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1859: The Corps of Commissionaires was founded in London for the employment of former regular servicemen.

1866: Jesse James robbed his first bank.

1931: Scottish Youth Hostels Association was formed.

1945: Allied forces captured Budapest, Hungary.

1945: 1,400 RAF and 450 United States Air Force bombers devastated Dresden in three waves over a 14-hour period.

1968: Ten thousand US troops were in process of being transported to South Vietnam as fighting increased in that country.

1969: It was announced that eggs removed from a woman volunteer had been fertilised in a test tube as a result of work done at Cambridge University in collaboration with a doctor at Oldham General Hospital.

1974: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author and Nobel prize-winner in 1970, arrived in Switzerland after being expelled from the Soviet Union.

1975: Turkish Cypriots proclaimed separate administration in Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.

1989: Soviet Union’s Red Army left Afghan capital of Kabul in ceremony, leaving behind handful of soldiers.

1990: The two Germanies, with Britain, France, Soviet Union, and US, agreed a framework for German reunification.

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1990: Mstislav Rostropovich, Soviet cellist who defected to United States in 1974, played his first concert in USSR for 16 years.

1991: Hundreds died as Americans bombed concrete structure in Baghdad claimed by Allies as command and control centre and by Iraq as air raid shelter.

1992: Ford of Britain announced losses of £920 million, the biggest in its 81-year history.

1994: John Major’s back-to-basics took new battering with resignation of Conservative MP Hartley Booth over relationship with Commons researcher.

2000: The last original “Peanuts” comic strip appeared in newspapers one day after Charles M Schulz died.

2004: The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics announced the discovery of the universe’s largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star “Lucy” after The Beatles’ song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

2008: Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd made a historic apology to the Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations.

2010: The start of the Winter Olympics were overshadowed by the death of a luge competitor who left the track at high speed. Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili’s sled flipped and he smashed into a steel pole at the Whistler Sliding Centre, killing the 21-year-old.


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Mena Suvari, actress, 36; Jesse Birdsall, actor, 52; Liam Brady, footballer and manager, 59; Stockard Channing, actress, 71; Peter Gabriel, singer, songwriter, 65; Peter Hook, rock musician (Joy Division and New Order), 59; Simon Fraser, 16th Lord Lovat, 5th Baron Lovat, 38; John McAllion, MSP 1999-2003, MP 1987-2001, 67; Colin Matthews OBE, composer, 69; Jamie Murray, Wimbledon mixed doubles champion with Jelena Jankovic in 2007, 29; Kim Novak, actress, 82; Henry Rollins, actor and rock singer, 54; Prof Simon Schama CBE, academic and broadcaster, 70; George Segal, actor and banjo player, 81; Jerry Springer, talk show host, 71; Robbie Williams, singer, 41.


Births: 1728 John Hunter, East Kilbride-born physiologist and surgeon; 1744 David Allan, Alloa-born artist known as “the Scottish Hogarth”; 1849 Lord Randolph Churchill, statesman and father of Winston; 1850 Arthur Mees, conductor and singing teacher; 1884 Sophie Tucker, singer and “Last of the red hot mommas”; 1901 Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell), novelist; 1928 Douglas John Moray Stuart, 20th Earl of Moray; 1938 Oliver Reed, actor.

Deaths: AD858 Kenneth MacAlpin, first King of Scots; 1542 Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII (executed for alleged adultery); 1883 Richard Wagner, opera composer; 1917 Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod, nee Zelle), reputed First World War double agent (executed by French); 1950 Rafael Sabatini, novelist; 1958 Dame Christabel Pankhurst, suffragette; 1958 Georges Rouault, artist; 1970 HM Bateman, cartoonist; 1976 Lily Pons, singer; 1979 Jean Renoir, film-maker.