On this day: Labour conference backs John Smith

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 29 September

At Labours annual conference on this day in 1993, leader John Smith won backing over the one-member one-vote union issue. Picture: PA

1399: Richard II became the first English monarch to abdicate – next day he was deposed by parliament, which chose Henry IV as his successor.

1662: Samuel Pepys went to the King’s Theatre, London, to see Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In his diary he recorded “… which I have never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid, ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life”.

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1829: Britain’s first official police force was mobilised and the men named Bobbies after Robert Peel, then home secretary.

1885: The first electric street tram in Britain ran in Blackpool.

1911: In dispute over Tripoli, Italy declared war on Turkey.

1916: American scientists produced X-ray images.

1932: Hunger marchers from north-east England invaded Whitehall.

1938: The Munich Pact was signed by Britain, France, Germany and Italy, surrendering the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany.

1944: Soviet troops invaded Yugoslavia.

1946: BBC’s Third Programme, now Radio 3, was instituted.

1952: John Cobb, land and water world speed record-breaker, was killed on Loch Ness when his jet-powered Crusader disintegrated at 240mph.

1967: Last day of the Home Service, Light and Third Programmes as BBC switched to Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4.

1983: The musical A Chorus Line broke the record as the longest-running Broadway show after running since 25 July, 1975, its 3,389th performance.

1989: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, met Pope John Paul II in the Vatican Library and said he was happy to visit “the engine room” of Catholicism.

1991: Colonel Guillermo Benavides was convicted of ordering 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests in San Salvador, the subject of the film Salvador.

1993: Labour’s annual conference backed leader John Smith in his battle with the unions over the one-member, one-vote issue.

2004: The asteroid 4179 Toutatis passed within four lunar distances of Earth.

2007: Calder Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear power station, was demolished in a controlled explosion.

2008: Following the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in its history.


Ian McShane, actor, 72; Baron Coe, Olympic gold medallist runner, MP 1992-7 and chairman of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, 58; Silvio Berlusconi, former Italian prime minister, 78; Chris Broad, cricketer, broadcaster and umpire, 57; Colin Dexter OBE, author (creator of Inspector Morse), 84; Jerry Lee Lewis, rock and roll singer, 79; Mackenzie Crook, actor, 43; Per Mertesacker, World Cup-winning footballer, 30; Patricia Hodge, actress, 68; Anita Ekberg, actress and model, 83; Luke Goss, singer and actor/twin Matt Goss, singer-songwriter and musician, 46.


Births: 1240 Margaret of England, queen consort of Scotland; 1518 Tintoretto, artist; 1547 Miguel de Cervantes, writer (Don Quixote); 1571 Caravaggio, artist; 1758 Horatio Nelson, naval commander; 1916 Trevor Howard, actor; 1925 Steve Forrest, actor; 1939 Jim Baxter, footballer.

Deaths: 1902 William McGonagall, Edinburgh-born poet; 1902 Emile Zola, novelist; 1912 Charles Addams, cartoonist; 1913 Rudolf Diesel, inventor of diesel engine; 1973 WH Auden, poet; 1981 Bill Shankly, football manager