On this day: Laika becomes first dog in space

EVENTS, births, anniversaries

On this day in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, which carried the ill-fated dog Laika into Earths orbit. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
On this day in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, which carried the ill-fated dog Laika into Earths orbit. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

1493: Christopher Columbus, on his second expedition, sighted Dominica in the island group he called the West Indies.

1752: Composer George Frideric Handel underwent an unsuccessful eye operation.

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1838: The Times of India pubished its first edition as the Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.

1839: The first Battle of Chuenpee was fought during the first Opium War, when two British frigates engaged Chinese war junks in the Pearl River delta.

1867: French and papal troops defeated Garibaldi’s Italian volunteers at the Battle of Mentana.

1918: Poland proclaimed independence from Russia following the First World War.

1928: Turkey switched from using Arabic to the Roman alphabet.

1942: Montgomery’s Eighth Army broke through Rommel’s front line in Africa. Within a day the Germans were in full retreat.

1948: President Harry S Truman won the United States election.

1957: USSR launched Sputnik 2, with a dog named Laika on board. It was a stray dog from the streets of Moscow and became the first animal to orbit the Earth. But her oxygen ran out after ten days and she died in space.

1968: Graham Hill became world motor-racing champion when he won the Mexico Grand Prix.

1988: Koo Stark was awarded £300,000 libel damages over allegations in the Sunday People that she had an affair with Prince Andrew after her marriage.

1989: Peter Brooke, Northern Ireland Secretary, indicated that the government might enter negotiations with Sinn Fein if the IRA had a ceasefire.

1990: Sarah Brightman accepted a £6m pay-off in her divorce from Andrew Lloyd Webber plus the value of one of his properties.

1990: A World Climate Conference of 700 scientists issued warning of global warming catastrophe.

1991: In New York, Liz McColgan won her first marathon in record time.

1992: Bill Clinton was elected US president.

1994: The government, under pressure from Tory backbenchers, ditched plans to privatise the Post Office.

1995: The Scotsman was sold by the Thomson Corporation to European Press Holdings.

1998: Shakespeare in Love, starring Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow, premiered in New York. It would win the Oscar for Best Picture in 1999.

2007: President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan declared a state of emergency, suspended the constitution, sacked the chief justice, took TV and radio off the air and arrested hundreds of opposition figures.

2008: Donald Trump, the US tycoon, said he was “greatly honoured” after his £1 billion golf resort plan in Aberdeenshire was approved.

2011: Three Pakistan cricketers, including former captain Salman Butt, were jailed over the conspiracy to bowl no-balls in a Test match in 2010 against England.

2014: United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon called for global action on climate change.

2014: New York’s 104-storey World Trade Centre opened, 13 years after the 11 September attacks by al-Qaeda members, the terror group led by Osama bin Laden.


Births: 1749 Daniel Rutherford, Scottish physician, chemist and botanist; 1919 Sir Ludovic Kennedy, broadcaster and campaigner; 1930 Brian Robinson, cyclist, first Briton to finish the Tour de France; 1933 John Barry, OBE, film composer; 1933 Jeremy Brett, actor; 1943 Bert Jansch, Glasgow-born folk musician.

Deaths: 1832 Sir John Leslie, physicist and mathematician; 1926 Annie Oakley, markswoman; 1990 Mary Martin, actress, singer, Broadway star; 1999 Ian Bannen, Airdrie-born actor; 2002 Lonnie Donegan, musician