On this day: Lt-Col Oliver North quits over Contra-gate

EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

On this day in 1986, Lt-Col Oliver North quit his post on Ronald Reagans staff over the Contra-gate scandal. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
On this day in 1986, Lt-Col Oliver North quit his post on Ronald Reagans staff over the Contra-gate scandal. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Feast of St Andrew. Patron Saint of Scotland.

1652: Dutch defeated English fleet off Dungeness.

1782: Americans and British signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending American Revolutionary War.

1872: Scotland and England drew 0-0 in first football international, at Partick.

1913: Charlie Chaplin made his film debut in Mack Sennett’s Making a Living.

1918: Transylvania proclaimed union with Romania.

1926: Sigmund Romberg’s operetta The Desert Song opened in New York.

1931: His Master’s Voice and Columbia merged as Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI).

1936: Crystal Palace, built of glass and iron for the Great Exhibition of 1851, was burned down on the site in Sydenham to which it had been moved in 1854.

1938: Members of Romanian Iron Guard were shot as government attempted to destroy Fascism.

1944: Britain’s largest and last battleship, Vanguard, was launched at Clydebank. It had taken three years to build.

1955: First floodlit football match played at Wembley, between England and Spain.

1956: Floyd Patterson, at 21, became the youngest boxer to win the world heavyweight championship. He knocked out Archie Moore in Chicago (Mike Tyson later broke the age record).

1962: U Thant of Burma was elected secretary general of United Nations.

1966: Full independence was proclaimed in Barbados.

1967: British troops left Aden after 128 years as People’s Republic of South Yemen was proclaimed.

1986: Admiral John Poindexter resigned as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser and Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver North quit the White House staff in wake of “Contra-gate” scandal, a plot to sell arms to Iran to release hostages there, and illegally support the right-wing Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1987: Iraqi aircraft bombed two power plants in western Iran.

1989: Lord Aldington received a record £1.5million libel damages after wrongly being branded a war criminal by historian Count Nikolai Tolstoy and Nigel Watts.

1989: The government admitted it failed to disclose a £38 million payment to help British Aerospace take over the Rover group.

1990: President George H Bush offered to send secretary of state James Baker to Iraq for talks with Saddam Hussein.

1995: BBC lost live coverage of the English FA Cup final to ITV in a £130 million deal involving Sky TV.

1995: Official end of Operation Desert Storm.

1996: The Stone of Destiny, returned to Scotland, was installed at Edinburgh Castle.

1999: British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems merged to form BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence contractor.

2005: John Sentamu became the first black archbishop in the Church of England with his enthronement as the 97th Archbishop of York.

2011: Tens of thousands of people joined rallies around the UK as a public sector went on strike over pensions.


Births: 1628 John Bunyan, preacher and author of The Pilgrim’s Progress; 1667 Jonathan Swift, clergyman and writer; 1835 Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), author and humourist; 1874 Sir Winston Churchill, prime minister 1940-5 and 1951-5; 1924 Charles Hawtrey, actor.

Deaths: 1900 Oscar Wilde, poet and dramatist; 1957 Beniamino Gigli, operatic tenor; 1972 Sir Compton Mackenzie, author; 1977 Sir Terence Rattigan, playwright; 1979 Joyce Grenfell, actress and entertainer; 1986 Cary Grant, film actor; 2001 George Harrison, Beatles guitarist.