On this day: The Menin Gate at Ypres was unveiled

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 24 July

On this day in 1927 the Menin Gate in Ypres was unveiled as a memorial to the armies of the British Empire. Picture: Getty

1411: Battle of Harlaw in which Donald MacDonald, Lord of the Isles, was stayed by the Crown forces under the Earl of Mar.

1534: Jacques Cartier landed in Canada and claimed it for France.

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1567: Abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Loch Leven in favour of her infant son, who became James VI. The Earl of Moray was appointed regent.

1704: Admiral Sir George Rooke captured Gibraltar during War of Spanish Succession.

1790: It rained meteorites in south-west France, and made holes in the landscape. People collected the hot rocks and sent them to the Academy of France, but scientists called the incident a physically impossible phenomenon.

1851: Window tax was abolished in Britain.

1864: Tennessee became the first confederate state to be readmitted to the Union.

1905: Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany signed the Björkö Treaty, whereby each country agreed to defend the other if attacked by European powers.

1905: The British Isles defeated USA 5-0 in the David Cup at Wimbledon.

1911: Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.

1925: Six-year-old Patricia Cheeseman was the first person to be treated successfully with insulin, at Guy’s Hospital in London.

1927: The Menin Gate, a memorial at Ypres to the armies of the British Empire, was unveiled by Lord Plumer.

1935: Greetings telegrams were introduced by the GPO. In a gold envelope, they cost an extra 3d.

1936: Ethel Cain, the “Girl with the Golden Voice”, chosen from 15,000 applicants, began a 20-year spell as the voice heard telling the time on the telephone.

1946: US made first underwater test of an atomic bomb off atoll of Bikini in Pacific Ocean.

1950: The first rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral.

1969: US Apollo 11 astronauts, first men to walk on Moon, splashed down in Pacific Ocean.

1969: Muhammad Ali lost his appeal, having been convicted for refusing induction into the US army.

1974: The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that president Nixon must hand over the Watergate tapes.

1976: United States spacecraft Viking 1 landed on Mars and started tests to determine whether life existed on the planet.

1985: Two officers of DGSE, the French security service, were charged with murder over the bombing of Greenpeace’s flagship Rainbow Warrior.

1987: Jeffrey Archer, former Tory Party deputy chairman and MP, won record £500,000 libel damages against Daily Star over alleged pay-off to a prostitute. Four years later, he was found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice at the 1987 trial and was jailed for four years.

2001: Tiger Woods, at 24 years, six months and 23 days, became the youngest man to win all four golf major championships.

2005: Lance Armstrong retired after winning a record seventh Tour de France. His titles were stripped for doping in 2012.

2008: The SNP pulled off a stunning by-election victory by winning Glasgow East, one of Labour’s safest seats, by 365 votes, overturning a Labour majority of 13,507, a swing of 22.5 per cent.

2014: Reuven Rivlin was sworn in as president of Israel.


Elisabeth Moss, actress, 33; Lynda Carter, actress and singer, 64; Danny Dyer, actor and television presenter, 38; Jennifer Lopez, singer and actress, 46; Joe McGann, actor, 57; Michael Richards, actor and comedian, 66; Doug Sanders, golfer, 82; Les Reed OBE, songwriter, 80; Gus Van Sant, film director, 63; Chris Sarandon, actor, 75; John Partridge, actor, 44; Julia Bradbury, TV presenter, 45; Michael Richards, actor, 66; Anna Paquin, actress, 33; Kerry Dixon, former footballer, 54; Martin Keown, TV football analyst and former player, 49; Dino Baggio, former footballer, 44; Wilfred Bungei, Kenyan Olympic gold medal-winning athlete, 35; Daniele De Rossi, footballer, 32.


Births: 1725 John Newton, sea captain, evangelist and writer of hymns (Amazing Grace); 1783 Simon Bolivar, founder of Bolivia; 1802 Alexandre Dumas, author; 1895 Robert Graves, poet, novelist and critic; 1898 Amelia Earhart, aviator; 1937 Baroness Blatch, Minister of State for Education 1991-1994, Minister of State for Home Office, 1994-1997.

Deaths: 1882 Matthew Webb, first person to swim English Channel; 1966 Tony Lema, Open Championship-winning golfer; 1974 Sir James Chadwick, Nobel Prize-winning physicist; 1980 Peter Sellers, entertainer; 1986 Fritz Lipmann, biochemist who discovered co-enzymes; 1991 Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nobel prize-winning author; 2010 Alex Higgins, snooker player.