On this day: Naval yacht Iolair sinks off Western Isles

EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

On this day in 1919, the naval yacht Iolair was holed and sank off the Western Isles with the loss of 205 men. Picture: Contributed


National days of Cuba, Sudan and Haiti.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

45BC: The Julian calendar took effect.

1502: Portuguese navigators discovered Rio de Janeiro.

1610: German astronomer Simon Marius first discovered Jupiter’s moons but did not report it. Galileo did so on 1 July.

1651: Charles II was crowned King of Scots at Scone. It was the last coronation in Scotland.

1660: Thomas Fairfax’s New Model Army occupied York.

1700: Protestant western Europe, with the exception of England, began using the Gregorian calendar.

1760: Carron Ironworks near Falkirk was started by Roebuck & Garbett of Birmingham and Cadell of Cockenzie. The small naval guns known as carronades were among the company’s products.

1783: Glasgow Chamber of Commerce was founded, the first in Britain.

1801: The Irish parliament voted to join the Kingdom of Great Britain . thus forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1804: Haiti gained independence from France.

1818: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, was published anonymously by small London publishing house Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor and Jones.

1833: Britain proclaimed sovereignty over the Falklands.

1863: American president Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring slaves free.

1904: The first motor vehicle registration number in Britain, A1, was secured for his Napier car by Earl Russell.

1909: Thousands of Britons over 70 went to post offices to draw their first weekly pension of five shillings (25p).

1913: Film censorship came into operation in UK.

1919: Britain’s worst peacetime naval disaster this century happened when the naval yacht Iolaire, carrying 260 Lewis men returning from war service, and 24 crew, struck a reef on approach to Stornoway Harbour at 2am. Within 20 yards of the shore, 205 died as the overloaded vessel foundered.

1923: Most of the Scottish railways merged into the LMS and LNER. The Caledonian Railway followed suit later in the year.

1947: Britain’s coal industry nationalised.

1951: Steel industry nationalised.

1958: The European Economic Community came into being, the Treaty of Rome having been signed on 25 November, 1957, by the Six.

1959: Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba.

1961: Birth control pill was first used in Britain.

1970: The age of majority in Britain was cut from 21 to 18.

1973: Britain, Ireland and Denmark became EEC members.

1995: Frederick West, awaiting trial for 12 murders in and near Gloucester, hanged himself in his prison cell in Birmingham.

2011: Estonia officially adopted the euro currency and became the 17th eurozone country.


Births: 1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, ruler of Florence; 1735 Paul Revere, US patriot; 11854 Sir James Frazer, Glasgow-born anthropologist; 1879 EM Forster, novelist; 1919 JD Salinger, author; 1928 Iain Crichton Smith, Glasgow-born poet.

Deaths: 1766 James Stuart, the “Old Pretender”; 1944 Sir Edwin Lutyens, architect; 1996 Hamish Imlach, folk singer; 1998 Helen Wills Moody, Wimbledon champion;2009 Helen Suzman DBE, politician; 2015 Donna Douglas, actress (Elly May Clampett in the Beverly Hillbillies).