On this day: Rebels take Zaire|1st package holiday

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 17 May

On this day in 1997 rebel troops entered Kinshasa, capital of Zaire. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1997 rebel troops entered Kinshasa, capital of Zaire. Picture: Getty

National day of Norway.

1532: The Court of Session was instituted.

1756: Britain declared war on France.

1782: Treaty of Salbai ended war between British and Mahrattas of India.

1861: The first package holiday was arranged by Thomas Cook. The Whitsun Working Man’s Excursion set off from London Bridge to Paris. The six-day trip cost £2 6s (£2.30) and included travel and hotel.

1875: The first Kentucky Derby was run at Louisville, Kentucky.

1890: The first comic, Comic Cuts, was published in London by Alfred Harmsworth.

1900: Mafeking defenders under Colonel Robert Baden-Powell were relieved by British forces in the Boer War after siege of 217 days.

1916: The government introduced the British Summertime Act.

1920: KLM airlines began its first scheduled service between London and Amsterdam.

1938: The Marquess of Bute sold half the city of Cardiff for £20 million in the biggest British property deal.

1946: Mitri Antonescu, wartime premier of Romania, was sentenced to death.

1957: Egypt barred Israeli merchant ships from Suez Canal.

1960: Kariba Dam on the Zambesi River was opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

1965: “Early Bird” transmitted its first transatlantic programme in colour.

1978: Compact discs were created by Philips.

1987: Mistaken Iraqi Exocet missile attack on warship USS Stark, patrolling in the Persian Gulf, killed 37 American crewmen.

1990: Nearly 700 people died in India when a cyclone hit Andhra Pradesh.

1991: Iraq jailed Scottish engineer Douglas Brand for 20 years for espionage. He was freed on 17 June.

1993: Rebecca Stephens became the first British woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1997: Troops of Laurent Kabila marched into Kinshasa. Zaire is officially renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.

2004: Massachusetts became the first US state to legalise same-sex marriage.

2006: The aircraft carrier USS Oriskany was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef.

2011: The Queen began a historic four-day state visit to Ireland; the first by a British monarch.


Sugar Ray Leonard, boxer, 58; David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie, Lord Chamberlain 1984-97, 88; Sue Carpenter, broadcaster, 58; Paul Crossley, pianist, 70; Professor Ian Deary, Professor of Differential Psychology, Edinburgh University, 60; Dick Gaughan, folk singer and guitarist, 66; Lord Gordon of Strathblane CBE, 78; Alan Johnson, Labour MP, 64; Christine Ohuruogu MBE, 400 metres Olympic and world gold medallist, 30; Bill Paxton, actor, 59; Tony Roche, tennis player, 69.


Births: 1749 Edward Jenner, vaccination pioneer; 1866 Erik Satie, French composer; 1911 Maureen O’Sullivan, film actress; 1918 Birgit Nilsson, operatic soprano; 1920 Bob Merrill, songwriter and composer of musicals (notably Funny Girl); 1935 Dennis Potter, playwright; 1936 Dennis Hopper, American actor.

Deaths: 1510 Sandro Botticelli, Florentine artist; 1935 Paul Dukas, composer; 1970 Nigel Balchin, novelist; 1998 Lord (Hugh) Cudlipp, journalist; 2012 Donna Summer, singer.


17 May, 1924

THE last stage in the Walkerburn Church trouble, which has occupied the attention of the Presbytery of Peebles for over a year, was reached yesterday when the Rev Robert Stewart, the minister of Walkerburn, at a special meeting of the Presbytery of Peebles, adhered to his decision to resign his charge.

The following resolution was passed: “The Presbytery accept, and they hereby do accept, the demission of Mr Stewart, and loose him from his charge and instruct the Clerk to give Mr Stewart a certificate in terms of the 1903 Act that he retains his status as a minister of the Church of Scotland. ”

The Rev WS Crockett (Tweedsmuir) was appointed to preach on Sunday first, and the Rev JY Walker (Innerleithen) was appointed moderator in the vacancy. There was no kirk-session, as the members had all resigned over differences with the minister.

l archive.scotsman.com