On this day: River Thames overflowed drowning 14 people

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 6 January

On this day in 1928 the River Thames overflowed, drowning 14 people living in basement homes in London. Picture: Getty

1066: Harold was crowned King of England in succession to Edward the Confessor.

1540: Henry VIII married wife number four, Anne of Cleves, dubbed ‘The Flanders Mare’ because she had a plain face and was rather large. The marriage was dissolved after six months.

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1838: Samuel Morse demonstrated his electric telegraph.

1916: The Allies began to evacuate Gallipoli.

1922: The first slalom ski race was organised by Sir Arnold Lunn at Murren, Switzerland.

1928: The River Thames overflowed, drowning 14 people in basement homes. It filled the moat of the Tower of London and the basement of the Tate Gallery, where many paintings were damaged.

1930: Don Bradman scored 452 not out in a single innings, breaking all first-class cricket records, in a Sheffield Shield match, in Sydney. The scoring rate was 65 runs an hour and he hit 49 fours.

1941: American president Franklin D Roosevelt defined the goal of the ‘Four Freedoms’: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

1945: The Battle of the Bulge ended.

1957: Five members of crew were lost when fishery cruiser Vaila sank off Lewis.

1964: Pope Paul VI ended three-day tour of Holy Land – the first Pope in history to visit there.

1989: Soviet Union called the downing of two Libyan aircraft by US ‘absolutely unfounded’.

1990: Polish communist leaders voted to disband their party and form a new leftist party under a different name.

1991: Saddam Hussein told Iraqis to prepare for a long war against ‘tyranny represented by the US’.

1995: The QE2 returned to New York after a Christmas cruise with up to 80 passengers reported to be threatening legal action over conditions on board following a refit.

2011: The pies at Ayrshire bakery Irvine’s of Beith were judged the best in the world at the World Scotch Pie Championships.


Nigella Lawson, cookery writer and broadcaster, 55; Rowan Atkinson CBE, comedian and actor, 60; Robert Bruce, 8th Lord Balfour of Burleigh, former Chancellor of Stirling University 1988-98, 88; Angus Deayton, television presenter and actor, 59; Richard Nerurkar MBE, athlete, 51; Martin O’Neill, Baron O’Neill of Clackmannan, 70; Sylvia Syms OBE, actress, 81; Terry Venables, football manager and commentator, 72; Sir Clive Woodward OBE, England rugby union coach 1997-2004, 59; Eddie Redmayne, actor, 33; Malcolm Young, Scottish musician (AC/DC), 62; Paul Azinger, golfer, 55; John Singleton, film director and producer, 47; Nino Tempo, musician, singer, actor, 80.


Births: 1412 Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, French patriot and martyr; 1917 Maeve Brennan, writer; 1920 Sun Myung Moon, founder of Unification church (‘Moonies’); 1925 John de Lorean, founder of DeLorean Motor Company; 1946 Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd founder.

Deaths: 1840 Fanny Burney, novelist and diarist; 1852 Louis Braille, inventor of raised-dot reading system used by the blind; 1919 Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US president; 1981 AJ Cronin, Scottish physician and novelist; 1990 Ian Charleson, Scottish actor; 1993 Rudolf Nureyev, ballet dancer; 1993 Dizzy Gillespie, jazz trumpeter.