On this day: Soviet Red Army leaves Afhan capital Kabul

EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

Soviet Unions Red Army left Afghan capital of Kabul in ceremony, leaving behind handful of soldiers. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

1601: John Lancaster led first East India Company’s voyage from London.

1633: Italian astronomer Galileo arrived in Rome and was detained by the Inquisition.

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1689: English Parliament adopted a Bill of Rights.

1692: Massacre of Glencoe, in which 34 men, two women and two children of the Macdonald clan were slaughtered by Campbells and other soldiery on government orders after inadvertent failure of clan chief to sign allegiance to William III.

1866: Jesse James robbed his first bank.

1874: Treaty of Fomena, under which King Koffee of Ashanti, West Africa, promised free trade, and an open road to Kumasi, and agreed to pay indemnities to Britain and end human sacrifice.

1931: Scottish Youth Hostels Association formed.

1945: Allied forces captured Budapest, Hungary.

1945: 1,400 RAF and 450 United States Air Force bombers devastated Dresden in three waves over a 14-hour period.

1961: Patrice Lumumba, Congo leader, assassinated.

1968: Ten thousand US troops transported to South Vietnam as fighting increased in that country.

1969: It was announced that eggs removed from a woman volunteer had been fertilised in a test tube as a result of work done at Cambridge University with Oldham General Hospital.

1974: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author and Nobel prize-winner in 1970, arrived in Switzerland after being expelled from the Soviet Union.

1975: Turkish Cypriots proclaimed separate administration in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus.

1989: A two-and-a-half-inch meteor crashed through the roof of Lewes Station, Sussex.

1989: Soviet Union’s Red Army left Afghan capital of Kabul in ceremony, leaving behind handful of soldiers.

1990: The two Germanies, with Britain, France, Soviet Union, and US, agreed a framework for German reunification.

1992: Ford of Britain announced losses of £920 million, the biggest in its 81-year history.

1994: John Major’s back-to-basics took new battering with resignation of Conservative MP Hartley Booth over relationship with Commons researcher.

2000: The last original Peanuts comic strip appeared in newspapers one day after Charles M Schulz died.

2001: An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter Scale hit El Salvador, killing at least 400.

2004: The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics announced the discovery of the universe’s largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star “Lucy” after The Beatles’ song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

2008: Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd made a historic apology to the Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations.

2010: The start of the Winter Olympics were overshadowed by the death of a luge competitor who left the track at high speed.


Births: 1728 John Hunter, East Kilbride-born physiologist; 1744 David Allan, “the Scottish Hogarth”; 1849 Lord Randolph Churchill, statesman; 1884 Sophie Tucker, US singer; 1901 Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell), novelist;

Deaths: AD858 Kenneth MacAlpin, first King of Scots; 1542 Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII; 1883 Richard Wagner, composer; 1917 Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod, nee Zelle), First World War spy; 1958 Dame Christabel Pankhurst, suffragette