On this day: The Tay road bridge opened

EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on August 18.

On this day in 1966 the Tay road bridge, one of the longest in Europe, opened, replacing the old Tay ferry. Picture: AFP/Getty

1736: The earliest successful appendix operation was performed by a surgeon to King George II, Claudius Amyand.

1746: Jacobite noble Arthur Elphinstone, Lord Balmerino, was executed at the Tower of London after being captured at the Battle of Culloden.

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1896: France annexed Madagascar, whose treaties with other states were annulled.

1911: Official Secrets Act first passed in Britain.

1914: US president Woodrow Wilson proclaimed American neutrality in First World War.

1926: A weather map was televised for the first time in USA.

1932: Glasgow-born James Mollison became the first pilot to fly east to west across the Atlantic, from Portmarnock, Ireland, to Pennfield, New Brunswick.

1940: “The hardest day” in the Battle of Britain as the Luftwaffe attacked the RAF in the largest ever air battle and 71 German aircraft were shot down over Britain. The Blitz started as German bombers began an all-night raid on London.

1941: National Fire Service was established in Britain.

1948: Lester Piggott, aged 12, rode his first winner on his seventh ride.

1957: Juan Manuel Fangio finished second in the Pescara Grand Prix, to clinch the last of his five world championships.

1958: Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was published.

1958: Floyd Paterson defeated Roy Harris with a technical knockout in the 13th round to retain the world heavyweight boxing title.

1958: Great Britain issued regional postage stamps for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

1960: The birth control pill was introduced in America.

1962: Peter, Paul and Mary released their first hit, If I Had A Hammer.

1964: South Africa was banned from participating in the Olympics because of its racial policies.

1966: The Tay road bridge was opened.

1967: Cunard liner Queen Mary was sold to the town of Long Beach, California.

1969: Mick Jagger was accidentally shot and slightly injured when a pistol backfired during filming of the movie Ned Kelly.

1969: The Woodstock music festival in New York state closed, with Jimi Hendrix as its final act.

1971: Australia and New Zeland both announced that their combat forces would be withdrawn from Vietnam before the end of the year.

1973: Archaeologists in Greece uncovered evidence that man had gone to sea as early as 7,500BC.

1976: Soviet spacecraft Luna 24 landed in the Sea of Crises on the Moon and scooped up samples of soil.

1977: Elvis Presley was buried in Memphis, Tennessee. An estimated 130,000 mourners paid their respects before the burial.

1982: Japan amended its election law to allow for proportional representation.

1983: Twelve-year-old Samantha Druce became the youngest female to swim the English Channel.

1990: President Saddam Hussein threatened to starve Western babies in Iraq if Iraqi children suffered food shortages as a result of the blockade.

1992: Britain agreed to send 1,800 peace-keeping troops to Bosnia.


Victoria Coren Mitchell, writer, TV presenter and poker player, 43; Robert Redford, actor and director, 79; Brian Aldiss OBE, science fiction author, 90; Kris Boyd, Scottish footballer, 32; Richard D James, aka Aphex Twin, musician, 44; Edward Norton, actor, 46; Roman Polanski, film director, 82; Bryan Ruiz, Costa Rican footballer, 30; Mohammad Sarwar, first ever British Muslim MP (Labour 1997-2010), 63; Christian Slater, actor, 46; Madeleine Stowe, actress, 57; Ross McCormack, Scottish footballer, 29; Mika, singer-songwriter, 32; Huw Edwards, journalist, TV presenter and newsreader, 54; Just Fontaine, French footballer, record goal-scorer in World Cup finals, 82.


Births: 1750 Antonio Salieri, composer; 1873 Otto Harbach, lyricist (Smoke Gets In your Eyes); 1904 Max Factor, president of cosmetics empire; 1917 Caspar Weinberger, US secretary of defence 1981 to 1987; 1920 Shelley Winters, actress; 1939 William Rushton, actor, author, cartoonist, broadcaster; 1939 Sir Robert Horton, businessman, chairman of BP; 1952 Patrick Swayze, actor.

Deaths: 1227 Genghis Khan, Mongol emperor; 1809 Matthew Boulton, engineer and partner of James Watt; 1874 Sir William Fairbairn, engineer and inventor; 1940 Walter Chrysler, automotive executive; 1969 Otto Stern, Nobel laureate physicist; 1981 Anita Loos, screenwriter; 2012 Scott McKenzie, singer-songwriter; 2014 Sam Galbraith, MP 1987-2001.