On this day: Coventry cathedral bombed in air raid

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 14 November
On this day in 1940, one thousand civilians were killed and Coventrys historic cathedral was devastated by a German air raid. Picture: GettyOn this day in 1940, one thousand civilians were killed and Coventrys historic cathedral was devastated by a German air raid. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1940, one thousand civilians were killed and Coventrys historic cathedral was devastated by a German air raid. Picture: Getty

1647: King Charles I was recaptured and imprisoned.

1770: British explorer James Bruce discovered the source of the Blue Nile – Lake Tana in north-west Ethiopia.

1890: British-Portuguese agreement on Zambesi and Congo granted Britain control of lower Zambesi and colonising rights up to the Congo.

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1896: The Highway Act raised the speed limit for horseless carriages on Britain’s roads from 4mph (2mph in towns) to 14mph.

1910: A Curtiss biplane, piloted by Eugene Ely, made the first take-off from a ship, the United States light cruiser Birmingham.

1922: BBC began transmitting daily from 2LO in the Strand, London.

1940: A thousand civilians were killed and Coventry’s historic cathedral was devastated in German air raid.

1941: The aircraft carrier Ark Royal sank near Gibraltar after being hit by a torpedo.

1952: Britain’s first music chart was published in the New Musical Express, with Al Martino’s Here in My Heart at No1

1959: The Dounreay fast reactor went into operation.

1963: The island of Surtsey was formed off Iceland by the eruption of an underwater volcano.

1969: Second manned moon mission, US Apollo 12, launched from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Charles Conrad, Richard Gordon and Alan Bean aboard.

1973: Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips.

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1977: Firemen, claiming a pay increase of 30 per cent, went on strike, leaving armed forces to cope with fires.

1983: First Cruise missiles arrived at Greenham Common base in Newbury, Berkshire.

1988: Picasso’s Maternité sold for £13.7 million, a record for a Picasso painting.

1990: Desmond Ellis became first IRA suspect to be extradited from Republic of Ireland to mainland Britain.

1991: Murder warrants were issued in Scotland against two Libyan intelligence officers who were alleged to have carried out Pan Am airliner bombing in which 270 died at Lockerbie.

1994: More than £7 million worth of National Lottery tickets were sold in the first 12 hours of going on sale.

2008: The cancer-stricken Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, failed in his bid to be freed on bail.


Prince of Wales, 66; Karen Armstrong, writer, 70; Tommy Coyne, Govan-born footballer, 52; Letitia Dean, actress, 47; Michael Dobbs, Baron Dobbs, British politician and novelist, 66; Stefano Gabbana, fashion designer, 52; Paul McGann, actor (eighth Dr Who), 55; PJ O’Rourke, American political satirist and author, 67; Condoleezza Rice, former United States secretary of state, 60; Chris Woods, footballer, 55; Yanni, Greek pianist and composer, 60; James Young, musician, 65; Adam Gilchrist, Australian cricketer, 43; Thomas Vermaelen, footballer, 29; Bernard Hinault, five-time winner of Tour de France, 60; Alec John Such, musician (Bon Jovi), 63.


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Births: 1765 Robert Fulton, American engineer and pioneer of the steamboat; 1797 Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Scottish lawyer and geologist; 1840 Claude Monet, French Impressionist painter; 1863 Leo Hendrik Baekland, Belgian chemist and inventor of bakelite; 1889 Jawaharlal Nehru, first prime minister of independent India; 1891 Sir Frederick Banting, Canadian co-discoverer of insulin in 1922; 1896 Mamie Eisenhower, US first lady; 1900 Aaron Copland, composer; 1904 Harold Larwood, England bowler in “Bodyline” Test series; 1904 Dick Powell, singer, actor, film producer and studio head; 1907 Astrid Lindgren, children’s author, creator of Pippi Longstocking; 1908 Joseph McCarthy, US anti-communist Senator; 1910 Norman MacCaig, poet; 1922 Boutros Boutros-Ghali, secretary-general of United Nations; 1922 Veronica Lake, actress; 1927 McLean Stevenson, actor; 1930 Shirley Crabtree (“Big Daddy”), wrestler; 1935 King Hussein of Jordan.

Deaths: 1687 Nell Gwynne, orange seller, actress and mistress of King Charles II; 1841 Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine, nobleman who removed the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, Athens; 1905 Robert Whitehead, inventor of the torpedo; 1914 Lord Roberts, Boer War commander; 1916 Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), writer, killed in action; 1933 Sir David Murray, artist; 1990 Malcolm Muggeridge, writer, broadcaster.