On this day: Mikhail Gorbachev met Ronald Reagan

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 9 December
Toast to friendship  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met US president Ronald Reagan in Washington on this day in 1987. Picture: GettyToast to friendship  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met US president Ronald Reagan in Washington on this day in 1987. Picture: Getty
Toast to friendship  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met US president Ronald Reagan in Washington on this day in 1987. Picture: Getty

National day of Tanzania

1783: The first execution took place at Newgate Prison, London.

1824: Spain’s army was defeated at Ayacucho, Peru, by Simon Bolivar’s forces and agreed to leave South America.

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1868: William Ewart Gladstone became prime minister for the first of his four terms of office.

1884: Roller skates were patented by L Richardson of Chicago. He advertised them as a health aid – to stimulate soles and heels and so maintain strong legs.

1905: Separation of church and state in France was decreed.

1906: Theodore Roosevelt awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

1933: The London to Singapore airline service was inaugurated.

1940: British 8th Army opened offensive in North Africa.

1941: China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

1946: Indian Constituent Assembly was boycotted by Muslim League.

1949: The republic of Indonesia was established.

1960: The first episode of Coronation Street was televised, although it was not networked until the spring of 1961. A critic wrote: “The programme is doomed with its dreary signature tune and grim scenes of a row of terraced houses and smoking chimneys.”

1962: Tanzania became a republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as its first president.

1972: North Vietnam and Soviet Union concluded agreement for economic and military aid to Hanoi.

1975: Death toll was put at 160 in two days as Muslims and Christians fought in Beirut.

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1976: United Nations General Assembly called for Middle East peace conference at Geneva, Switzerland, with Palestine Liberation Organisation taking part.

1987: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met with United States president Ronald Reagan in Washington one day after the US-Soviet nuclear arms treaty was signed.

1988: West Germany demanded curbs on Nato military flights over its densely populated country.

1990: Lech Walesa won a landslide victory in Poland’s presidential election.

1992: Prime minister John Major told the House of Commons that the Prince and Princess of Wales were to separate.

1994: Sinn Fein had its first formal contact with government officials for 22 years.

2003: A blast in the centre of Moscow killed six people and wounded several more.

2008: Four people, including a 15-month-old girl, were killed when a US military F-18 fighter jet crashed into a house in San Diego. The pilot ejected.


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Donny Osmond, pop singer, 57; Joan Armatrading MBE, singer-songwriter, 64; Beau Bridges, actor, 73; Susan Bullock CBE, soprano, 56; Dame Judi Dench DBE, actress, 80; Kirk Douglas, actor, 98; David Harsent, poet, 72; Felicity Huffman, actress (Desperate Housewives), 52; Tom Kite, American golfer, 65; John Malkovich, actor, 61; Joanna Trollope OBE, author, 71; Kara DioGuardi, singer-songwriter, music publisher, 44; Joshua Bell, violinist and conductor, 47; Imogen Heap, singer-songwriter, 37; Masako, Crown Princess of Japan, 51.


Births: 1608 John Milton, poet, notably Paradise Lost for which he was paid £5; 1770 James Hogg, the “Ettrick Shepherd”; 1886 Clarence Birdseye, American inventor of the deep-freezing process; 1897 Hermione Gingold, actress; 1898 Emmett Kelly, circus clown (“Weary Willie”); 1899 Jean de Brunhoff, writer and illustrator who created Babar the elephant; 1902 Margaret Hamilton, actress (the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz); 1905 Dalton Trumbo novelist and screenwriter; 1909 Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, actor and naval officer; 1917 James Rainwater, Nobel Prize-winning physicist; 1922 Broderick Crawford, actor; 1922 Red Foxx, actor and comedian; 1929 John Cassavetes, actor and film director; 1933 Orville Moody, golfer; 1942 Billy Bremner, footballer and manager.

Deaths: 1165, Malcolm IV, king of Scotland; 1565 Pope Pius IV; 1641 Sir Anthony van Dyck, Flemish painter; 1669 Pope Clement IX; 1683 John Oldham, poet; 1964 Dame Edith Sitwell, poet; 1972 Louella Parsons, movie and gossip columnist; 1992 Dan Maskell, tennis commentator; 1992 Vincent Gardenia, actor; 1993 Danny Blanchflower, footballer and manager; 1995 Benny Lee, Glasgow-born comic actor and singer; 1996 Mary Leakey, British paleoanthropologist; 1998 Archie Moore, world champion boxer; 2009 Gene Berry, actor; 2012 Sir Patrick Moore, British astronomer; 2013 Eleanor Parker, actress.