On this day: Motorola closed its Bathgate factory | Amagasaki rail crash in Japan

Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 25 April
On this day in 2005 107 people were killed when a train crashed in the city of Amagasaki in Japan. Picture: APOn this day in 2005 107 people were killed when a train crashed in the city of Amagasaki in Japan. Picture: AP
On this day in 2005 107 people were killed when a train crashed in the city of Amagasaki in Japan. Picture: AP

1792: The Paris guillotine, newly improved by Doctor Joseph Guillotin, was used for the first time, to behead a highwayman, Nicolas-Jacques Pelletier.

1809: Britain concluded treaty of friendship with Sikhs at Amritsar in India.

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1859: Work began on the construction of the 100-mile-long Suez Canal. It was opened on 16 November, 1869.

1898: United States declared war on Spain.

1915: Gallipoli landing of Australian and New Zealand troops in the First World War.

1945: Delegates of 45 nations met in San Francisco, California, to organise United Nations.

1975: In Portugal’s first free elections for 50 years, three main non-communist parties won a large majority.

1983: In Germany, Stern magazine published the first extracts from the so-called Hitler Diaries, which were also published by the Sunday Times in Britain. They were later found to be forgeries.

1990: The Commons voted 409 to 152 in favour of reducing the abortion limit to 24 weeks.

1991: Soviet Union’s Communist Party plenum decided to keep Gorbachev as leader in spite of hours of harsh criticism that led him to offer to resign.

1992: Earthquake measuring 7.0 on Richter scale rocked northern California.

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1993: Boris Yeltsin won a clear victory in a Russian referendum on his leadership and his reforms.

1994: Nine people died and 100 were injured in a car-bomb blast in Johannesburg as violence escalated in the run-up to South Africa’s first all-race elections.

2001: Motorola closed its Bathgate factory with the loss of 3,100 jobs.

2003: The Human Genome Project came to an end two-and-a-half years earlier than anticipated.

2005: Bulgaria and Romania signed accession treaties to join the European Union.

2005: 107 died in Amagasaki rail crash in Japan.

2007: Boris Yeltsin’s funeral was the first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.

2010: The first direct flight between Iraq and the UK for 20 years took off from Baghdad Airport, bound for London.


Andy Bell, pop musician (Erasure), 49; Eric Bristow, British darts player, 56; Johann Cruyff, footballer and manager, 66; Fish (Derek William Dick), rock singer and actor, 55; Jason Lee, actor, 43; Sir Moir Lockhead OBE, chief executive of FirstGroup, 68; Sir Ian McCartney, Kilmarnock-born MP (1987-2010), 62; David Moyes, football manager, 50; Al Pacino, actor, 
73; William Roache MBE, British actor (Coronation Street), 81; Björn Ulvaeus, pop musician (Abba), 68.


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Births: 1284 King Edward II; 1599 Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England 1653-58; 1769 Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, engineer and inventor; 1792 John Keble, Anglican priest and founder member of the Oxford Movement; 1874 Guglielmo Marconi, physicist and radio pioneer; 1917 Ella Fitzgerald, jazz singer.

Deaths: 1744 Anders Celsius, astronomer who devised temperature scale; 1878 Anna Sewell, authoress, notably Black Beauty; 1976 Sir Carol Reed, film director; 1995 Ginger Rogers, actress/dancer; 2001 Michele Alboreto, racing driver; 2010 Alan Sillitoe, writer (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning).