On this day: Oor Wullie | Ibrox disaster | King James VI

EVENTS, anniversaries and birthdays for April 5

1603: King James VI left Scotland for his new kingdom of England.

1794: French revolutionary leaders Georges-Jacques Danton and Camille Desmoulins were guillotined.

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1881: Britain concluded Treaty of Pretoria with Boers, recognising independence of South African Republic of Transvaal.

1902: The stand at Ibrox Park stadium in Glasgow collapsed during an England versus Scotland match, killing 20 spectators and injuring more than 200.

1910: Kissing was banned on French railways.

1916: Military Medal introduced in First World War for forces fighting on Western Front.

1939: All German children between ages of ten and 13 were ordered to serve in Hitler Youth Organisation.

1946: Billy Smart opened his first circus.

1951: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg of New York City were sentenced to death as atomic spies for Soviet Union.

1955: Sir Winston Churchill resigned as prime minister, aged 80.

1966: Corporation tax brought into force by Harold Wilson’s Labour government.

1968: Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth was sold to an American syndicate for $3,230,000.

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1969: Four-man British expedition reached North Pole after 14-month, 1,300-mile trek by dog sled.

1971: Mrs Fran Phipps became the first woman to reach the North Pole.

1976: James Callaghan succeeded Harold Wilson as Labour prime minister, defeating Michael Foot in the final ballot for leadership of the Labour Party.

1989: The lighthouse at Fastnet, off County Cork, was computerised, ending almost 150 years of human habitation.

1997: IRA bomb threats stopped the Grand National and 70,000 spectators were evacuated from Aintree. The race was run two days later.

2004: Cartoon character Oor Wullie was named as Scotland’s top icon, ahead of William Wallace and Sir Sean Connery.

2009: North Korea launched its controversial Kwangmyongsong-2 rocket. The satellite passed over mainland Japan, which prompted an immediate reaction from the UN Security Council.

2010: 115 Chinese miners trapped in the flooded Wangjialing mine in Shanxi province for more than a week were rescued and brought to the surface.


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Agnetha Fältskog, singer (Abba), 63; Jane Asher, actress and writer, 67; Hayley Atwell, actress, 31; Allan Clarke, singer and songwriter (Hollies), 71; Sir Tom Finney OBE, English footballer, 91; Richard Gough, footballer, 51; Krishnan Guru-Murthy, television presenter, 43; John Hartson, footballer, 40; Diane Keaton, actress, 67; General Colin Powell, United States secretary of state 2001-5, 76.


Births: 1827 Lord Lister, pioneer of disinfection and antiseptics; 1900 Spencer Tracy, actor; 1908 Bette Davis, actress; 1909 Albert (Cubby) Broccoli, film producer; 1916 Gregory Peck, actor; 1929 Sir Nigel Hawthorne, actor.

Deaths: 1884 John Wisden, cricketer and compiler of record books; 1964 General Douglas MacArthur, Second World War commander in the Pacific; 1984 Sir Arthur Harris, former chief of Bomber Command; 1997 Allen Ginsberg, beat poet; 2005 Saul Bellow, novelist; 2006 Gene Pitney, singer.