On this day: RMS Olympic, sister ship to the Titanic, was launched

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 20 October
On this day in 1910 the RMS Olympic, the sister ship of the ill-fated Titantic, was launched in Belfast. Picture: GettyOn this day in 1910 the RMS Olympic, the sister ship of the ill-fated Titantic, was launched in Belfast. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1910 the RMS Olympic, the sister ship of the ill-fated Titantic, was launched in Belfast. Picture: Getty

Close season for the killing of hinds ends.

1576: Spanish troops occupied and plundered Maastricht.

1714: Georg Ludwig von Hannover was crowned King George I.

1813: The German kingdom of Westphalia was abolished.

1817: The first Mississippi “showboat” set off from Nashville, Tennesse, on its maiden voyage.

1818: The 49th parallel was established by the US and Britain as the boundary between Canada and the United States.

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1835: HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, left Galapagos, bound for Tahiti.

1899: At the Battle of Talana Hill (also known as the Battle of Glencoe) during the second Boer War, British forces suffered heavy casualties but succeeeded in driving the Boers – Dutch farmers – from their hilltop position.

1910: RMS Olympic, sister ship to the Titanic, was launched from Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast. Her career spanned 24 years and she earned the nickname Old Reliable for service as a troop ship during the war.

1922: Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy.

1941: The keel of Britain’s largest and last battleship, Vanguard, was laid at Clydebank. She was launched on 30 November, 1944.

1945: Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon warned US that creation of Jewish state could lead to war; Arab League was formed.

1960: DH Lawrence’s novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928) took Penguin Books to the dock at the Old Bailey under the Obscene Publications Act. Penguin was found not guilty.

1968: Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of President John F Kennedy, married shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis on his island of Skorpios in the Ionian Sea.

1973: The Sydney Opera House was opened by the Queen.

1977: Civilian government in Thailand was ousted in bloodless coup by military junta which had installed it a year earlier.

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1987: Legal history was made at the Old Bailey when a teenage girl gave evidence in a sex abuse case from behind a screen.

1988: The Sengstack family of New Jersey sold their company’s outright ownership of the song, Happy Birthday To You, which they had sung for 50 years for a reported $25 million, it is said to earn $2m a year in royalties.

1988: The government came under pressure to recognise a moral responsibility towards 18,000 investors who lost savings in the collapse of the investment firm Barlow Clowes International.

1991: At Wentworth, Severiano Ballesteros won the world matchplay golf championship for the fifth time.

1995: The Scottish secretary, Michael Forsyth, announced a plan to encourage Highland crofters to buy thousands of acres of land owned by the Scottish Office.

1997: Elton John’s funeral service tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, Candle in the Wind 97, was declared the biggest-selling single in music history.

2007: South Africa beat England, the holder, 15-6 in the World Rugby Cup final in Paris.

2011: Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi was tortured and killed shortly after the Battle of Sirte while in the custody of rebel fighters. His son Muatassim was also killed.


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Viggo Mortensen, actor, 57; Tom Petty, guitarist/singer, 65; Ian Rush MBE, footballer, 54; Snoop Dogg, rapper, 44; Mark King, musician (Level 42), 57; Eddie Macken, Irish showjumper, 66; Dannii Minogue, singer and television presenter, 44; Tommy Nakajima, golfer, 61; The Hon Emma Christina Tennant FRSL, writer, 78; Susan Tully, actress, 48; Timothy West CBE, actor and director, 81; Leila Josefowicz, violinist, 38; Candice Swanepoel, model, 27; Paul Wilson, musician (Snow Patrol), 37; Norman Blake, Smusician (Teenage Fanclub), 50; Ric Lee, drummer (Ten Years After), 70; Sir Ken Morrison CBE, supermarket magnate, 84.


Births: 1632 Sir Christopher Wren, architect and astronomer; 1784 Lord Palmerston, twice prime minister; 1882 Bela Lugosi, actor in horror films; 1891 James Chadwick, Nobel Prize-winning physicist who discovered the neutron; 1938 Kathy Kirby, singer.

Deaths:: 1842 Grace Darling, wh saved the ship­wrecked crew of the Forfarshire in 1838; 1935 Arthur Henderson, Glasgow-born, first Labour Cabinet minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner; 1970 Patrick Wymark, actor; 1994 Burt Lancaster, actor; 2014 Oscar de la Renta, fashion designer, 82; .