On this day: Seafield Colliery| Potters Bar disaster
1655: Jamaica wrested from the Spanish by the British. It had been in Spanish hands for 161 years after its discovery by Columbus.
1857: Start, in Meerut, of the Indian Mutiny, or rebellion of Sepoy soldiers against British rule, and particularly against orders to bite off the greased ends of cartridges for the new Enfield rifle. The rebellion ended in July 1858.
1875: Religious orders were abolished in Russia.
1908: Mother’s Day was first celebrated, in Philadelphia, by Anna May Jarvis, suffragist and temperance worker.
1915: The first Zeppelin raids took place over Britain. Nearly 100 bombs were dropped on Southend-on-Sea.
1919: Britain’s first airline started, flying 50 miles between Manchester and Blackpool in two-seater Avro biplane.
1940: Neville Chamberlain resigned as prime minister, and Winston Churchill formed a coalition government with Clement Attlee as his deputy.
1941: Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, parachuted on to the Duke of Hamilton’s estate at Floors Farm near Eaglesham, claiming to be on peace mission. He was arrested, found guilty of war crimes and imprisoned in Spandau Prison until his death in 1987.
1967: Breath tests for motorists suspected of drinking and driving introduced.
1973: Five miners died in roof fall at Seafield Colliery, Fife.
1976: Jeremy Thorpe resigned as leader of the Liberal Party.
1981: Francois Mitterrand defeated Giscard d’Estaing to become president of France.
1990: PanAm agreed £10 million out-of-court settlement for Lockerbie disaster relatives.
1994: Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa’s first black president.
1995: The axing by British Rail of the Motorail car-carrying service between Fort William and London was confirmed.
2002: Six people died and over 60 injured when a carriage on the King’s Cross to King’s Lynn express derailed at 100mph at Potters Bar in north London.
2005: A hand grenade thrown by Vladimir Arutinian landed about 65ft from American president George W Bush in Tbilisi, Georgia, but it did not detonate.
2011: Ex-motorsports boss Max Mosley lost his European Court of Human Rights bid to force newspapers to warn people before exposing their private lives.
Donovan, Glasgow-born pop-folk singer, 67; Dennis Bergkamp, footballer, 44; Bono (Paul Hewson), rock singer (U2) and poet, 53; Jason Brooks, actor, 47; Sly Dunbar, Jamaican music producer, 61; Jonathan Edwards CBE, Olympic triple-jump champion and broadcaster, 47; Linda Evangelista, model, 48; Maureen Lipman CBE, actress, 67; Sir William Lithgow, 2nd Baronet, Scottish industrialist and farmer, 79; Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE, novelist, 80.
Births: 1760 Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, composer of La Marseillaise; 1838 John Wilkes Booth, actor and assassin of President Abraham Lincoln; 1850 Sir Thomas Lipton, Glasgow-born founder of grocery chain, and philanthropist; 1899 Fred Astaire, film actor and dancer; 1902 David Selznick, film producer; 1920 Bert Weedon OBE, guitarist.
Deaths: 1904 Sir Henry Morton Stanley, journalist and explorer in Africa; 1914 Sir William Smith, founder of the Boys’ Brigade; 1955 Tommy Burns, Canadian heavyweight boxing champion; 1977 Joan Crawford, film actress.