On this day: Baghdad fell to US forces

On this day in 2003, US forces took the Iraqi capital Baghdad and a statue of former leader Saddam Hussein was torn down. Picture: Reuters
On this day in 2003, US forces took the Iraqi capital Baghdad and a statue of former leader Saddam Hussein was torn down. Picture: Reuters
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 9 April

1747: Britain’s last beheading took place on Tower Hill, London. Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, was executed for his part in the Jacobite rising.

1770: James Cook discovered Botany Bay – declaring that the Aborigines seemed “open to reason”.

1838: The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, was opened.

1865: Confederate Robert E Lee surrendered to General Grant in Virginia, effectively bringing the American Civil War to an end.

1917: Battles of Arras and Vimy Ridge began in First World War.

1918: Latvia proclaimed its independence.

1928: Islam was no longer recognised as state religion in Turkey.

1940: Germany invaded Norway and Denmark.

1942: American-Filipino forces on Bataan surrendered to Japanese.

1945: USS Liberty exploded in Bari harbour, Italy, killing 360.

1961: Fire on the British passenger and cargo vessel Dara off Dubai killed 150.

1969: The British supersonic airliner, Concorde, made its maiden flight from Bristol to Fairford in Gloucestershire.

1970: Legal moves to dissolve The Beatles’ business partnership were begun by Paul McCartney.

1983: Jenny Pitman became the first woman to train a Grand National winner with Corbiere.

1986: West Berlin expelled two Libyan diplomats and said it had “several indications” Libya was behind the bombing of a disco.

1989: Sixteen people were killed as Soviet troops rushed a crowd of protesters in a central square of Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

1990: Ford motor company cancelled a planned £225m Welsh investment.

1990: Four members of Ulster Defence Regiment were killed by an IRA land mine at Downpatrick.

1991: Georgia voted to secede from Soviet Union.

1992: The Conservatives won a fourth successive term in office when they triumphed at the general election – but with a greatly reduced majority of 21.

2003: Baghdad fell to US forces; Saddam Hussein statue toppled as Iraqis turn on symbols of their former leader, pulling down the statue and tearing it to pieces.

2005: The Prince of Wales married Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles, a divorcée, at a civil ceremony in Windsor.


Hannah Gordon, Edinburgh-born actress, 73; Jean-Paul Belmondo, actor, 81; Eric Clarke, MP 1992-2001, 81; Hugh Hefner, magazine publisher (Playboy), 88; Alan Knott, cricketer, 68; Tom Lehrer, satirical songwriter, 86; Jerzy Maksymiuk, chief conductor 1983-93, conductor laureate, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, 78; Cynthia Nixon, actress, 48; Dennis Quaid, actor, 60; Tony Sibson, boxer, 56; Valerie Singleton OBE, broadcaster, 77; Rachel Stevens, pop singer, 36; Jacques Villeneuve, racing driver, 43.


Births: 1649 James, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch, natural son of King Charles II and Lucy Walter; 1806 Isambard Kingdom Brunel, railway and marine engineer; 1898 Paul Robeson, singer and actor; 1906 Hugh Gaitskell, leader of Labour Party and chancellor who in 1950 introduced NHS charges; 1957 Severiano Ballesteros, golfer.

Deaths: 1492 Lorenzo de Medici; 1626 Francis Bacon (Lord Verulam), philosopher and statesman; 1882 Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet and painter; 1959 Frank Lloyd Wright, architect; 2011 Sidney Lumet, film director.