On this day: Barack Obama elected US president

On this day in 2008 Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States and, in so doing, became the country's first black president. Picture: AFP/Getty
On this day in 2008 Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States and, in so doing, became the country's first black president. Picture: AFP/Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on 5 November.

Guy Fawkes Night. A law compelling people to celebrate this day was repealed in 1859.

1492: Christopher Columbus was introduced to corn by the Indians of Cuba.

1605: Guy Fawkes’s plot to blow up Parliament was foiled when 36 barrels of gunpowder were found in a cellar.

1883: The Mahdi defeated Egyptian force under William Hicks at El Obeid and Britain decided to evacuate the Sudan.

1909: The first Woolworth’s store in Britain opened in Liverpool.

1912: The British Board of Film Censors was appointed. It decided on only two classifications – “Universal” and “Not Suitable for Children”.

1919: The world’s greatest screen lover, Rudolph Valentino, married actress Jean Acker, and found he was locked out on his wedding night. The marriage lasted less than six hours.

1927: Britain’s first set of automatic traffic lights began working in Wolverhampton.

1935: The modern version of the board game Monopoly was first published by Parker Brothers, subtitled “The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game”.

1940: HMS Jervis Bay sunk defending Atlantic convoy from German warship Admiral Scheer.

1940: Franklin D Roosevelt defeated Republican candidate Wendell Willkie to be re-elected as US president and win an unprecedented third term as US president.

1956: Revolt in Hungary was quelled by Soviet forces who killed 20,000 people. Some Hungarians escaped to Britain.

1956: Britain and France landed forces in Egypt in reaction to the seizure of the Suez Canal.

1957: Mrs Nellie McGrail of Stockport, Cheshire scooped £205,235 on the football pools – the first to win a jackpot of more than £200,000.

1962: United Nations General Assembly demanded all nuclear tests cease by 1 January, 1963.

1966: Britain’s first post codes came into use, in Croydon.

1967: Forty-nine people died and 78 were injured when a train derailed at Hither Green, London. The survivors included Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

1970: Vatican issued document reforming Roman Catholic mass.

1971: Bolivia passed the death penalty for political kidnapping.

1975: The roof and top floor of Inveraray Castle were destroyed in six-hour blaze. Most of its antiques and art treasures were rescued intact by estate workers and firemen. The castle was restored after a successful appeal campaign.

1988: Seven hundred Orangemen marched through Brixham, Devon, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of William of Orange’s arrival to claim the British throne.

2006: The former president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was sentenced to death at a court in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

2007: China’s first lunar satellite, Chang’e 1 went into orbit around the Moon.

2008: Barack Obama, a Democratic senator, was elected as the 44th president of the US and, in so doing, became the country’s first black president.

2009: Thirteen people were killed and 30 injured in a shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. The attack was carried out by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist.

Bryan Adams, singer, 56; Art Garfunkel, singer and composer, 74; Tessa Jackson OBE, director, Scottish Arts Council 1999-01, 60; Famke Janssen, actress, 51; Tatum O’Neal, actress, 52; Tamzin Outhwaite, actress, 45; Lester Piggott, champion jockey, 80; Sam Shepard, actor, 72; Danniella Westbrook, actress, 42; Bubba Watson, major-winning golfer, 37; Peter Noone, musician, singer-songwriter (“Herman” of Herman’s Hermits), 68; Tilda Swinton, actress and fashion muse, 55; Jonny Greenwood, musician and songwriter (Radiohead), 44; Nestor Serrano, actor, 60; Oleg Blokhin, football manager.

Births: 1735 James Beattie, Laurencekirk-born poet; 1860 Johnny Laidlay, Musselburgh amateur golfer; 1911 Roy Rogers, actor; 1913 Vivien Leigh, actress; 1931 Ike Turner, musician, songwriter and record producer.

Deaths: 1879 James Clerk Maxwell, Edinburgh-born mathematician and physicist; 1977 René Goscinny, comic writer and editor, creator of Asterix the Gaul; 1979 Al Capp, cartoonist; 1987 Eamonn Andrews, broadcaster; 1991 Robert Maxwell, publisher; 1997 Isaiah Berlin, philosopher; 2010 Jill Clayburgh, actress.