On this day: Biafra declared itself independent

In 1967 Biafra declared itself independent of Nigeria in 1967 following a civil war. It was reincorporated three years later. Picture: AFP
In 1967 Biafra declared itself independent of Nigeria in 1967 following a civil war. It was reincorporated three years later. Picture: AFP
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 30 May

1536: King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, the third of his six wives, in the Queen’s Chapel, Whitehall 11 days after the execution of Anne Boleyn.

1656: The Grenadier Guards were formed.

1808: Napoleon Bonaparte annexed Tuscany.

1842: John Francis fired a pistol at Queen Victoria as she was driving down Constitution Hill, London, with Prince Albert. Francis was seized by a policeman and was convicted of high treason. The death sentence was commuted to transportation for life.

1904: Japanese forces occupied Dalmy (Darien) in Russia.

1911: The Indianapolis 500 car race of 200 laps was inaugurated in the US. It was won by Ray Harroun at an average 74.59mph.

1946: The Minister of Food for the post-war Labour government, John Strachey, told the Commons that bread would be rationed, with the greatest allowance going to manual workers in heavy industry.

1959: The first full-sized experimental hovercraft, built by Saunders-Roe, was launched at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

1963: Official death toll in windstorm which struck East Pakistan was put at 10,000.

1967: Biafra, formerly the province of Eastern Nigeria, changed name and declared itself an independent republic. Ravaged by a war with Nigeria and famine, it was re-incorporated into Nigeria in 1970.

1969: British Transarctic Expedition completed first surface crossing of the continent, covering 3,600 miles in 464 days.

1971: Mariner 9 was launched from Cape Kennedy for a Mars mission.

1972: Three Japanese terrorists killed 26 people in suicide attack on Tel Aviv’s Lod Airport.

1982: Spain became 16th member of Nato.

1984: The 45-month Gulf war heated up as Iraq reported new attacks on naval targets near Iran’s Kharg Island oil port.

1987: Mob of militant “low-caste” villagers massacred at least 42 members of upper-caste landlord families in India’s impoverished eastern state of Bihar.

1989: Cliff Richard issued his 100th pop single record.

1990: Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinian guerrillas and captured 12 as they sped toward the coastline apparently to launch attacks coinciding with Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

1990: France banned beef exports from Britain in “mad cow disease” scare.

1990: One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded occurred in central and eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, with the epicentre in Romania.

1992: The UN imposed arms and other sanctions of warring states in the former Yugoslavia.

1998: A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000 people.

2002: 272 days after the 11 September attacks, closing ceremonies are held for the clean-up/recovery efforts at the World Trade Centre site in New York City. The last remaining steel beam is removed and transported to the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island.

2010: Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws resigned after it was revealed he broke Commons rules by claiming £40,000 in rent on a flat owned by his male partner.


Harry Enfield, writer, actor and comedian, 54; Tracey Childs, actress, 52; Ray Cooney OBE playwright and producer, 83; Tim Burgess, singer, 48; Stephen Duffy singer, 55; Peter Ellis, actor, 79; Jennifer Ellison, actress, model and singer, 32; Norman Eshley, actor, 70; Steven Gerrard MBE, English footballer, 35; Richard Hannon, racehorse trainer, 70; Wynonna Judd, country singer and actress, 51; David Shukman, broadcaster, 57; Clint Walker, actor, 88; Tim Waterstone, Scottish bookseller, 76; Bob Willis MBE, English cricketer and broadcaster, 66; Helen Sharman OBE, astronaut, 52; Cee Lo Green, musician, 40; Sally Dynevor, actress, 52.


Births: 1672 Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia; 1835 Alfred Austin, Poet Laureate; 1846 Peter Carl Fabergé, goldsmith and jeweller; 1896 Howard Hawks, film director; 1909 Benny Goodman, clarinettist and band leader; 1913 Cedric Thorpe Davie, composer; 1924 Trevor Philpot, broadcaster.

Deaths: 1431 Joan of Arc, French patriot and martyr; canonised in 1920); 1593 Christopher Marlowe, poet and playwright; 1640 Peter Paul Rubens, painter; 1744 Alexander Pope, poet; 1778 Voltaire, philosopher and historian; 1847 Thomas Chalmers, first Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland; 1912 Wilbur Wright, aviator; 1960 Boris Pasternak, poet and novelist; 1967 Claude Rains, actor; 1999 Kenny Macintyre, broadcaster; 2013 Michael Evan Victor Baillie, 3rd Baron Burton.