On this day: Earl Mountbatten | First oil well

Remains dug up near Yekaterinburg in 2007 were said to be those of Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich and his sister Anastasia. Picture: AFP/Getty
Remains dug up near Yekaterinburg in 2007 were said to be those of Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich and his sister Anastasia. Picture: AFP/Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 17 August

27 August

55BC: Julius Caesar landed in Britain.

1647: The General Assembly approved the Westminster Confession of Faith.

1859: The world’s first oil well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania, by Edwin Drake.

1883: Krakatoa, a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java, erupted with thousands killed by the resulting tidal waves.

1912: Tarzan Of The Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first went into print as a magazine serial.

1916: Italy declared war on Germany.

1939: Nazi Germany demanded Danzig and the Polish corridor.

1939: The world’s first jet-propelled aeroplane, the Heinkel 178, made its first flight in Germany.

1945: American troops began landing in Japan at end of Second World War.

1955: The first edition of the Guinness Book Of Records was published.

1966: Francis Chichester left Plymouth in Gipsy Moth IV on his single-handed voyage around the world.

1966: French president Charles de Gaulle arrived in Ethiopia from Somaliland, where his visit was marred by bloody rioting.

1979: Earl Mountbatten was murdered by members of the IRA, in a fishing boat explosion off Mullaghmore, County Sligo.

1986: Twelve black people were shot dead by police in Soweto, and a town councillor was hacked to death in worst riots in more than a year in a black township in South Africa.

1990: BBC Radio Five, Britain’s first new national radio station for 23 years, began broadcasting.

1991: European Community members recognised the independence of the Baltic states.

1995: The International Rugby Union Board, meeting in Paris, ended 125 years of amateur rugby and sanctioned payment to players and officials at all levels.

1996: Seven Iraqis were arrested after hijacking a Sudan Airways jet and ordering it to fly to Stansted in Essex.

2007: The skeletal remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, and his sister Anastasia were found near Yekaterinburg, Russia.


John Lloyd, tennis player and broadcaster, 59; Peter Ebdon, English snooker player, 43; Archibald Montgomerie, 18th Earl of Eglinton, 6th Earl of Winton, Hereditary Sheriff of Renfrewshire, 74; Lady Antonia Fraser DBE, writer, broadcaster, historian, 81; Herbie Hide, boxer, 42; Sir Michael Holroyd CBE, British biographer, 78; Siobhan Redmond, Glasgow-born actress, 54; Jeanette Winterson OBE, British writer, 54.


Births: 551BC Confucius, Chinese philosopher; 1770 Georg Wilhelm Hegel, German philosopher; 1877 Charles Rolls, motor manufacturer and aviation pioneer; 1882 Sam Goldwyn, American film producer; 1890 Man Ray, photographer, painter and film-maker; 1899 CS Forester, novelist; 1908 Sir Donald Bradman, cricketer; 1908 Lyndon B Johnson, 36th US president; 1925 Viscount Rothermere, newspaper proprietor.

Deaths: 1576 Titian, painter; 1919 Louis Botha, South African Boer general and first prime minister of the Union; 1965 Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret), architect; 1967 Brian Epstein, Beatles manager; 1968 Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent; 1969 Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, novelist; 1975 Haile Selassie of Ethiopia; 1979 Earl Mountbatten; 1995 Carl Giles, cartoonist.