On this day: Empire Exhibition opened | William Shakespeare died

On this day in 1924, King George V opened the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley ' at the time the largest ever such event. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1924, King George V opened the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley ' at the time the largest ever such event. Picture: Getty
Share this article
Have your say

Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 23 April

1349: The Order of the Garter, Britain’s senior chivalric order limited to 24 knights, was founded by King Edward III.

1867: Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon III of France turned down proposals for a Channel Tunnel.

1924: The Empire Exhibition opened at Wembley Stadium.

1965: The Pennine Way was opened, covering 250 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Borders.

1967: Russian Soyuz 1 was launched, and after completing 17 orbits crashed on re-entry on the steppes of Orenburg, killing Vladimir Komarov.

1968: The 5p and 10p decimal coins were issued in Britain.

1972: Two US Apollo 16 astronauts blasted off from the Moon and rejoined command ship for journey back to Earth.

1975: South Vietnam’s cabinet resigned as panic gripped Saigon and US President Gerald Ford declared Vietnam war was over.

1983: Cliff Thorburn scored the first televised maximum break of 147 in the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield.

1984: The US announced the discovery of the Aids virus.

1985: Princess Anne made her flat racing debut at Epsom.

1990: Premier Li Peng arrived in Moscow for first visit by Chinese head of government to Soviet Union in 26 years.

1990: Great train robber Charles Wilson was shot dead at his home in Marbella, Spain.

1991: Michael Heseltine, the environment secretary, announced successor to the poll tax – the council tax based on bands of property values.

1992: Princess Anne’s marriage to Captain Mark Phillips ended when she was granted an uncontested divorce.

1993: A public outcry forced the Isle of Man government to abandon plans to remove punishment by birching from the statute book.

1993: The World Health Organisation declared tuberculosis a global emergency, saying TB could kill 30 million people by 2003.

1995: Up to 8,000 refugees were reported dead in Rwanda, shot by government troops or trampled to death in the panic.

2003: Beijing closed all schools for two weeks because of the Sars virus.


John Hannah, East Kilbride-born actor, 51; Shirley Temple Black, child film star and diplomat, 85; JP Donleavy, author and artist, 87; Victoria Glendinning CBE, biographer, novelist and literary critic, 76; Richard Keys, broadcaster, 56; Lee Majors, actor, 74; Michael Moore, Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author, 59; Dev Patel, actor, 23; James Russo, actor, 60; Mike Smith, broadcaster, 58; Lady Gabriella Windsor, daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, 32; Tessa Wyatt, actress, 65.


Births: 1775 JMW Turner, painter; 1859 Dame Ethel Smythe, composer and suffragette; 1891 Sergei Prokofiev, composer; 1899 Vladimir Nabokov, novelist; 1928 Sir William Cotton, managing director, BBC Television 1984-88; 1936 Roy Orbison, singer.

Deaths: 1616 William Shakespeare, playwright; 1616 Miguel de Cervantes, novelist; 1850 William Wordsworth, poet; 1915 Rupert Brooke, poet; 1986 Jim Laker, cricketer; 1988 Lord Ramsey, former Archbishop of Canterbury; 1991 Paul Brickhill, author; 2007 Boris Yeltsin, president, Russian Federation 1991-9.