On this day: England declares war on Scotland

F1 world champion Ayrton Senna was killed on this day in 1994 when his car crashed at the San Marino Grand Prix. Picture: Getty
F1 world champion Ayrton Senna was killed on this day in 1994 when his car crashed at the San Marino Grand Prix. Picture: Getty
Share this article
Have your say

Events, anniversaries and birthdays for 1 May


1517: “Evil May Day” riots in London as apprentices attacked foreign residents. Sixty rioters later were hanged.

1522: England declared war on France and Scotland.

1648: Scots began second Civil War.

1650: The present metrical version of the Psalms came into official use in the Kirk of Scotland.

1707: The Act of Union between Scotland and England came into force.

1840: The first Penny Black stamps with Queen Victoria’s head went on sale five days before the official issue date.

1851: The Great Exhibition was opened in Hyde Park by Queen Victoria. It was housed in an iron and glass edifice designed by Sir Thomas Paxton, exactly 1,851ft long to match the year. The Times called it a “monstrous greenhouse”; it was Punch that dubbed it the Crystal Palace. The building was so popular that it was rebuilt in south London.

1912: Statue of Peter Pan was installed in Kensington Gardens, London. JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan, commissioned and paid for it, although children were told fairies put it there.

1925: Cyprus was declared a British crown colony.

1931: President Hoover opened New York’s Empire State Building, 1,245ft high, with 102 floors.

1931: First unit trusts went on sale in Britain, marketed by M&G General Trust Fund.

1941: Orson Welles’s first film, Citizen Kane premièred.

1942: Japanese forces took Mandalay, Burma, while British retreated along Chindwin Valley to India.

1949: Britain’s gas industry was nationalised.

1961: The Betting and Gaming Act came into force, and betting shops opened in Britain.

1978: The May Day holiday was celebrated for the first time in Britain.

1982: British Vulcan bombers flew epic 3,500 miles from Ascension Island to bomb Falklands airport at Port Stanley.

1990: Soviet protesters heckled president Mikhail Gorbachev at May Day parade on Red Square.

1990: Secret naval documents published in The Scotsman revealed history of accidents involving the multi-million pound submarine hoists at Faslane.

1991: Government forced War Crimes Bill through, using Parliament Act for first time in 40 years to override Lords objections.

1993: Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated by a suicide bomber at a May Day parade in Colombo.

1994: World motor racing champion Ayrton Senna was killed when his car hit a wall at 190mph during the San Marino Grand Prix.


Danny McGrain, footballer, 63; Rodger Arneil, rugby player, 69; Naim Attallah, publisher, 82; Lady Sarah Chatto, daughter of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, 49; Roger Chapman, golfer, 54; Ian Curteis, playwright and film director, 78; 63; Tony Dobbin, jockey, 41; Professor Phillip King, sculptor, president of the Royal Academy of Arts 1997-2004, 79; Joanna Lumley OBE, actress, 67.


Births: 1218 Rudolf I, founder of the Habsburg dynasty; 1672 Joseph Addison, poet, essayist and co-founder of the Spectator; 1878 James Graham, 6th Duke of Montrose, inventor.

Deaths: 1700 John Dryden, Poet Laureate for 32 years; 1859 John Walker, inventor of friction match; 1873 David Livingstone, medical missionary, traveller, philanthropist; 2011 Sir Henry Cooper OBE, former British heavyweight boxing champion.