On this day: Ferry capsized leaving Zeebrugge

On this day in 1987 the Channel ferry, Herald of Free Enterprise, capsized on leaving Zeebrugge with the loss of 193 lives
On this day in 1987 the Channel ferry, Herald of Free Enterprise, capsized on leaving Zeebrugge with the loss of 193 lives
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 6 March

National day of Ghana

1457: Act of Parliament of James II decreed regular target practice and military parades and “that the futball and the golf be utterly cryit doune and nocht usyt”. It was the first mention in Scottish history of those games.

1776: Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations was first published.

1836: Siege of the Alamo ended after 13 days – garrison included Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and William Travis, who died with 183 others defending the Texas fort against Mexican forces.

1890: An ornithologist released 60 pairs of starlings in New York’s Central Park to honour Shakespeare by importing every species of bird named in his 37 plays. The starling would later become worst bird pest in US.

1899: Chemist Felix Hoffmann patented aspirin.

1933: Poland occupied Danzig.

1945: Cologne fell to United States First Army.

1953: Malenkov succeeded the late Stalin as Soviet premier.

1957: Former colony of Gold Coast formed independent West African nation of Ghana, with Kwame Nkrumah as its premier.

1957: Israeli troops handed over Gaza Strip to UN force.

1965: US announced 3,500 marines were being sent to South Vietnam – the first US ground combat troops committed to fighting Communist guerrillas.

1970: Alexander Dubcek, former Czechoslovak Communist Party leader, was suspended from party.

1987: The Channel ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized with her bow door open leaving Zeebrugge harbour, with 193 drowned.

1988: Three IRA suspects shot dead by SAS men in Gibraltar.

1990: Prestwick lost its monopoly as Scotland’s transatlantic gateway.

1994: Police found a seventh body at a house in Cromwell Road, Gloucester, and said they planned to search other sites.

1997: The House of Commons standards and privileges committee cleared the Conservative Home Secretary, Michael Howard, of an allegation that he accepted £1.5 million in bribes to order a government investigation into Mohamed al-Fayed’s takeover of Harrods.

2008: The Crown Office said it was to take no action against Wendy Alexander, the Scottish Labour leader, over her failure to register donations to her leadership campaign in 2007.

2008: A Palestinian gunman shot and killed eight students in library in Jerusalem, Israel.

2014: Crimea’s parliament votes to join Russia and schedules a referendum for 16 March.


Alan Davies, comedian and actor, 49; Tom Arnold, actor, 56; Jean Boht, actress, 83: Kiki Dee, singer, 68; Dave Gilmour CBE, guitarist (Pink Floyd), 69; Dame Kiri Te Kanawa DBE, opera singer, 71; Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space, 78; John Noakes, television presenter, 81; Richard Noble OBE, Scottish world land speed record holder 1983-97, 69; Rob Reiner, actor/director, 68; Ronald Stevenson, pianist and composer, 87; Mary Wilson, singer (The Supremes), 71.


Births: 1475 Michelangelo Buonarroti, Renaissance artist, sculptor and poet; 1619 Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, novelist and playwright; 1806 Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet; 1906 Lou Costello, film comedy actor; 1917 Frankie Howerd, comedian; 1927 Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian novelist.

Deaths: AD608 St Baldred, hermit of the Bass Rock; 1888 Louisa M Alcott, novelist; 1900 Gottlieb Daimler, engineer; 1961 George Formby, comedy singer; 1983 Donald Maclean, diplomat and spy; 2013 Alvin Lee, rock guitarist (Ten Years After).