On this day: Fire destroyed William Mutrie & Sons

On this day in 1957 fire destroyed the premises of the British theatrical costumier Wm Mutrie & Sons in Edinburgh
On this day in 1957 fire destroyed the premises of the British theatrical costumier Wm Mutrie & Sons in Edinburgh
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 9 May

1671: Colonel Thomas Blood, an Irish adventurer better known as Captain Blood, tried to steal the crown jewels.

1788: Britain passed parliamentary motion for abolishing slave trade.

1901: Australia’s first federal parliament met in Melbourne.

1911: The Great Lafayette, illusionist, nine members of his company, a lion and a horse were burned to death on stage at the Empire Palace Theatre, Edinburgh. An illusion went wrong and scenery was set alight, but the safety curtain was lowered and the audience escaped. Doors leading from the stage had been locked on the instructions of the secretive Lafayette.

1918: John MacLean, Glasgow schoolmaster, labour leader and first Soviet Consul in Britain, tried in the High Court in Edinburgh for sedition.

1926: Richard Byrd, US explorer, made first flight over North Pole, with his pilot Floyd Bennett.

1933: Hitler ordered the burning of more than 25,000 “un-German” books outside Berlin University.

1944: Soviet forces liberated Sevastopol in the Crimea.

1957: A blaze at Bell’s Brae, Edinburgh, destroyed the premises of William Mutrie & Sons, one of Britain’s biggest theatrical costumiers; about 90,000 costumes were lost.

1967: India’s vice-president Zakir Hussain named president, the first Muslim to hold that office.

1974: Impeachment proceedings began in United States against president Richard Nixon.

1978: Bullet-riddled body of Italy’s former prime minister Aldo Moro was found in parked car in central Rome, 54 days after his abduction.

1987: Polish jetliner bound for New York crashed outside Warsaw, killing all 183 aboard.

1990: Michael Heseltine warned Tories that they would lose the next election unless poll tax legislation was revised.

1992: The first of nine IRA firebombs was found at the MetroCentre shopping complex in Gateshead.

2004: Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov was killed in a land mine bomb blast in Grozny, Chechnya.

2010: Scientists revealed that laboratory mice display human-like facial expressions when they are in pain.

2012: A Sukhoi Superjet 100 crashed in Indonesia on a demonstration flight killing all 45 people on board.


Geraldine McEwan, actress, 82; Richard Adams, author (Watership Down), 94; Alan Bennett, playwright, 80; Candice Bergen, film actress, 68; James L Brooks, writer, producer and director, 74; Albert Finney, actor, 78; Dave Gahan, singer (Depeche Mode), 52; Billy Joel, singer, 65; Matthew Kelly, actor and television presenter, 64; Paul McGuigan, rock musician (Oasis), 43; Lord (John) Wheatley, Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland, 73.


Births: 1800 John Brown, anti-slavery crusader; 1860 Sir James M Barrie, playwright and novelist (Kirriemuir); 1873 Howard Carter, Egyptologist who discovered tomb of Tutankhamun; 1928 Pancho Gonzales, tennis player; 1930 Joan Sims, actress; 1932 Gavin Lyall, thriller writer.

Deaths: 1492: Lorenzo the Magnificent, Medici ruler of Florence; 1926 Joseph Dent, publisher; 1985 Edmond O’Brien, actor; 1986 Sherpa Tensing Norgay, mountaineer; 2010 Lena Horne, singer; 2012 Vidal Sassoon CBE, hairdresser.