Events, birthdays and anniversaries
1540: The Society of Jesus was founded.
1837: Glasgow’s first railway, from Townhead to Garnkirk, opened to passenger traffic.
1888: The Central News Agency in London received a letter which began: “Dear Boss, I keep on hearing the police have caught me, but they won’t fix me just yet…” It was signed Jack the Ripper, the first time the name had been used.
1923: Martial law was declared in Germany.
1938: Queen Consort Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, launched the largest passenger vessel, the 80,000-ton Queen Elizabeth.
1939: As Warsaw surrendered to German forces, Hitler announced that he was going to annex Sudetenland.
1940: Japan, Germany and Italy signed a ten-year military alliance pact in Berlin, presided over by Adolf Hitler.
1967: The liner Queen Mary arrived at Southampton at the end of her final transatlantic voyage.
1968: France barred Britain’s entry to European Common Market.
1969: The rock musical Hair opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London.
1970: Jordan’s King Hussein and Al Fatah guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat met ten Arab chiefs of state in Cairo and signed 14-point agreement ending civil war in Jordan.
1973: Soviet Union launched spacecraft into orbit with two cosmonauts aboard.
1979: BBC’s Question Time was broadcast for the first time, with Robin Day in the chair.
1987: Europe’s golfers beat the United States on American soil for the first time to retain the Ryder Cup.
1988: In Seoul, Ben Johnson failed a second drugs test and was stripped of his Olympic gold medal.
1990: The IRA claimed responsibility for a bomb found in St James’s, London. A conference on terrorism was due to be held there hours later.
1993: After 34 years, Tony Benn lost his seat on Labour’s national executive.
1995: Government circles reacted with anger and disbelief at a European Court of Human Rights ruling which condemned the SAS killing of three IRA terrorists in Gibraltar, in 1988.
Irvine Welsh, novelist and film director, 56; Steve Archibald, Glasgow-born former footballer and manager, 58; Dame Josephine Barstow DBE, opera soprano, 74; Barbara Dickson OBE, Dunfermline-born singer and actress, 67; Denis Lawson, Crieff-born actor, 67; Avril Lavigne, singer, 30; Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), rock singer, 67; Dougie MacLean OBE, Dunblane-born folk singer and songwriter, 60; Gwyneth Paltrow, actress, 42; Francesco Totti, footballer, 38; Luke Campbell MBE, Olympic gold medal-winning boxer, 27; Alvin Stardust (born Bernard William Jewry), singer and actor, 72); Diane Abbott, politician, 61; Randy Bachman, musician and songwriter, 71.
Births: 1389 Cosimo de’ Medici, banker and first of the ruling Medici dynasty of Florence; 1894 Lothar von Richthofen (“The Red Baron”), First World War fighter pilot .
Deaths: 1917 Edgar Degas, artist; 1921 Engelbert Humperdinck, composer; 1965 Clara Bow, actress and “It” girl; 1979 Dame Gracie Fields, music hall entertainer; 1979 Jimmy McCullough, Dumbarton-born musician and songwriter (Wings).