On this day: First human heart transplant

Victims blinded by cyanide gas at Bhopal in 1984. Picture: AFP
Victims blinded by cyanide gas at Bhopal in 1984. Picture: AFP
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 3 December

3 December

1557: Signing of the Common or Godly Band by the Earls of Argyll, Glencairn and Morton and others, the “Lords of the Congregation”, the first manifesto of the Reformation in Scotland.

1694: Triennial Bill became law in England, providing for new parliament to be elected every third year.

1808: Madrid surrendered to Napoleon Bonaparte’s French forces.

1836: Three people were killed at Great Corby, near Carlisle, in the first fatal railway derailment.

1909: King Edward VII dissolved Parliament, and taxes on beer, spirits, tobacco and cars were lifted because no budget had been passed.

1944: The Home Guard “stood down” with a parade of 7,000 in Hyde Park, London.

1947: The audience cheered for 30 minutes when A Streetcar Named Desire, with Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski, opened on Broadway.

1958: Dutch businesses were nationalised in Indonesia.

1962: Refugees from Tristan da Cunha, who had been living in Britain since volcanic eruption made the South Atlantic island uninhabitable, rejected western society and voted to return home.

1967: Dr Christiaan Barnard of South Africa performed the world’s first human heart transplant operation. The recipient, 53-year-old Louis Washkansky, lived for 18 days.

1984: About 2,500 were reported dead and several thousand blinded after poisonous cyanide gas leaked from Union Carbide pesticide factory at Bhopal in central India.

1988: Edwina Currie said on television that most of Britain’s egg production was affected by salmonella.

1990: Russian parliament voted to allow private ownership of land for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution.

1991: Alan Steen, an American hostage, was freed in Beirut after nearly four years’ imprisonment.

1991: Ian and Kevin Maxwell resigned from the boards of their father’s public companies as Serious Fraud Squad investigated £600m missing from Mirror Group pension funds.

1992: Two IRA bombs exploded in Manchester. Sixty-four people were taken to hospital.

1995: Stephen Dorrell, The health secretary, said there was “no conceivable risk” of people being infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of BSE, from eating beef.


Julianne Moore, actress, 53; John Cale OBE, musician (The Velvet Underground), 71; Jenna Dewan, actress, 33; Mike Gibson MBE, rugby player, 71; Jean-Luc Godard, film director, 83; Daryl Hannah, actress, 53; Franz Klammer, skier, 60; Ralph McTell, singer/guitarist, 70; Paul Nicholas, singer and actor, 68; Ozzy Osbourne, singer (Black Sabbath), 65; Craig Raine, 69.


Births: 1753 Samuel Crompton, inventor of spinning-mule which revolutionised cotton industry; 1820 Thomas Beecham, inventor of Beecham’s pills; 1838 Octavia Hill, philanthropist; 1857 Joseph Conrad, writer; 1914 Irving Fine, composer; 1923 1927 Andy Williams, singer; 1952 Mel Smith, comedian.

Deaths: 1894 Robert Louis Stevenson, author; 1910 Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist; 1919 Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French Impressionist painter; 1980 Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of British Union of Fascists; 2003 David Hemmings, actor, director.