EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries
1560: First General Assembly of the Kirk met in Edinburgh.
1910: Tied result at general election – Liberals and Tories each with 272 seats. Herbert Asquith continued as prime minister.
1915: Ill-fated Gallipoli expedition was abandoned after ten months.
1922: Fourteen republics of Russia formed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
1933: Fred Astaire’s first film with Ginger Rogers, Flying Down To Rio, was premiered in New York.
1952: USAF transport crashed in Washington state, killing 84. It was the world’s worst air disaster to that date.
1954: France sent 20,000 troops to Algeria.
1963: The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time since August, 1961, to allow West Berliners to visit relatives in the eastern sector for a day over Christmas.
1973: Spain’s prime minister, Luis Carrero Blanco, was killed by car bomb in Madrid.
1986: Up to 30,000 students marched for democracy through streets of Shanghai in China’s largest demonstration since era of Cultural Revolution.
1989: Another 12,000 American troops deployed to Panama joined same number already in place to confront the government of General Manuel Antonio Noriega.
1990: The last remaining pit in the Rhondda Valley in Wales closed.
1991: Robert Hawke, Australia’s prime minister for nearly nine years, was ousted from office by his former protege Paul Keating.
1994: The Law Lords forced the government to make a policy about-turn and give part-time workers the same rights as full-time workers.
1996: NeXT merged with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.
1999: Macau was handed over to the People’s Republic of China by Portugal.
2004: A gang of thieves stole £26.5 million worth of currency from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
2007: Queen Elizabeth II became the oldest ever monarch of the UK, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, seven months and 29 days.
2010: Media watchdog Ofcom announced that product placement on British television would be allowed for the first time from the start of 2011.
Jenny Agutter OBE actress, 62; Billy Bragg, singer and activist, 57; Ashley Cole, footballer, 34; Charles Denton, television and film producer, 77; Uri Geller, spoon bender and psychic, 68; Lord (Geoffrey) Howe of Aberavon, politician, 88; Jonah Hill, actor and comedian, 31; Ed de Goey, goalkeeper, 48; Robert Cavanah, Edinburgh-born actor, writer, director, producer, 49; Peter May, Glasgow-born screenwriter, novelist, crime writer, 63; Alan Parsons, audio engineer, songwriter, musician (Alan Parsons Project), 66; Stevie Wright, musician, 66; Jean Fergusson, actress, 70.
Births: 1901 Robert Van de Graaff, physicist who designed and built high voltage generators; 1902 Prince George, Duke of Kent; 1906 Sir Dick Goldsmith White, head of MI5 and MI6; 1942 Bob Hayes, sprinter-turned-Anerican footballer, first man to win both Olympic gold and the Superbowl.
Deaths: 217AD Pope Zephyrinus; 1862 Robert Knox, Scottish zoologist, anatomist and doctor; 1916 William Walace Gilchrist, composer; 1968 John Steinbeck, author; 1996 Carl Sagan, physicist and astronomer; 2010 Brian Hanrahan, broadcaster; 2010 John Alldis, choral conductor.