On this day: Gordon Strachan was born | Rome was proclaimed a republic under Giuseppe Mazzini | Britain and East Germany established diplomatic relations |

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A selection of historic events from the 9th February.

9 February

1784: The Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland was formed in Fortune’s Tontin Tavern, Edinburgh.

1849: Rome was proclaimed a republic under Giuseppe Mazzini.

1916: Military conscription was first effective in Britain.

1939: The Home Office announced that it would provide steel tunnel shelters (the Anderson shelter) to thousands of homes in districts likely to be bombed. Families earning less than £250 a year were to get the shelters free.

1942: French liner SS Normandie was burned out in New York harbour.

1953: All but one of the crew of seven aboard the Fraserburgh lifeboat John and Charles Kennedy drowned when she capsized at the harbour entrance after escorting several yawls to safety in heavy seas. Hundreds of townspeople saw the tragedy.

1962: Jamaica became independent nation within British Commonwealth.

1964: The Beatles’ live appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was watched by 70 million and heralded the arrival of Beatlemania in the United States.

1969: The Boeing 747 jumbo jet made its maiden flight. It entered service on 21 January, 1970.

1971: First British soldier killed in Northern Ireland since troubles began.

1971: Earthquake in Los Angeles killed at least 64 people.

1972: Prime minister Edward Heath declared state of emergency in Britain after month-long coal strike and ordered three-day week in industry to conserve fuel.

1973: Britain and East Germany established diplomatic relations.

1983: Shergar, the 1981 Derby winner, was stolen from his stable in County Kildare and a £2m ransom was demanded. The horse was never seen again.

1990: Musician Evelyn Glennie and scientist Sir James Black were named Scots of the Decade.

1994: Scottish National Portrait Gallery reprieved.

1995: Poll showed that Scots would vote “Yes” for a devolved Scottish Parliament, by a margin of three to one.

1996: Two people died, more than 100 were injured and millions of pounds of damage caused when an IRA bomb attack in London’s Docklands shattered the Northern Ireland peace process.

2011: It was revealed that women made up 49.4 per cent of the 24.2 million-strong workforce in Britain.


Gordon Strachan OBE, Scottish footballer and manager, 55; Virginia Fortune Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie, chair, National Galleries of Scotland 1997-2000, 79; Brian Bennett OBE, drummer (the Shadows), 72; JM Coetzee, author; Mia Farrow, actress, 67; Bernard Gallacher OBE, Scottish golfer, 63; Carole King, singer and songwriter, 70; Sandy Lyle MBE, Scottish golfer, 54; Joe Pesci, actor, 69; Janet Suzman DBE, actress and director, 73.


Births: 1819 Lydia E Pinkham, American feminist; 1863 Sir Anthony Hope, novelist; 1922 Jim Laker, cricketer; 1922 Kathryn Grayson, actress; 1923 Brendan Behan, playwright; 1926 Doctor Garret FitzGerald, prime minister, Irish Republic 1981-7.

Deaths: 1881 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, novelist; 1913 Sir George Reid, portrait painter; 1952 Norman Douglas, essayist and novelist; 1981 Bill Haley, rock’n’roll singer; 1984 Yuri Andropov, Soviet leader; 2002 Princess Margaret; 2007 Ian Richardson, actor; 2012 Josh Gifford, racehorse trainer.