On this day: Lech Walesa becomes Polish president

Lech Walesa won a landslide victory in Poland's presidential election on this day in 1990. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Lech Walesa won a landslide victory in Poland's presidential election on this day in 1990. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

National day of Tanzania.

1747: Great Britain and Netherlands signed a military treaty.

1783: The first execution took place at Newgate Prison, London, having previously been held at Tyburn (now the site of Marble Arch).

1824: Spain’s army was defeated at Ayacucho, Peru, by Simon Bolivar’s forces and agreed to leave South America.

1854: The poem The Charge of the Light Brigade, written by Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was published.

1884: Roller skates were patented by L Richardson of Chicago. He advertised them as a health aid - to stimulate soles and heels and so maintain strong legs.

1905: Separation of church and state in France was decreed.

1906: Theodore Roosevelt awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

1931: Spain became a republic.

1940: British 8th Army opened its assault on Benghazi, Libya. It was the first major Allied offensive in North Africa during the Second World War.

1941: China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

1941: Adolf Hitler ordered that US ships were to be torpedoed.

1946: Indian Constituent Assembly was boycotted by Muslim League.

1949: The republic of Indonesia was established.

1960: The first episode of Coronation Street was televised, although it was not networked until the spring of 1961. A critic wrote: “The programme is doomed with its dreary signature tune and grim scenes of a row of terraced houses and smoking chimneys.”

1962: Tanganyika gained independence from Britain, took the name Tanzania and became a republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as its first president.

1967: Nicolai Causescu became president of Romania.

1972: North Vietnam and Soviet Union concluded agreement for economic and military aid to Hanoi.

1975: Death toll was put at 160 in two days as Muslims and Christians fought in Beirut.

1976: United Nations General Assembly called for Middle East peace conference at Geneva, Switzerland, with Palestine Liberation Organisation taking part.

1990: Lech Walesa won a landslide victory in Poland’s presidential election.

1992: Prime minister John Major told the House of Commons that the Prince and Princess of Wales were to separate.

1994: Sinn Fein had its first formal contact with government officials for 22 years.

2003: A blast in the centre of Moscow killed six people and wounded several more.

2008: Four people, including a 15-month-old girl, were killed when a US military F-18 fighter jet crashed into a house in San Diego. The pilot ejected.

2012: Six people were killed and 41 injured when a bus plunged into a gorge in Guatemala.


Births: 1608 John Milton, poet, notably Paradise Lost for which he was paid £5; 1770 James Hogg, the “Ettrick Shepherd”; 1886 Clarence Birdseye, American inventor of the deep-freezing process; 1898 Emmett Kelly, circus clown (“Weary Willie”); 1899 Jean de Brunhoff, writer and illustrator who created Babar the elephant; 1902 Margaret Hamilton, actress (the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz); 1905 Dalton Trumbo novelist and screenwriter; 1909 Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, actor and naval officer; 1929 John Cassavetes, actor and film director; 1942 Billy Bremner, footballer and manager.

Deaths: 1165, Malcolm IV, king of Scotland; 1565 Pope Pius IV; 1641 Sir Anthony van Dyck, Flemish painter; 1669 Pope Clement IX; 1683 John Oldham, poet; 1964 Dame Edith Sitwell, 1992 Dan Maskell, tennis commentator; 1992 Vincent Gardenia, actor; 1993 Danny Blanchflower, footballer and manager; 1995 Benny Lee, Glasgow-born comic actor and singer; 1998 Archie Moore, world champion boxer; 2009 Gene Berry, actor; 2012 Sir Patrick Moore, British astronomer.