EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on August 15.
1548: Mary Queen of Scots arrived in Paris.
1620: The Mayflower set sail from Southampton, carrying 102 pilgrims.
1824: Freed American slaves established Liberia on the west coast of Africa.
1867: The Representation of the People Act (known informally as the Second Reform Act), gave a proportion of the male working population of England and Wales a vote for the first time.
1901: Great Britain issued a proclamation demanding that the Boers surrender by 15 September or face banishment and confiscation of their property.
1923: Irish Republican Eamon de Valera was arrested while making a campaign appearance on the platform in Ennis and interned until 1924.
1938: The liner Queen Mary set a record for the eastbound crossing of the Atlantic. Having set a record on the westward crossing, she completed the return journey two minutes short of four days.
1939: The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
1945: Victory over Japan Day: The Japanese surrendered and the end of the Second World War was announced in Japan.
1947: India gained independence from Great Britain, with Pandit Nehru its first prime minister, though the country remained a dominion until 1950.
1948: South Korea became independent, proclaimed as the Republic of Korea, with Syngman Rhee its first president.
1964: England’s Freddie Trueman became the first bowler to take 300 Test wickets when Colin Cowdrey took a slip catch to dismiss Australia’s Neil Hawke at The Oval.
1965: A concert by the Beatles drew 56,000 fans to New York’s Shea Stadium.
1967: The Marine Broadcasting Act came into force, outlawing pop pirate radio stations broadcasting within British territorial waters. Pirate station Radio 355 closed down.
1968: Pirate station Radio Free London began broadcasting.
1969: The three-day Woodstock rock festival began at Max Yasgur’s farm in New York state.
1993: Linford Christie won the 100 metres at the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart to complete a grand slam of Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth titles.
1994: The world’s most wanted terrorist, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez – known as Carlos the Jackal – was arrested in Sudan and extradited to France to stand trial.
1998: A car bomb killed 29 people in Omagh, Northern Ireland.
2007: Wendy Alexander was unopposed as new head of the Labour Party in Scotland, after the former first minister, Jack McConnell, stood down following the party’s defeat in the Scottish Parliament elections in May.
2008: Lee Berger and his nine-year-old son Matthew discovered the 2 million-year-old fossils of a new species of human ancestor – Australopithecus Sebida – at Malapa Cave in South Africa.
2011: Diageo’s Cameronbridge Distillery in Levenmouth, Fife – which makes some of the world’s most famous whisky brands, such as Johnnie Walker – had to be evacuated and shut following a huge chemical spill.
Ben Affleck, actor, director and screenwriter, 43; Jim Dale MBE, singer and actor, 80; Richard Deacon CBE, sculptor, 66; Natasha Henstridge, actress, 41; Debra Messing, actress, 47; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, footballer, 22; Sir Oliver Popplewell, former English judge and investigator of Hillsborough football disaster, 88; Sir Anthony (Tony) Robinson, actor, writer and political activist, 69; Anne, Princess Royal, 65; Robert “Jack” Russell MBE, cricketer and artist, 52; Sir Mark Thatcher and twin sister Carol Thatcher, journalist, 62; Melinda Gates, businesswoman, philanthropist, 51; Mikey Graham, singer-songwriter (Boyzone), 43.
Births: 1769 Napoleon Bonaparte; 1771 Sir Walter Scott, novelist and poet; 1785 Thomas de Quincy, author; 1822 Sir Henry Maine, jurist and historian (Roxburgh); 1856 Edith Nesbit, author (The Railway Children); 1856 James Keir Hardie, Lanarkshire-born founder of the Labour Party; 1875 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, English composer; 1888 TE Lawrence, soldier, Arabist and writer, known as “Lawrence of Arabia”; 1912 Dame Wendy Hiller DBE, actress; 1936 Geoff Hamilton, gardener and TV presenter; 1954 Stieg Larsson, author;
Deaths: 1057 Macbeth, King of Scotland; 1369 Philippa of Hainault, queen consort of Edward III; 1621 John Barclay, Scottish writer, satirist and poet; 1907 Joseph Joachim, violinist and composer; 1935 Will Rogers, actor and writer (air crash); 1935 Paul Signac, painter, pioneer of pointillism; 1967 Rene Magritte, Belgian painter; 1971 Paul Lukas, actor; 1999 Sir Hugh Casson, architect.