On this day: Maiden voyage of the QE2 | Osama Bin Laden killed

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 2 May

1536: Queen Anne Boleyn was sent to the Tower of London.

1641: Dutch Prince William of Orange married Princess Mary, daughter of Charles I.

1668: Peace of Aix-La-Chapelle signed between France and Spain.

1813: Napoleon Bonaparte defeated Prussian and Russian armies at Lutzen in Germany.

1895: British South Africa Company territory south of Zambesi was organised as Rhodesia.

1933: Adolf Hitler abolished trade unions in Germany.

1942: HMS Edinburgh sank in the Barents Sea off northern Norway after being torpedoed on 30 April while carrying gold from Russia to the United States to pay for arms. In 1981 bullion worth more than £45 million was salvaged.

1945: Soviet Army completed capture of Berlin. German forces surrendered in Italy.

1952: A British DH Comet flew from London to Johannesburg, inaugurating the first turbo-jet airliner service.

1959: Chapelcross nuclear power station, the first in Scotland, was opened.

1963: The Beatles achieved their first Number One when From Me To You went to the top of the charts.

1969: The QE2 made her maiden voyage, after being launched on the Clyde.

1986: Sikh extremists killed seven people outside holy city of Amritsar, India.

1982: Argentine cruiser General Belgrano was sunk by British submarine HMS Conqueror off the Falklands, with loss of 368 lives.

1995: During the Croatian War of Independence, Serb forces fired cluster bombs at Zagreb, killing seven and wounding over 175 civilians.

1998: The European Central Bank was founded in Brussels.

2003: From the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, US president George W Bush announced on live television under a “Mission Accomplished” banner that major combat operations in Iraq had ended.

2010: Scottish snooker champion John Higgins was suspended from competing following allegations of match-fixing by the now defunct News of the World.

2011: Osama bin Laden, the man behind the 9/11 attacks on America, was killed at a private compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by US elite forces in a covert operation authorised by president Barack Obama.


Isla St Clair, Buckie-born singer, film-maker, television presenter, 62; David Beckham OBE, footballer, 39; Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson (vacuum cleaners), 67; Engelbert Humperdinck, 78; Bianca Jagger, human rights advocate and model, 69; Brian Lara, West Indian Test cricketer, 45; Lynda Myles, film producer, director, Edinburgh International Film Festival 1973-80, 67; Willie Miller, footballer and broadcaster, 59; Dawn Primarolo, Labour MP, 60; David Suchet CBE, actor, 68; Alan Titchmarsh MBE, horticulturalist, broadcaster and author, 65; Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White MBE, snooker player, 52; Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice 2000-5, 81.


Births: 1729 Catherine the Great of Russia; 1859 Jerome K (Klapka) Jerome, humorous writer (Three Men in a Boat); 1892 Baron Manfred von Richthofen, German air ace, aka the Red Baron; 1904 Bing Crosby, singer and film actor.

Deaths: 1519 Leonardo da Vinci, artist and thinker; 1964 Nancy, Lady Astor, first woman to sit in Commons; 1972 John Edgar Hoover, director of FBI; 2008 Beryl Cook, painter; 2010 Lynne Redgrave OBE, actress.