Events, birthdays and anniversaries
National day of Netherlands.
1803: United States purchased Louisiana from France. The deal was completed by president Thomas Jefferson – and the cost worked out at a little under three cents an acre.
1804: Shrapnel was first used in warfare, by the British against the Dutch in Surinam.
1891: An Comunn Gàidhealach was formally instituted.
1900: Casey Jones, American driver of the Cannonball, died at the throttle of his engine slowing down the train to save the passengers’ lives. His courageous deed inspired a song.
1906: For ease of identification, numbers were given to bus routes in London.
1944: The first of 500,000 prefabricated homes (prefabs) went on show in London.
1945: German Führer Adolf Hitler shot himself in his underground bunker beneath the chancellery in Berlin. His wife, Eva Braun, whom he married the previous day, died beside him by taking a cyanide pill.
1964: BBC2 began transmission, introduced by Gerald Priestman.
1973: Four of president Richard Nixon’s aides resigned in Watergate affair.
1975: The Vietnam War ended – the longest conflict in the 20th century.
1980: Queen Juliana abdicated as Queen of the Netherlands in favour of her daughter Beatrix.
1980: Armed terrorists took 20 hostages in Iranian Embassy in London and threatened to blow it up if their demands were not met.
1982: United States backed Britain over Falklands crisis.
1986: Soviet Union admitted that a nuclear reactor was ablaze at Chernobyl – four days after the event.
1990: Ten airmen killed when RAF Shackleton plunged into hillside on Harris.
1990: The Commons rejected a national dog registration scheme by 275 to 263.
1992: The death toll in the Los Angeles riots stood at 58 with hundreds more injured and scores of buildings and shops destroyed.
1993: Tennis star Monica Seles was stabbed, by a spectator claiming to be a Steffi Graf fan, while playing in a tournament in Germany.
1995: Stephen Hendry won the Embassy World Snooker Championship for the fourth time in a row, his fifth triumph in six years, beating Nigel Bond.
2002: In a Golden Jubilee address to both Houses of Parliament, the Queen quelled speculation that she was contemplating retirement by telling of her determination “above all” to continue serving the nation.
2004: United States media released graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
Willie Nelson, country singer, 80; Jane Campion, film director, 59; Dickie Davies, television sports presenter, 80; Kirsten Dunst, actress, 31; Leslie Grantham, actor, 67; King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden, 67; Tony Harrison, poet, 76; Emma Pierson, actress, 32; Baron Sanderson of Bowden, chairman, Scottish Conservative Party 1990-93, 80; Daniel and Christopher Smith, first test-tube twins, 31.
Births: 1822 Hannibal Goodwin, Episcopalian minister, pioneer of celluloid roll film; 1723 Mathurin Jacques Brisson, zoologist; 1926 Janey Buchan, Glasgow-born MEP 1979-94; 1944 Jill Clayburgh, actress.
Deaths: 1883 Édouard Manet, Impressionist painter; 1912 Wilbur Wright, aviation pioneer; 1936 Alfred Housman, poet and scholar; 2009 Maurice Lindsay, Glasgow-born broadcaster, writer and poet.