On this day: Prison riot at Strangeways

On this day in 1990 the longest prison riot in British history began at Manchester's Strangeways jail, lasting until 25 April. Picture: BBC
On this day in 1990 the longest prison riot in British history began at Manchester's Strangeways jail, lasting until 25 April. Picture: BBC
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 1 April

April Fool’s Day; in Scots,


1572: Start of Dutch War for Independence.

1764: The famous race horse Eclipse was foaled during an eclipse. He was unbeaten in 26 outings, yet had a career of just 17 months before being put to stud. He died at 25.

1817: Blackwood’s Magazine started publication as Edinburgh Monthly Magazine.

1852: Second Burmese War broke out after British ultimatum to King of Burma.

1902: The use of the treadmill in UK prisons was finally suspended.

1908: The Territorial Force came into existence. The name changed to Territorial Army in 1920.

1918: The Royal Air Force was formed by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

1937: India’s Constitution went into effect but All-India Party abstained from forming government, demanding complete independence.

1945: US started invasion of Okinawa in final Far East campaign of Second World War.

1947: School-leaving age was raised to 15 years in Britain.

1948: Britain’s electricity industry was nationalised.

1960: South African government banned African National Congress and Pan-African Congress.

1967: Britain’s first ombudsman, Sir Edmund Compton, started work.

1973: Value Added Tax was introduced.

1988: Sikh gunmen killed 37 people in India’s Punjab.

1990: The longest prison riot in British history began at Strangeways, Manchester, and lasted until 25 April. One remand prisoner died.

1991: Military side of Warsaw Pact was disbanded.

1994: A British and New Zealand crew set a record for sailing round the world. They reached Ushant in 74 days 22 hours 17 minutes and 22 seconds.

1999: Anthony Sawoniuk, 78, was sentenced to two life terms for the murder of 18 Jews during the Second World War, in Britain’s first full war crimes trial.

2006: The Serious Organised Crime Agency, dubbed the “British FBI”, created in the UK.

2009: A Super Puma helicopter crashed into the North Sea about 15 miles off Peterhead, killing all 16 people on board.

2011: After protests against the burning of the Koran turned violent, a mob attacked a United Nations compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of 13 people.


Ali MacGraw, actress, 76; Susan Boyle, West Lothian-born singer, 54; Jimmy Cliff, Jamaican singer, 67; Chris Evans, disc jockey, television presenter and businessman, 49; Anders Forsbrand, golfer, 54; Milan Kundera, novelist, 86; Debbie Reynolds, film actress, 83; Phillip Schofield, TV presenter, 53; Barry Sonnenfeld, film director, 62; Hannah Spearritt, actress and singer (S Club 7), 34; J J Williams MBE, rugby player, 67.


Births: 1578 William Harvey, physician who discovered circulation of the blood; 1815 Prince Otto von Bismarck, first German Chancellor; 1873 Sergei Rachmaninov, Russian composer and pianist; 1931 George Baker MBE, actor and writer.

Deaths: 1245 St Gilbert, last pre-Reformation saint in Scotland to be canonised; 1917 Scott Joplin, ragtime composer; 1940 John Hobson, economist; 1976 Max Ernst, Surrealist painter; 1984 Marvin Gaye, soul singer; 2010 John Forsythe, actor.