On this day: Reichstag burns down while Nazis blame Communists.

The Reichstag, the German parliament building in Berlin, was burned during the Nazis ascent to power. Picture: Getty Images
The Reichstag, the German parliament building in Berlin, was burned during the Nazis ascent to power. Picture: Getty Images
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EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

1545: The Scots under the Earl of Angus defeated English under Sir Ralph Eure at Battle of Ancrum.

1700: Southwest Pacific island of New Britain was discovered by English navigator William Dampier.

1861: Warsaw Massacre occurred when crowd was fired upon by Russian troops during demonstration against Russian rule.

1879: The discovery of saccharin was reported by chemists Constantin Fahlberg and Ira Remsen of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

1881: Boers defeated British force at Majuba Hill in South Africa.

1889: Railroad was opened in Burma from Rangoon to Mandalay.

1900: Labour Party was formed with Ramsay MacDonald as secretary.

1901: Russia’s minister of propaganda was murdered to avenge repression of student agitation.

1907: The Central Criminal Court, on the site of Newgate Prison, and commonly called the Old Bailey, was opened.

1918: British hospital ship, Glenart Castle, was sunk by U-boat in the Bristol Channel.

1929: Turkey signed Litvinov Protocol, or Eastern Pact, among Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Romania, for renunciation of war.

1933: Reichstag, German parliament building in Berlin, was burned, and Nazis blamed Communists.

1939: Britain and France recognised General Francisco Franco’s government in Spain.

1952: United Nations held first meeting in New York.

1968: House of Commons approved bill to restrict coloured immigration to Britain.

1974: Ethiopia’s cabinet resigned as military mutiny spread from captured city of Asmara.

1976: Eskimo leaders in Canada presented government with claim to quarter of a million square miles of land.

1978: Egypt restricted special privileges of Palestinians living in that country, and said they would be treated as any other Arab aliens.

1982: D’Oyly Carte Opera Company gave its last Gilbert and Sullivan performance, at the Adelphi Theatre, London.

1985: A “Save the Doctor” campaign was started when the BBC left Dr Who out of plans for BBC1.

1991: Allies pinned down Iraqi Republican Guards near Basra in biggest tank battle since Second World War.

1991: Nine Orkney children from four families on South Ronaldsay were taken into care after allegations of child sex abuse. They were returned home on 4 April.

1992: A bomb exploded at London Bridge train station, injuring 28 people. IRA claimed responsibility as part of threatened pre-election bombing campaign.

1995: Appeal judges ordered eight Ayrshire children, victims of alleged abuse, to be reunited with their parents nearly five years after they had been taken from them.

2010: Central Chile was hit by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake which left more than 700 people dead and two million affected.


Births: AD274 Constantine the Great, Roman emperor; 1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet 11902 John Steinbeck, novelist and Nobel laureate; 1904 1924 Magnus Shearer, Lord Lieutenant of Shetland 1982-94; 1927 Lois Maxwell, actress (Bond films’ Miss Moneypenny); 1933 John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute.

Deaths: 1706 John Evelyn, writer; 1735 John Arbuthnot, writer and creator of “John Bull”; 1996 Pat Smythe, showjumper; 2002 Spike Milligan KBE, comedian; 2015 Leonard Nimoy, actor.