Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 September
National day of Saudi Arabia.
1678: The Earl of Mar was commissioned to raise a regiment, the “Earl of Mar’s Gray Breeks”, later the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
1809: A compound fountain pen was patented by Joseph Bramah, a London cabinet maker, who in 1797 had patented a water closet.
1817: Spain signed treaty with Britain to end slave trade.
1846: The planet Neptune was discovered by the German astronomer Johann Galle, following predictions of Leverrier and Adams.
1848: Chewing-gum was first commercially produced by John Curtis on a stove in his home in Bangor, Maine, and sold under the name of the “State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum”.
1912: Chinese government declined six-power loan in favour of one from Birch, Crisp & Company of London.
1940: The George Cross, the highest British civilian award for acts of courage, was instituted.
1951: King George VI had an operation to remove his left lung at Buckingham Palace.
1951: United Nations forces captured “Heartbreak Ridge” in Korea from Communists.
1952: Rocky Marciano won the world heavyweight boxing title in Philadelphia, knocking out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round.
1973: Former Argentine dictator Juan Peron was returned to power in Buenos Aires in presidential election.
1974: Ceefax, the BBC’s teletext service, was inaugurated.
1978: Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, returned home to hero’s welcome after Camp David summit that resulted in agreement on framework for peace with Israel.
1990: Saddam Hussein said he would destroy Israel and launch an all-out war before allowing the United Nations embargo to “strangle” Iraq.
1991: Skeleton frozen for more than 500 years was dug out of the Similaun Glacier in the Italian-Austrian Alps. Still wearing traces of leather boots and clinging to an axe, it was believed to be remains of a hunter.
1991: Access to copies of all 800 Dead Sea Scrolls was thrown open by Huntingdon Library, California, breaking cartel of seven experts who had kept exclusive rights to key documents since scrolls were discovered over 40 years ago.
1994: Conditions in the Glenglova nursing home in Glasgow, where a 79-year-old woman died, were described as a scandal in a sheriff’s public inquiry judgment.
1999: Nasa announced that it had lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter.
1999: Qantas Flight 1 overran the runway in Bangkok during a storm. Although some passengers received only minor injuries, it is still the worst crash in Qantas’s history since 1960.
2001: Britain was warned to prepare for casualties as America and its allies mobilised forces for an expected strike against Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organisation.
2004: At least 1,070 people in Haiti were reported to have been killed by floods caused by Hurricane Jeanne.
Bruce Springsteen, rock singer, 65; Cherie Booth, QC, and wife of former prime minister Tony Blair, 60; James George Alexander Bannerman Carnegie, 3rd Duke of Fife, 85; Chris Hawkins, radio personality, 39; Julio Iglesias, singer, 71; Larry Mize, golfer, 56; Elizabeth Peña, actress, 53; Karl Pilkington, radio and television personality, 42; Juan Martín del Potro, tennis player, 26; Clayton Blackmore, footballer, 50; Jeff Squire, rugby player, 63; Nicholas Witchell, broadcaster, 61; Trinidad James, rapper, 27; Jason Alexander, actor, writer, producer, singer, comedian, 55; Anthony Mackie, actor, 36; Layzie Bone, rapper, 39; Yvette Fielding, broadcaster, producer and actress, 46; Alex Curran, model and fashion columnist, 32; Melanie Oudin, tennis player, 23; Paolo Rossi, Italian footballer, 58; Henry Blofeld OBE, sports journalist and cricket commentator, 75; Tom Lester, actor and evangelist, 76.
Births: 63BC Augustus Caesar, first Roman emperor; 1215 Kublai Khan, emperor of Mongolia and China; 1863 Mary Church Terrell, civil rights activist; 1865 Baroness Emmuska Orczy, novelist and playwright, author of The Scarlet Pimpernel; 1880 John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd Orr, biologist and Nobel Peace prizewinner; 1899 Louise Nevelson, sculptor; 1920 Mickey Rooney, American film actor; 1926 John Coltrane, jazz saxophonist and composer; 1930 Ray Charles, singer.
Deaths: 704 St Adamnan of Iona, biographer of Columba; 1889 Wilkie Collins, novelist and pioneer of detective fiction (The Moonstone); 1889 Eliza Cook, poet; 1939 Sigmund Freud, founder of psycho-analysis;1973 Pablo Neruda, poet; 1974 Robbie McIntosh, Dundee-born drummer (The Average White Band); 1990 Lord Swann, BBC chairman and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh University 1965-73; 1994 Robert Bloch, fiction writer (Psycho).