On this day: Scots Guards were commissioned | Virginia Woolf died

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 28 March

1642: The Scots Guards were commissioned.

1800: Act of Union with Britain passed in Ireland’s parliament.

1854: Britain declared (Crimean) war on Russia.

1910: The first seaplane, designed by Henri Fabre of France, had its maiden flight near Marseilles.

1912: Women’s Enfranchisement Bill was defeated by 14 votes on its second reading.

1913: The first Morris Oxford left factory at Cowley.

1930: Constantinople changed its name to Istanbul, and Angora to Ankara.

1938: Japan installed puppet government of Chinese Republic in Nanking.

1939: Madrid’s surrender to General Francisco Franco ended Spanish Civil War.

1960: Nineteen Glasgow firemen and salvage workers died when walls of Cheapside whisky bond blew out soon after they started fighting a blaze which later spread to a tobacco warehouse, an ice cream factory and Harland & Wolff’s engine works.

1962: Syrian army revolt failed.

1964: Radio Caroline began transmissions from a ship in the North Sea.

1967: United Nations secretary-general U Thant proposed general truce in Vietnam, followed by peace talks, and the United States said it would go along.

1974: Mounting civil unrest virtually paralysed foundering government of Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie.

1977: Breakfast TV in Britain started as an experiment on Yorkshire TV.

1979: Radiation leak at Three Mile Island nuclear station, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States. The atomic core began to melt down.

1989: In the USSR’s first democratic party elections, many Communist candidates chosen by the government were ousted.

1991: Patricia Scotland, 35, was appointed Britain’s first black woman Queen’s Counsel.

2003: A British soldier was killed in a “friendly fire” incident in Iraq when the tank he was in was attacked by American jets.

2005: The Sumatran earthquake rocked Indonesia. At magnitude 8.7 it was the second strongest earthquake since 1965.

2010: Chinese car-maker Geely signed a deal to buy Volvo from American car giant Ford for £1.2 billion.


Laurie Brett, Scottish actress (EastEnders), 44; Rosemary Ashe, soprano, 60; Chris Barrie, actor, 53; Sir Richard Eyre CBE, theatre, film and television director, 70; John Fogerty, rock musician (Creedence Clearwater Revival), 68; Lady Gaga, singer/songwriter, 27; Professor Peter Hennessy, historian, 66; Nasser Hussein, former English cricket captain, 45; Lord Kinnock, leader of the Labour Party 1983-92, 71; Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian-Spanish novelist and politician, 77; Mike Newell, film director, 71; Sir Michael Parkinson, broadcaster, 78; Julia Stiles, actress, 32; Richard Stilgoe OBE, entertainer and lyricist, 70; Dianne Wiest, actress, 65.


Births: 1515 St Teresa of Avila; 1483 Raphael, painter; 1660 King George I; 1820 Sir William Howard Russell, war correspondent; 1893 Alfred Lunt, actor; 1921 Sir Dirk Bogarde, actor and author.

Deaths: 1881 Modest Mussorgsky, composer; 1941 Virginia Woolf, writer (suicide); 1969 Dwight D Eisenhower (Ike), 34th US president; 1977 Eric Shipton, mountaineer; 1985 Marc Chagall, painter; 2004 Sir Peter Ustinov, actor, dramatist and film director.