On this day: Spinks beats Muhammad Ali for world heavyweight title

Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali to win the world heavyweight boxing championship in Las Vegas. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali to win the world heavyweight boxing championship in Las Vegas. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

1659: Nicholas Vanacker wrote the first cheque, for £10, to have been drawn on a British bank.

1804: Force of United States Marines slipped into Tripoli harbour, North Africa, and burned US Navy frigate Philadelphia which had been captured by pirates.

1871: Franco-Prussian War ended in defeat for France.

1873: Republic was proclaimed in Spain.

1918: Dover was bombarded by a German submarine.

1932: Fianna Fáil party, headed by Eamon de Valera, won Irish general election.

1949: Chaim Weizmann was sworn in at Jerusalem as first president of state of Israel.

1959: Fidel Castro became prime minister of Cuba after overthrowing Batista regime.

1963: The Beatles went to number one in the pop charts for the first time with Please Please Me.

1974: Scottish Astrological Association founded in Edinburgh.

1977: Anglican Archbishop of Uganda and two government ministers were arrested in alleged plot to overthrow Ugandan president Idi Amin.

1978: Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali to win the world heavyweight boxing championship in Las Vegas.

1990: Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, went into hiding against possible attempts by Muslims to carry out Ayatollah Khomeini’s order to kill him.

1994: A radical shake-up of the Scottish court system proposes “voluntary” fines for thousands of minor criminal offences.

1995: The government announced that Shell UK had been given permission to dump its Brent Spar North Sea oil platform in the mid-Atlantic. There were immediate protests at the decision.

1996: Rescue workers battled to prevent an environmental disaster off the Welsh coast after oil tanker Sea Empress ran aground on its way into Milford Haven.

1998: China Airlines Flight 676 crashed into a road and residential area near Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taiwan, killing all 196 aboard and six more on the ground.

1999: In Uzbekistan, a bomb exploded and gunfire is heard at the government headquarters in an apparent assassination attempt against president Islam Karimov.

1999: Across Europe, Kurdish rebels took over embassies and held hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah Ocalan.

2005: The Kyoto Protocol came into force, following its ratification by Russia.

2006: The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was decommissioned by the United States Army.

2011: Research by psychologists at Edinburgh Napier University revealed that the use of social network site Facebook can be the cause of stress.


Births: 1740 Giambattista Bodoni, printer and typographer; 1822 Sir Francis Galton, scientist, pioneer in eugenics; 1876 George Macaulay Trevelyan, historian; 1885 Will Fyffe, comedian; 1918 Patty Andrews, singer (The Andrews Sisters); 1926 John Schlesinger, film director; 1934 Tom Gallacher, Scottish author and playwright; 1935 Sonny Bono, singer, songwriter and politician; Iain Banks, Scottish novelist.

Deaths: 1834 Lionel Lukin, lifeboat pioneer; 1891 Leo Delibes, composer; 1892 Henry Walter Bates, explorer and naturalist; 1957 Sir Leslie Hore-Belisha, minister of transport responsible for introduction of Belisha beacons, Highway Code and driving tests; 1985 Henry Cabot Lodge, statesman; 2000 Lila Kedrova, actress; 2007 Sheridan Morley, author, broadcaster, playwright and critic; 2011 Alfred Burke, British actor.