On this day: Statue of Saddam Hussein is toppled

Statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad was toppled as American forces took the country. Picture: Getty
Statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad was toppled as American forces took the country. Picture: Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on April 9.

1747: Britain’s last beheading took place on Tower Hill, London. Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, was executed for his part in the Jacobite rising. The Scots Magazine reported that as he mounted the steps to the scaffold, assisted by two warders, he looked round and, seeing so many people, declared: “God save us, why should there be such a bustle about taking off an old grey head that can’t get up three steps without two men to support it?”

1770: James Cook discovered Botany Bay – declaring that the Aborigines seemed “open to reason”.

1783: Tippoo of Mysore forced British to surrender Bednore.

1838: The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, was opened.

1865: Confederate Robert E Lee surrendered to General Grant in Virginia, effectively bringing the American Civil War to an end.

1917: Battles of Arras and Vimy Ridge began in First World War.

1918: Latvia proclaimed its independence.

1928: Islam was no longer recognised as state religion in Turkey.

1940: Germany invaded Norway and Denmark.

1942: American-Filipino forces on Bataan surrendered to Japanese.

1945: USS Liberty exploded in Bari harbour, Italy, killing 360.

1949: United Nations International Court of Justice delivered its first decision, holding Albania responsible for incidents in Corfu Channel and awarding Britain damages.

1961: Fire on British the passenger and cargo vessel “Dara” off Dubai killed 150.

1969: The British supersonic airliner, Concorde, made its maiden flight from Bristol to Fairford in Gloucestershire.

1970: Legal moves to dissolve Beatles’ business partnership were begun by Paul McCartney.

1978: Loyal troops in Somalia crushed attempted coup by army officers.

1983: Jenny Pitman became the first woman to train a Grand National winner with Corbiere.

1986: West Berlin expelled two Libyan diplomats and said it had “several indications” Libya was behind bombing of Berlin discotheque.

1989: Sixteen people were reported killed as Soviet troops rushed crowd of protesters in a central square of Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

1990: East Germany’s Lothar de Maizière proposed 24-member “grand coalition” Cabinet.

1990: Ford motor company cancelled a planned £225million Welsh investment.

1990: Four members of Ulster Defence Regiment were killed by an IRA land mine at Downpatrick.

1991: Georgia voted to secede from Soviet Union.

1992: The Conservatives won a fourth successive term in office when they triumphed at the general election – but with a greatly reduced majority of 21.

2003: Baghdad fell to American forces; Saddam Hussein statue toppled as Iraqis turn on symbols of their former leader, pulling down the statue and tearing it to pieces.

2005: The Prince of Wales married Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles, a divorcee, at a civil ceremony in Windsor.

2011: A gunman murdered five people, injured 11, and committed suicide in a mall in the Netherlands.

2014: Scientists produced the UK’s first cloned dog, using DNA from a dachshund, after its owner, a London chef, won a competition to have her elderly pet replicated.

BIRTHDAYS

Cynthia Nixon, actress, 49; Valerie Singleton OBE, broadcaster, 78; Jean-Paul Belmondo, actor, 82; Eric Clarke, MP 1992-2001, 82; Hannah Gordon, Edinburgh-born actress, 74; Hugh Hefner, magazine publisher (Playboy), 89; Alan Knott, cricketer, 69; Tom Lehrer, lecturer and satirical songwriter, 87; Jerzy Maksymiuk, conductor 1983-93, conductor laureate, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, 70; Martin Margiela, fashion designer, 58; Dennis Quaid, actor, 61; Tony Sibson, boxer, 57; Rachel Stevens, pop singer, 37; Jacques Villeneuve, racing driver, 44.

ANNIVERSARIES

Births: 1649 James, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch, natural son of King Charles II and Lucy Walter; 1806 Isambard Kingdom Brunel, railway and marine engineer; 1821 Charles Baudelaire, poet; 1835 Leopold II, King of the Belgians; 1879 Sir Gerald Kelly, artist; 1898 Paul Robeson, singer and actor; 1906 Hugh Gaitskell, leader of Labour Party and chancellor who in 1950 introduced National Health Service charges; 1932 Carl Perkins, musician; 1957 Severiano Ballesteros, golfer.

Deaths: 1483 King Edward IV; 1626 Francis Bacon (Lord Verulam), philosopher and statesman; 1747 Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, (executed in London for his part in the Jacobite rising); 1882 Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet, painter; 1959 Frank Lloyd Wright, architect; 1961 Ex-King Zog of Albania; 1984 Sir Basil Blackwell, bookseller and publisher; 2011 Sidney Lumet, film director.