On this day: The Vietnamese War ended

Communist troops head for the centre of Saigon on this day in 1975 as the Vietnam war finally came to an end. Picture: AFP
Communist troops head for the centre of Saigon on this day in 1975 as the Vietnam war finally came to an end. Picture: AFP
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 30 April

National day of Netherlands.

1772: The dial weighing machine was patented by John Clais.

1789: George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States on the balcony of New York’s Federal Hall, with John Adams as vice-president.

1803: United States purchased Louisiana from France. The deal was completed by president Thomas Jefferson – and the cost worked out at a little under three cents an acre.

1804: Shrapnel was first used in warfare, by the British against the Dutch in Surinam.

1891: An Comunn Gàidhealach was formally instituted.

1906: For ease of identification, numbers were given to bus routes in London.

1919: First World War peace conference granted German concession in Shantung, China, to Japan, whereupon China left the conference.

1938: The cup final from Wembley, shown on the BBC, was the first football match to be televised live in Britain.

1945: Adolf Hitler shot himself in his bunker beneath the chancellery in Berlin. His wife, Eva Braun, whom he had married the previous day, died beside him by taking a cyanide pill.

1958: First London performance of My Fair Lady musical.

1964: BBC2 began transmission.

1966: First regular cross-Channel hovercraft service was started between Ramsgate and Calais.

1973: Four of president Richard Nixon’s aides resigned in Watergate affair.

1975: The Vietnamese War ended – the longest conflict in the 20th century.

1980: Queen Juliana abdicated as Queen of the Netherlands in favour of her daughter Beatrix.

1980: Armed terrorists took 20 hostages in Iranian Embassy in London and threatened to blow it up if their demands were not met.

1982: United Nations Law of the Sea Conference adopted convention to govern the use and exploitation of seas and seabeds.

1986: Soviet Union admitted a nuclear reactor was ablaze at Chernobyl – four days after the event.

1990: Ten airmen killed when RAF Shackleton plunged into hillside on Harris.

1992: The death toll in the Los Angeles riots stood at 58 with hundreds more injured and scores of buildings and shops destroyed.

1993: While playing in a tournament in Germany tennis star Monica Seles was stabbed by a spectator claiming to be a Steffi Graf fan.

1995: Stephen Hendry won the Embassy World Snooker Championship for the fourth time in a row, his fifth triumph in six years, beating Nigel Bond.

1999: A neo-fascist group, the White Wolves, claimed responsibility after a nail-bomb killed three people and injured more than 130 others in a gay pub in London’s Soho.

2004: US media released graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

2007: Five men who plotted to kill hundreds of people with a 600kg fertiliser bomb were jailed for almost 100 years at the end of the longest terror trial held in Britain.

2014: Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was arrested over the IRA abduction and killing of mother of ten Jean McConville in Belfast in 1972.


Kirsten Dunst, actress, 33; Dickie Davies, television sports presenter, 82; Leslie Grantham, actor, 68; King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden, 69; Tony Harrison, poet, 78; Willie Nelson, American country singer, 82; Emma Pierson, actress, 34; Baron Sanderson of Bowden, chairman, Scottish Conservative Party 1990-93, 82; Bobby Vee, singer, 72; Burt Young, actor, 75; Cloris Leachman, actress, 89; Merrill Osmond, singer and bassist (The Osmonds), 62; Dianna Agron, actress, 29; Leigh Francis (aka Avid Merrion and Keith Lemon), comedy performer, 42.


Births: 1662 Queen Mary II, wife of William III; 1822 Hannibal Goodwin, Episcopalian minister, pioneer of celluloid roll film; 1723 Mathurin Jacques Brisson, zoologist; 1870 Franz Lehár, Hungarian composer (The Merry Widow); 1883 Jaroslav Hasek, Czechoslovak author (The Good Soldier Schweik); 1893 Joachim von Ribbentrop, politician; 1926 Janey Buchan, Glasgow-born MEP 1979-94; 1944 Jill Clayburgh, American actress.

Deaths: 1883 Édouard Manet, Impressionist painter; 1912 Wilbur Wright, aviation pioneer; 1936 Alfred Housman, poet and scholar; 1941 Edwin Porter, film director; 1943 Beatrice Webb, writer and socialist; 1945 Adolf Hitler, Nazi dictator (suicide; with Eva Braun, whom he had married the previous day); 1972 Gia Scala, film actress; 1985 Sir Max Aitken, newspaper publisher; 1994 Roland Ratzenberger, Formula One racing driver; 2009 Maurice Lindsay, Glasgow-born broadcaster, writer and poet.