On this day: Torrey Canyon tanker was destroyed

The Torrey Canyon was destroyed in 1967 after having gone aground on the Pollard Rock. Picture: Getty
The Torrey Canyon was destroyed in 1967 after having gone aground on the Pollard Rock. Picture: Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on March 30.

1603: The Earl of Tyrone, the Irish rebel, submitted to Lord Mountjoy at Mellifort.

1772: Robert Clive defended his administration of Bengal, in India, at a hearing in the House of Commons.

1806: Joseph Bonaparte became King of Naples.

1820: Duc de Richelieu re-established censorship in France.

1842: Ether was used as an anaesthetic for the first time, by American surgeon Doctor Crawford Long, of Jefferson, Georgia, when he removed a cyst from the neck of James Venable after administering sulphuric ether on a towel.

1855: Treaty of Peshawar, whereby Britain and Afghanistan formed alliance against Persia.

1855: End of Taiping rebellion in China.

1856: The Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Crimean War.

1863: Denmark incorporated Schleswig Holstein.

1863: Poland was divided into provinces by Russia.

1867: Alaska was bought by America from Russia for $7.2million. The 375 acres worked out at less than 2 cents an acre, and included rights to fur, fish, timber, minerals and gold.

1885: Russian occupation of Penjeh, Afghanistan, provoked crisis in British-Russian relations.

1912: Sultan of Morocco signed a treaty making Morocco a French protectorate.

1933: James Hertzog formed national coalition in South Africa and was joined by Jan Smuts.

1940: Japan established a puppet government in occupied China.

1951: Julius and Ethel Rosenburg found guilty in America’s first atom bomb spy trial.

1964: The seaside resort of Clacton was the scene of pitched battles by gangs of mods and rockers.

1966: United States embassy in Saigon was blown up by the Vietcong with the loss of 13 lives.

1967: The tanker Torrey Canyon, which had gone aground on the Pollard Rock between the Isles of Scilly and Land’s End on 18 March, was bombed and destroyed.

1972: William Whitelaw became secretary of state for Northern Ireland as the province came under direct rule from London.

1974: Chinese airliner arrived in New York in what was described as the first civilian flight from Chinese mainland to the United States.

1981: United States president Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination bid outside Washington’s Hilton Hotel.

1987: Sunflowers, by Vincent van Gogh, was sold at auction by Christie’s for £24,750,000.

1988: Sikh militants killed 15 people in overnight attacks in northern Indian state of Punjab.

1992: The United Nations voted to impose sanctions on Libya for failing to hand over two Lockerbie bombing suspects.

1994: The prime minister, John Major, dismissed the IRA’s announcement of a post-Easter three-day ceasefire as “self-serving and cynical”.

2006: The UK Terrorism Act 2006 became law.

2010: Scotland was battered by severe storms that forced the closure of several main road and rail arteries.

2012: Two men were convicted of plotting to send parcel bombs designed to cause severe injury to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two other high-profile fans.


Eric Clapton CBE, guitarist, 70; Warren Beatty, actor, 78; Sarah Badel, actress, 72; Tracy Chapman, singer and songwriter, 51; Robbie Coltrane, Scottish actor and director, 65; Sue Cook, broadcaster, 66; Donna D’Errico, actress, 47; Céline Dion, singer, 47; Graeme Edge, musician (Moody Blues), 74; Margaret Fingerhut, concert pianist, 60; John Gosden, racehorse trainer, 64; MC Hammer (Stanley Kirk Burrell), rapper, 53; Rolf Harris, broadcaster and artist, 85; Norah Jones, singer and pianist, 36; Chris Paterson MBE, Scottish rugby player, 37; Elizabeth Millicent Sutherland, 24th Countess of Sutherland, chief of Clan Sutherland, 94.


Births: 1746 Francisco de Goya, artist; 1820 Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty; 1840 Charles Booth, ship-owner and sociologist; 1844 Paul Verlaine, poet; 1853 Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch painter; 1880 Sean O’Casey, playwright; 1888 Julian Grenfell, poet; 1900 Ted Heath, bandleader; 1913 Frankie Laine, singer; 1928 Tom Sharpe, novelist.

Deaths: 1840 George Bryan (“Beau”) Brummell, dandy and fashion leader; 1914 Tito Mattei, pianist, composer; 1925 Rudolph Steiner, social philosopher; 1950 Léon Blum, French prime minister; 1979 Airey Neave, MP and barrister; 1986 James Cagney, actor; 1987 Maria Von Trapp, whose story was basis for The Sound of Music; 2002 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; 2004 Alistair Cooke KBE, journalist and broadcaster of BBC’s A Letter from America 1946-2004; 2014 Kate O’Mara, actress.