On this day: US space shuttle Discovery is launched

On this day in 1990 the US space shuttle Discovery was launched, with the giant Hubble telescope on board. Picture: AFP/Getty
On this day in 1990 the US space shuttle Discovery was launched, with the giant Hubble telescope on board. Picture: AFP/Getty
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on April 24.

1558: Mary, Queen of Scots married the Dauphin of France. She was 16.

1567: First printed book ever published in Gaelic, translated from English by Bishop John Carswell of the Isles, was Forms of Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Catechism of the Christian Faith.

1633: Privy Council gave warrant to Sir John Hepburn to raise regiment of 1,200 men to fight in the French service. It was recruited mainly from Scottish mercenaries of Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years’ War. The corps ultimately became the First Regiment of Foot, The Royal Scots.

1800: The United States Library of Congress, the largest in the world, was founded on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

1895: Captain Joshua Slocum set out from Boston on single-handed voyage round world in 36ft sloop Spray. It took him three years and two months.

1898: Spain declared war on United States after receiving US ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.

1916: Republican insurrection known as the Easter Rising occurred in Dublin on Easter Monday.

1967: Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was killed when parachute straps of his spacecraft became tangled during landing.

1970: After a national referendum, Gambia became a republic within the Commonwealth, having been a British colony since 1843.

1970: China launched its first satellite.

1971: Russian Soyuz 10 spacecraft linked up with orbiting space station Salyut.

1986: Pre-dawn bomb blast damaged British Airways office and other stores in Lumley Street, off Oxford Street, London.

1989: Muslim rebels shelled eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad, and at least 54 people were killed.

1990: United States space shuttle Discovery launched with giant Hubble telescope on board.

1992: Chris Patten was named governor of Hong Kong.

1993: An IRA bomb devastated a huge area of the City of London. One man was killed.

1994: Nine people died and 100 were injured in a car-bomb blast in Johannesburg as violence escalated in the run-up to South Africa’s first all-race elections.

1995: The government agreed to the first face-to-face meeting for more than 20 years between a minister and Sinn Fein to discuss peace in Northern Ireland.

1996: Lord Cameron ruled that doctors could withdraw artificial feeding from Janet Johnston, to allow her a “peaceful and dignified” death, the first right-to-die decision in Scotland.

2004: The US lifted economic sanctions imposed on Libya 18 years previously, as a reward for its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.

2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.

2005: Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog, was born in South Korea.

2006: King Gyanendra of Nepal gave into the demands of protesters and restored the parliament that he dissolved in 2002.

2011: More than 470 inmates at a prison in southern Afghanistan escaped through a tunnel hundreds of metres long and dug from outside the jail.

2014: The BBC suspended its membership of the CBI over the business organisation’s registration as a support of the No campaign in the Scottish independence debate.


Barbra Streisand, singer and actress, 73; Kelly Clarkson, singer, 33; Jean-Paul Gaultier, fashion designer, 63; Djimon Hounsou, actor, 51; Chris Kelly, broadcaster, writer and producer, 75; Gabby Logan, television presenter, 42; Shirley Maclaine, actress, 81; Karen Murden, actress, 45; Michael O’Keefe, actor, 60; Bridget Riley CBE, artist, 84; Peter Spence, screenwriter and journalist, 71; Sachin Tendulkar, Indian Test cricketer, 41; John Williams, classical guitarist, 73: Jack Quaid, actor, 23; Lee Westwood OBE, golfer, 42; Laur


Births: 1815 Anthony Trollope, novelist and inventor of pillar box; 1825 RM Ballantyne, Edinburgh-born novelist; 1882 Lord Dowding, RAF commander in Battle of Britain; 1906 William Joyce (alias Lord Haw-Haw), traitor and Nazi collaborator; 1924 Sir Clement Freud, writer, broadcaster, MP 1973-1987.

Deaths: 1731 Daniel Defoe, author and adventurer; 1942 Lucy Montgomery, novelist; 1974 Bud Abbott, straight man of the Abbott and Costello comedy duo; 1986 Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Simpson), wife of the former King Edward VIII; 1993 Sir Ian Jacob, director-general of BBC; 1993 Oliver Tambo, former African National Congress president; 2004 Estée Lauder, founder of cosmetics empire; 2014 Sandy Jardine, Scottish footballer.