On this day: Van Gogh’s Irises sells for £29.5m

On this day in 1987, Vincent Van Gogh's painting, Irises, sold for a record $53.9m (�29.5m) at Sotheby's in New York. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
On this day in 1987, Vincent Van Gogh's painting, Irises, sold for a record $53.9m (�29.5m) at Sotheby's in New York. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Have your say

EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

1094: King Duncan II of Scotland was killed at the Battle of Monthechin.

1603: Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial in Winchester for high treason.

1660: John Bunyan, author of A Pilgrim’s Progress, was jailed for preaching without a licence.

1793: The first mayor of Paris, Jean Sylvain Bailly, was guillotined.

1847: Bathgate-born Sir James Young Simpson became the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic.

1859: Jules Leotard, who designed the garment named after him, performed the first flying trapeze circus act.

1867: First political party conference held by Conservatives at Freemason’s Tavern, Great Queen Street, London.

1869: Edinburgh University admitted women to the study of medicine, the first in Britain.

1902: Enrico Caruso, the Italian tenor, recorded On With The Motley. It became the first record to reach one million sales.

1912: The remains of Captain Robert Scott, EA Wilson and HR Bowers, who died on their journey from the South Pole, were discovered.

1918: The Republic of Austria was declared, thus ending the Habsburg dynasty.

1927: Leon Trotsky expelled from Communist Party in Russia, and Joseph Stalin became undisputed ruler.

1933: Nazis dominated German elections.

1936: The Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to Eugene O’Neill.

1937: Japanese troops occupied Chinese city of Shanghai.

1941: Soviet troops halted Germans at outskirts of Moscow.

1942: Tobruk fell to the Allies.

1944: RAF bombers sank the German battleship Tirpitz at Tromso Fjord, Norway.

1951: Come Dancing was first transmitted on BBC television.

1956: An iceberg bigger than Belgium was found in South Pacific.

1965: Ferdinand Marcos was elected the tenth president of the Philippines.

1969: Author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Writer’ Union.

1982: Yuri Andropov succeeded Leonid Brezhnev as Soviet leader.

1987: Van Gogh’s Irises sold for a world record £29.5 million.

1990: Cullen report on Piper Alpha disaster (6 July, 1988) criticised Occidental oil company and Department of Energy over death of 167 workers.

1990: Crown prince Akihito was formally installed as emperor Akihito of Japan.

1996: 350 people died when a Saudi Airlines Boeing 747 and a Kazakh Airlines Ilyushin 76 collided in mid-air over India.

1998: US vice-president Al Gore signed the Kyoto Protocol.

2001: In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 en route to the Dominican Republic, crashed minutes after take-off from JFK, killing all 260 on board and five on the ground.

2003: Shanghai Transrapid set a new world speed record (311 mph) for commercial railway systems.

2010: Holiday company Pontin’s called in the administrators.


Births: 1833 Alexander Borodin, composer; 1840 Auguste Rodin, sculptor; 1842 John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, Nobel prize-winning physicist who discovered argon; 1912 Chad Varah, founder of the Samaritans; 1917 Jo Stafford, singer; 1929 Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly), film actress; 1943 Errol Brown, singer-songwriter (Hot Chocolate).

Deaths: 1094 Duncan II, king of Scotland; 1854 Charles Kemble, actor; 1865 Elizabeth Gaskell, novelist; 1916 Percival Lowell, astronomer; 1981 William Holden, actor; 1989 Dolores Ibárruri, 
Spanish civil war leader; 2013 Sir John Tavener, composer.