On this day: Victoria & Albert opens in London

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London which opened on 26th June 1909. Picture: Getty Images
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London which opened on 26th June 1909. Picture: Getty Images
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EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries

1284: According to legend, the Pied Piper reappeared in the German town of Hamelin. He had rid the town of rats but the townspeople refused to pay him, so he piped away 130 children and sealed them in a cave on Koppenberg Mountain.

1695: The company was formed which undertook the Darien Scheme and came to ruin five years later through English obstruction, Spanish hostility and Scottish mismanagement.

1857: The first investiture ceremony of Victoria Cross medals took place in Hyde Park. Queen Victoria awarded 62 servicemen.

1906: The first motor-racing Grand Prix took place at Le Mans and was won by Hungarian Ferenc Szisz, driving a Renault at an average speed of 63mph.

1909: The Victoria and Albert Museum opened.

1917: Three years into the First World War, King George V dropped the German titles from the Royal Family, and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha became Windsor. The name Battenberg was changed to Mountbatten.

1939: The first National Serviceman, number 10000001, Private Rupert Alexander, signed up with the Middlesex Regiment.

1962: Billie Jean Moffit, 18, knocked out top seed Margaret Smith — the start of Billie Jean King’s long reign at Wimbledon.

1977: Elvis Presley gave his last concert performance. He died two months later.

1990: Ten-year battle over ski development project for Lurcher’s Gully on Cairn Gorm ended with Secretary of State Malcolm Rifkind’s veto.

1994: The driver and a passenger died when vandals derailed a train at Greenock.

1995: Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani deposed his father, Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, in a bloodless coup.

1996: Irish journalist Veronica Guerin was shot dead in her car while in traffic in the outskirts of Dublin by a hitman on a motorbike acting on behalf of drugs barons.

2009: The Queen was given a year’s supply of ice-cream at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, near Edinburgh.


Mick Jones, rock guitarist (The Clash), 60; Paul Thomas Anderson, film director, 45; Georgie Fame, singer and songwriter, 72; Colin Greenwood, rock musician (Radiohead), 46; Sean Hayes, actor, 45; Chris Isaak, actor and singer, 59; Lord Maclennan of Rogart, MP 1966-2001, president, Liberal Democrats 1994-8, 79; Gordon McQueen, footballer, 63; Emma Noble, model, 44; Jason Schwartzman, actor, 35; Earl of St Andrews, son of Duke and Duchess of Kent, 53; Pamela Wright, Scottish golfer, 51; Samir Nasri, French footballer, 28; Paolo Maldini, Italian footballer, 47; Greg LeMond, cyclist, former world champion and three-time Tour de France winner, 54; Patti Smith, singer-songwriter, 58; Steven Brand, Dundee-born actor, 46; Gilberto Gil, musician, 73.


Births: 1763 George Morland, artist; 1824 William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, physicist and mathematician; 1904 Peter Lorre, film actor; 1914 Laurie Lee, author (Cider with Rosie) and poet; 1917 Willie Hamilton, MP.

Deaths: 1810 Joseph Montgolfier, ballooning pioneer; 1830 King George IV; 1939 Ford Madox Ford, writer; 1977 Lady Baden-PowelI, founder of the Girl Guides in 1910; 2007 Professor Dame Thea King, clarinettist; 2011 Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Justice-General and Lord President of the Court of Session 1996-2001.