On this day: Volcanic eruption in Iceland

On this day in 2010 thousands of flights were disrupted because of ash in the air caused by an eruption in Iceland. Picture: Getty
On this day in 2010 thousands of flights were disrupted because of ash in the air caused by an eruption in Iceland. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 15 April

1638: English settlers arrived at what is now New Haven, Connecticut, in the United States.

1689: France’s King Louis XIV declared war on Spain.

1755: Doctor Samuel Johnson’s dictionary was published, containing 40,000 words.

1793: £5 notes were first issued by the Bank of England.

1797: Naval personnel mutinied at Spithead, in the Solent.

1811: Chang and Eng Bunker, the most famous Siamese twins, were born, joined together at the breastbone. They married two sisters and between them produced 21 children.

1845: Building of the new House of Lords was completed, after the fire of 1834. It was designed by Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin.

1894: Thomas Edison’s “kinetoscope”, invented in 1887, was given its first public showing at 1155 Broadway, New York City.

1912: The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of 1,513 passengers and crew on her maiden voyage. There were 732 survivors.

1923: Insulin, discovered by Sir Frederick Banting, JRR Macleod and Charles H Best, was made available for general use by diabetics.

1929: Sir James Barrie donated the copyright fee of his story Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.

1942: The island of Malta was awarded the George Cross for its heroism during German and Italian bombardment.

1952: Boeing B-52 bomber made its maiden flight.

1955: The world’s largest hamburger chain, McDonald’s, was founded in Chicago by Ray Kroc, using the motto “Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value”.

1961: England defeated Scotland 9-3 at Wembley in a record-scoring football match between the countries.

1970: The first hand-held electronic pocket calculator was announced by Canon Business Machines of Japan.

1974: Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, 19, was kidnapped in California by members of the leftist Symbionese Liberation Army. She was later filmed by a security camera with an assault rifle assisting her kidnappers in a robbery. She was jailed for seven years but freed after two by President Jimmy Carter and later pardoned by president Bill Clinton.

1989: Ninety-six supporters were crushed to death and 200 injured in Britain’s worst football disaster, at Hillsborough, Sheffield, at the start of an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

1991: The 12 foreign ministers of the European Community agreed to lift the sanctions on South Africa imposed five years earlier.

1992: The composer Andrew Lloyd Webber paid £10.25million for Old Horseguards by Canaletto at Christie’s – saving the painting for the nation.

2010: All flights in and out of the UK and several other European countries were suspended because of ash in the air caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Up to 4,000 flights were cancelled.

2013: During the Boston Marathon, two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others.

2014: Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered by a Milan court to carry out a year of community service in an old people’s home as punishment for tax fraud.

2014: The Supreme Court of India ruled that transgender people had the right to identify themselves as being of a third gender.


Emma Watson, actress, 25; Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare, author, 75; Claudia Cardinale, actress, 77; Dave Edmunds, Welsh guitarist, 71; Samantha Fox, model and singer, 49; Marsha Hunt, singer and actress, 69; Baroness Linklater of Butterstone, 72; Sir Neville Marriner CBE, conductor, 91; Ed O’Brien, British guitarist (Radiohead), 47; Seth Rogen, actor and writer, 33; Sir Robert Hill Smith, Bt MP, 57; Emma Thompson, actress, 56; Michael Tucci, actor, 69; Marty Wilde, singer and composer, 76; Evelyn Ashford, athlete, 58.


Births: 1452 Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist; 1800 Sir James Clark Ross, Arctic explorer; 1812 Théodore Rousseau, French landscape artist; 1843 Henry James, novelist; 1894 Bessie Smith, blues singer; 1909 Harold Albert (Helen Cathcart), royal biographer; 1924 Rikki Fulton, actor and entertainer; 1935 Alan Plater CBE, scriptwriter (Z Cars).

Deaths: 1764 Madame de Pompadour, courtier and mistress of Louis XV; 1865 Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president; 1925 John Singer Sargent, painter; 1949 1980 Jean-Paul Sartre, philosopher and novelist; 1982 Arthur Lowe, actor; 1984 Tommy Cooper, comedian; 1986 Jean Genet, dramatist; 1990 Greta Garbo, actress; 2008 Sir Clement Freud, broadcaster, MP 1973-1987.