On this day: SNP formed | Mozart hears Beethoven

EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries for 7 April 2014
Scottish world motor racing champion Jim Clark was killed in 1968 after a crash. Picture: ContributedScottish world motor racing champion Jim Clark was killed in 1968 after a crash. Picture: Contributed
Scottish world motor racing champion Jim Clark was killed in 1968 after a crash. Picture: Contributed

1652: Dutch, under Jan van Riebeeck, founded Cape Town in South Africa.

1787: Mozart heard Beethoven, aged 17, play the piano and said: “Some day he will give the world something to talk about.”

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1795: The metre was made the official measuring unit of length in France.

1853: Queen Victoria became the first monarch to have chloroform administered, for the birth of her eighth child, Prince Leopold.

1890: A water-powered railway opened between Lynton and Lynmouth.

1906: In Italy, Mount Vesuvius erupted, and destroyed the town of Attaiano, leaving hundreds dead and injured.

1911: Copyright Act, giving authors protection of their works for life plus 50 years, was approved by parliament.

1922: Six died in first airliner collision, between planes of the French line Grands Express and Britain’s Daimler Airlines over northern France.

1930: The electric razor was patented by Jacob Schick.

1934: Scottish National Party was formed by the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party.

1934: Mahatma Gandhi suspended civil disobedience campaign in India.

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1941: British forces under Archibald Wavell evacuated Benghazi in Libya.

1948: The World Health Organisation was established.

1951: Only three of 36 starters finished the Grand National. It was won by Nickel Coin.

1956: Spain relinquished its protectorate over Morocco.

1961: United Nations General Assembly condemned South Africa’s policies in South-West Africa.

1966: A hydrogen bomb that had been lost from a United States bomber plane was recovered in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain.

1968: Jim Clark, of Kilmany, near Cupar, twice world motor racing champion, was killed taking part in a Formula Two race when his car slid off the rain-soaked Hockenheim track in West Germany and hit a tree.

1982: Britain declared 200-mile exclusion zone round the Falkland Islands.

1996: Gay rights activists attacked Cardinal Thomas Winning after he compared homosexuality to a physical handicap.


James Garner, actor, 86; Dennis Amiss MBE, cricketer and administrator, 71; Jackie Chan MBE, Hong Kong actor, 60; Francis Ford Coppola, film director, 75; Russell Crowe, actor, 50; Luca Cumani, racehorse trainer, 65; Peter Fluck, satirist and puppeteer, 73; Gorden Kaye, actor, 73; Martyn Lewis CBE, newscaster, 69; Andrew Sachs, 84; Gerhard Schröder, German chancellor 1998-2005, 70; Michaela Strachan, presenter, 48.


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Births: 1770 William Wordsworth, poet; 1891 Ole Kirk Christiansen, Danish inventor of Lego; 1915 Billie Holiday, jazz singer; 1930 Cliff Morgan, Welsh rugby player and broadcaster; 1939 Sir David Frost OBE, broadcaster.

Deaths: 1739 Dick Turpin, highwayman, cattle-thief, rapist and murderer (hanged); 1947 Henry Ford, car manufacturer; 1950 Walter Huston, actor; 2012 Alexander Robert Leslie-Melville, 14th Earl of Leven.