ON THIS DAY
1803: Composer Hector Berlioz was born near Grenoble.
1894: The first motor show opened in Paris, with nine exhibitors.
1903: The first wildlife preservation society in Britain was founded under the name The Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire.
1936: Edward VIII, above, abdicated as King after a reign of 325 days, in favour of his brother, the Duke of York, who became King George VI. The announcement was made on BBC radio at 10pm.
1945: London’s second Waterloo Bridge, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, opened.
1967: The prototype of the world’s first supersonic airliner, Concorde, was revealed.
1988: An Ariane-4 rocket, carrying the Astra 1A satellite to bring 16 television channels to Britain, was launched from Kourou, French Guiana.
2001: Up to 30,000 Post Office jobs were under threat.
2005: A series of massive explosions at the Buncefield oil depot near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire led to an enormous fire at one of Britain’s largest oil depots.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR:
A new public art installation made up of melting ice blocks which aims to show the reality of climate change was unveiled in London.
FROM 1956 until 1983, Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall was the city’s largest gig venue, playing host to an impressive array of musicians and bands.
First to appear, on May 15, 1956, was American jazz trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong.
News of his concert, with full band in tow, made the news both here in Glasgow and in America, where the Milwaukee Journal even published a picture of Armstrong, dressed in a kilt, playing the bagpipes.
The Evening Times ran a feature about him before the gig.
It said: “Today he is the idol of jazz lovers and the most outstanding trumpeter in its history. Tonight he proves it in his Kelvin Hall concerts before thousands of his admirers.”
The article explained how learning the cornet and being taught how to read music in an orphanage kick-started his successful career.
“God bless that orphanage: every year I send my old horn to the kids there,” he was quoted as saying.
Armstrong was born in Louisiana in 1901, the son of a factory worker, in a neighborhood so poor it was nicknamed ‘The Battlefield’.
After leaving the orphanage at the age of 15, he worked odd jobs while playing in bars at night.
One of the greatest cornet players in town, Joe “King” Oliver, took young Armstrong under his wing, and his musical reputation began to grow.
He is best known for songs like What a Wonderful World, Hello, Dolly, Star Dust and La Vie En Rose.
The Kelvin Hall gig in 1956 wasn’t the first time the famous performer, known around the world as Satchmo, had appeared on stage in Glasgow.
In 1933, he toured Europe with his band, and included a night at the Pavilion Theatre.
The Evening Times said at the