ON THIS DAY
1836: The Alamo fell to Mexican forces under Santa Anna. Legendary frontiersmen Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie both died in the 12-day battle.
1890: An ornithologist released 100 starlings in New York’s Central Park as a memorial to Shakespeare. The starling is now America’s worst bird pest.
1899: Chemist Felix Hoffmann patented the world’s most famous pain-relief drug, aspirin.
1926: The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-uponAvon was engulfed by flames, leaving only a blackened shell.
1930: Clarence Birdseye marketed the first frozen foods in Massachusetts.
1944: US planes from bases in Britain began daylight bombing raids on Berlin.
1951: Ivor Novello (David Ivor Davies), Welsh-born composer, playwright and actor, died in his flat above the Strand Theatre, London.
1961: George Formby, film star and music hall artist, who sang comic songs and accompanied himself on the banjo, died.
1987: The ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized with her bow door open leaving Zeebrugge harbour - 193 died.
1988: Three IRA terrorists were shot dead by SAS men in Gibraltar.
1997: A gunman stole Tete de Femme, a million-dollar Picasso portrait, from a London gallery. The painting was recovered a week later.
On this day last year: A police officer saved two women after they got stuck in a swamp in Birmingham at night.
Alan Greenspan, economist and former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, 97; Jean Boht, actor, 91; Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano, 79; David Gilmour, Pink Floyd guitarist, 77; Kiki Dee, singer, 76; Rob Reiner, actor/director, 76; Tom Arnold, actor, 64; Moira Kelly, actress, 55; Shaquille O’Neal, former basketball player, 51; Rufus Hound, actor/comedian, 44.
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