Anniversaries February 7 - 15

THURSDAY February 7 1965 Cigarette advertising was banned from commercial television. 1974 The US Skylab station returned to earth after 86 days in space. 1983 The 1981 Derby winner Shergar was kidnapped and a ransom of £2 million was demanded. 199

THURSDAY February 7

1965 Cigarette advertising was banned from commercial television.

1974 The US Skylab station returned to earth after 86 days in space.

1983 The 1981 Derby winner Shergar was kidnapped and a ransom of £2 million was demanded.

1997 Lennox Lewis became WBC world heavyweight boxing champion.

Births: Jules Verne, author of Around the World in 80 Days, 1828; Lana Turner, actress, 1920; Jack Lemmon, actor, 1925; James Dean, Hollywood legend, 1931.

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Deaths: RM Ballantyne, author of Coral Island, 1894; Del Shannon, pop singer, 1990; Iris Murdoch, author, 1999; Ron Greenwood, ex-England soccer boss, 2006.

Today's birthdays: Nick Nolte, actor, 66; John Grisham, author of The Pelican Brief and The Client, 52; Ralf Little, from The Royale Family, 26.

FRIDAY February 9

1950 Senator Joseph McCarthy began his communist witch hunt hearings.

1979 First £1 million transfer deal when Trevor Francis signed for Nottm Forest from Birmingham City.

1988 MPs voted to allow the House of Commons to be televised.

Births: William Henry Harrison, US President, 1773.

Deaths: Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, 1881; Bill Haley, rock-n-roll legend, 1981; Princess Margaret, 2002.

Today's birthdays: Carole King, singer-songwriter, 65; Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, 63; Mia Farrow, actress, 62; Gordon Strachan, Celtic soccer boss, 50; Sandy Lyle, golfer, 49.

SATURDAY February 10

1840 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert married in St James Palace.

1940 First showing of the Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Births: Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister, 1894; Larry Adler, mouth organist, 1914; Danny Blanchflower, Spurs soccer star, 1926.

Deaths: Edgar Wallace, crime novelist, 1932; Alex Haley, author of Roots, 1992.

Today's birthdays: Robert Wagner, actor, 77; Roberta Flack, singer-songwriter, 70; Mark Spitz, US Olympic swimming champion, 57; Laura Dern, actress, 40.

SUNDAY February 11

1920 First meeting of the Council of the League of Nations.

1975 Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative Party.

1990 Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison after 27 years in jail.

1992 Albert Reynolds became Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland.

Births: Thomas Edison, scientist and inventor, 1847; Gene Vincent, singer-songwriter, 1935.

Deaths: Sergei Eisenstein, director of Battleship Potemkin, 1948; Sylvia Plath, author, 1963; Frank Herbert, author, 1986; Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, 2006.

Today's birthdays: Leslie Nielsen, actor, 81; Dennis Skinner, rebel Labour MP, 75; Mary Quant, designer, 73; Burt Reynolds, actor, 71; Sheryl Crow, singer, 45; Jennifer Aniston, from Friends, 38.

MONDAY February 12

1924 First performance of George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue.

1984 Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean became Olympic ice dance champions.

1998 Ruud Gulit was sacked as Chelsea manager.

Births: Charles Darwin, evolutionary pioneer, 1809; Abraham Lincoln, US President 1861-65, 1809; Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina, 1881.

Deaths: Lady Jane Grey, 1554.

Today's birthdays: Simon McCorkindale, actor, 55; Steve Backley, British javelin thrower, 38.

TUESDAY February 13

1959 The Barbie doll was launched in the US.

1975 Turkish Cypriots declared the north of the island independent.

1978 Anna Ford became the first woman newsreader on ITN.

Births: George Simenon, crime writer and creator of Maigret, 1903; Oliver Reed, actor, 1938.

Deaths: Catherine Howard, wife of Henry VIII, 1542; Richard Wagner, composer, 1883.

Today's birthdays: George Segal, actor, 73; Jerry Springer, talk show host, 63; Peter Gabriel, singer-songwriter, 57; Robbie Williams, singer-songwriter, 33.

WEDNESDAY February 14

1985 First production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, at the St James Theatre, London.

1946 The Bank of England was nationalised.

1959 Cliff Richard was voted the Best New Singer in the NME awards.

1963 Harold Wilson became leader of the Labour Party after the death of Hugh Gaitskell.

1972 The original stage production of Grease opened in New York.

Births: Jack Benny, comedian, 1894.

Deaths: Richard II, 1400; PG Wodehouse, author, 1975; Bob Paisley, Liverpool FC soccer boss, 1996.

Today's birthdays: Alan Parker, director of Mississippi Burning and Evita, 63; Carl Bernstein, Washington Post journalist who helped expose the Watergate scandal, 63; Kevin Keegan, ex-Liverpool and England soccer star, 56; Helen Baxendale, actress, 38.

THURSDAY February 15

1971 Britain adopted decimal currency.

1978 Muhammed Ali lost his world heavyweight boxing title to Leon Spinks.

1996 The Sea Empress tanker ran aground at the entrance to Milford Haven harbour.

Births: Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer, 1874; Graham Hill, British world motor racing champion, 1929.

Deaths: Herbert Asquith, Prime Minister, 1928; Nat King Cole, singer, 1965; Norman Parkinson, photographer, 1990; Martha Gellhorn, legendary journalist, 1998.

Today's birthdays: Clare Short, Labour MP, 61; Jane Seymour, actress, 56; Desmond Haynes, West Indies Test cricketer, 51