Chronology of Scottish History
- Part Three (1900 - 2002)

Alexander Graham Bell
Bank Note Issued to Commemorate the Death of Alexander Graham Bell in 1922

You will find in these chronology pages the precise dates of over 700 historical events which took place over the last 2,000 years of Scottish history. Links are also provided to over 400 related articles where you can obtain more information on the events - and the people - that made Scotland what it is today.

August 4 1900
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, born.

May 2 1901
Glasgow International Exhibition in Kelvingrove opened.

August 30 1901
Scottish born Hubert Cecil Booth patented his design for a vacuum cleaner which sucked in the dust and retained it by means of a filter.

January 9 1902
Birth of Rudolf Bing, co-founder of the Edinburgh Festival and Director 1947-49 (and general manager of New York Metropolitan Opera).

April 5 1902
Disaster at English/Scottish football match at Ibrox Stadium when part of the flooring collapsed, killing 20, injuring 200.

October 15 1902
Edinburgh's Balmoral Hotel opened its doors for the first time.

April 14 1903
Aberdeen Football Club was founded.

June 10 1903
The floral clock in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, began operation - driven by clockwork and with only an hour hand. But it was the first of its kind in the world.

July 2 1903
Birth of Lord Home of the Hirsel, Foreign Secretary and UK Prime Minister.

October 31 1903
Hampden Park stadium opened in Glasgow as the home of Queen's Park Football Club.

December 19 1904
The "Scotsman" newspaper moves to new offices at North Bridge in Edinburgh, remaining there until 1999.

December 27 1904
Premiere of J M Barrie's play "Peter Pan" at the Duke of York Theatre, London. Barrie was born in Kirriemuir in 1860.

April 19 1905
Aviator Jim Mollinson born in Glasgow.

May 28 1905
Construction of the King's Theatre in Edinburgh commences.

May 7 1906
Historian Henry Gray Graham, author of "Social Life of Scotland in the 18th Century" died.

December 3 1906
His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen opened and soon became the city’s leading theatre.

December 28 1906
Rail disaster at Elliott Junction, nerar Arbroath, killing 22. Snow had caused a signal to droop, indicating the line was clear and a southbound express train, travelling tender-first, ran into a derailed goods train.

December 17 1907
Lord Kelvin, scientist and inventor, died.

January 26 1908
The 1st Glasgow Scout troop was registered, the first to be formed.

January 28 1908
Jimmy Shand, Scottish country dance band leader, born.

July 2 1908
Dumfries reached a temperature of 32.8C (91F), the highest recorded - so far.

April 17 1909
Riot by fans after replay of Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park.

May 25 1909
Oscar Slater found guilty of murder. The conviction, based on circumstancial evidence, was quashed after he had spent 18 years in jail.

May 26 1909
Birth of football player, coach and manager Sir Matt Busby . He was manager of Manchester United Football Club 1945-69, winner of European Cup 1968.

November 23 1909
Historical novelist Nigel Tranter born in Glasgow. He was the most prolific Scottish writer of all time, writing mainly factual and fictional books related to Scottish history.

November 14 1910
Poet Norman MacCaig born Edinburgh.

July 19 1911
Chapel of the Thistle dedicated in St Giles Cathedral.

October 26 1911
Poet Sorley MacLean born on the island of Raasay.

February 10 1912
Death of Lord Joseph Lister, pioneer of surgery and antiseptic at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow and Edinburgh Royal Infirmaries.

April 12 1913
Flyweight boxing champion Benny Lynch born.

July 22 1913
Edinburgh Zoo opened for the first time.

September 13 1913
Sir Robert Lorimer, architect and exponent of the Scottish Vernacular Revival, died.

March 16 1914
Death of Sir John Murray, pioneer of oceanography and inventor of a device for recording the ocean's temperature at great depths.

May 26 1914
Actor Archie Duncan (known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes) born Glasgow.

January 13 1915
Mary Slessor, missionary in West Africa and known to many as "Ma", died in Calabar.

March 29 1915
Jazz trombonist George Chisholm born.

May 22 1915
Britain's worst train disaster at Quintinshill (near Gretna Green) in which three trains collided, with the loss of 227 lives. A troop train carrying the Seventh Royal Scots Regiment hit a stationary train and the night express from London then hit the wreckage. Two signalmen were later jailed.

December 30 1915
Cruiser "Natal" exploded in Cromarty harbour, killing 405.

March 10 1916
Birth of James Herriot (the pen name of James Alfred Wight), author of "All Creatures Great and Small"

May 21 1916
Clocks and watches went forward for one hour as the Daylight Savings Act brought in "British Summer Time" for the first time.

May 24 1916
Conscription to the armed forces began for the first time.

May 31 1916
British Grand Fleet leaves Scapa Flow for the Battle of Jutland.

June 5 1916
HMS Hampshire sank off Orkney after striking a mine. Lord Kitchener, conqueror of Sudan, was drowned.

July 23 1916
Death of Sir William Ramsay, Scottish chemist who discovered helium, xenon, neon, argon, radon and krypton.

November 14 1916
Author Hector Munro died in action in France. Some of his work was written under the pseudonym "Saki".

June 19 1917
Parliament voted by a majority of 330 to give votes to women over 30 for the first time.

November 11 1918
Armistice Day - World War I ends on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

July 30 1918
Provisions were included in the Scottish Education Bill to ensure adequate facilities for teaching Gaelic in Scotland.

November 21 1918
German battle fleet surrendered to the allies in the Firth of Forth prior to being interned at Scapa Flow.

January 1 1919
The naval yacht Iolaire struck a reef on approaching Stornoway Harbour at 2am. Despite being only 20 yards from shore, 205 out of 260 Lewis men and 24 crew died as the overloaded boat sank.

June 11 1919
Actor Richard Todd (A Man Called Peter and The Hasty Heart etc) born.

June 21 1919
German fleet scuttled in Scapa Flow.

January 31 1918
"Battle of Isle of Mey" - 100 men died in a series of collisions in the Firth of Forth, involving submarines and surface ships.

February 1 1918
Author Muriel Spark born.

February 6 1918
Representation of the people Act received Royal assent, granting votes to women over the age of 30.

May 9 1918
John MacLean, socialist revolutionary, first Soviet Consul in Britain in 1917, honorary president of the first Congress of Soviets, tried in the High Court for sedition.

November 11 1918
Armistice Day - World War I ends on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

January 31 1919
"Bloody Friday" Riot - mass rally of strikers in Glasgow's George Square repeatedly charged by police.

February 1 1919
Tanks and army patrol the streets of Glasgow after "Bloody Friday" when 20,000 strikers gathered in George Square.

July 6 1919
Airship R34, constructed by Glasgow's Beardmore Engineering Co., landed Long Island, USA after the first Trans-Atlantic airship flight - from East Fortune, East Lothian.

March 15 1921
First women jurors in Glasgow Sheriff Court.

September 30 1921
Hollywood film star Deborah Kerr ("From Here to Eternity" and "The King and I") born in Helensburgh.

October 9 1921
SS Rowan sank off the Rhinns of Galloway, near Corsewall Point with 34 casualties.

October 16 1921
Poet George Mackay Brown born.

October 23 1921
Death of John Boyd Dunlop who re-invented the pneumatic tyre from the design of Robert W Thomson.

August 2 1922
Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, died in Nova Scotia.

August 12 1922
Popular character actor Fulton McKay was born.

October 28 1922
Novelist Cliff Hanley ("Dancing in the Streets" etc) born in Glasgow.

January 1 1923
February 24 1923
Steam train, the "Flying Scotsman" went into service with London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), on the London (King's Cross) to Edinburgh route.

March 6 1923
BBC Scotland began broadcasting (from Glasgow). Lord Reith of Stonehaven, the founder of the BBC opened the station.

April 26 1923
Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon married the Duke of York at Westminster Abbey, the first Royal wedding to take place there since 1383. The couple later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

September 25 1923
Pit disaster at Redding (near Polmont, Stirlingshire) when the mine flooded, drowning 40 miners. Five survivors were recovered after 10 days underground.

November 30 1923
John Maclean, political activist, Marxist, appointed Bolshevik consul for Scotland by Lenin, died.

March 7 1924
Sculptor and artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi born in Leith, the eldest son of Italian immigrants.

April 15 1924
Actor and comedian Rikki Fulton born in Glasgow. He was best known for his double act with Jack Milroy as "Francie and Josie" and as the Rev I M Jolly in "Scotch and Wry".

July 11 1924
Eric Liddell (later famous as a result of the film "Chariots of Fire") won Olympic 400 metres sprint in Paris.

21 March 1925
Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium (the home of Scottish rugby) opened. In the first match, Scotland defeated England 14-11 and won their first Grand Slam - repeat again only in 1984 and 1990.

July 7 1925
Kelvin Hall exhibition building, Glasgow, destroyed by fire.

October 30 1925
First moving image on a television screen when John Logie Baird transmitted the image of a 15-year-old office boy in his London workshop.

January 17 1926
Moira Shearer, ballet dancer and film star, born Dunfermline

January 27 1926
First public demonstration of TV by John Logie Baird.

April 21 1926
The future Queen Elizabeth II born. Her parents at that time were the Duke and Duchess of York.

May 3 1926
General Strike began at midnight, the first in British history. It lasted until 12 May.

June 23 1927
Singer Kenneth McKellar born.

January 5 1928
All those over the age of 65 received a state pension for the first time. it amounted to ten shillings (50 pence) a week.

January 29 1928
Earl Haig, Commander in Chief of British forces 1915-18, founder of the British Legion, died.

April 12 1928
Madeleine Smith, found "not proven" for murder in 1857, died peacefully in New York.

May 24 1928
Actor and comedian Stanley Baxter born.

July 3 1928
John Logie Baird transmitted first colour television.

July 12 1928
Broadcaster Sir Alastair Burnet born.

September 30 1928
Announcement of the discovery of penicillin by Ayrshire-born Sir Alexander Fleming.

October 15 1928
Voting age for women reduced from 30 to 21, the same as for men.

December 11 1928
Charles Rennie Mackintosh died.

January 19 1929
Last tramcars run in Perth.

March 5 1929
David Dunbar Buick, founder of the Buick Manufacturing Company which later became General Motors, died in Detroit. He was born in Arbroath in 1854.

October 4 1929
Most of United Free Church merged with Church of Scotland.

October 12 1929
Birth of Magnus Magnusson, writer, broadcaster and questionmaster in TV programme "Mastermind".

December 31 1929
72 killed at Glen Cinema Fire, Paisley.

January 14 1930
Sir Thomas Mackenzie, New Zealand statesman and Prime Minister, died.

June 11 1930
"Empress of Britain" launched from Clydebank.

July 7 1930
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle author of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, died.

July 8 1930
First run of the Bennie Railplane at Milngavie near Glasgow on a test track. Despite initial enthusiasm for the concept, it was never developed.

August 21 1930
Princess Margaret, daughter of the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, born at Glamis Castle. She was the first Royal princess born in Scotland for 300 years and the last Royal birth to be witnessed by the Home Secretary (a tradition started by Queen Anne in the early 18th century).

August 25 1930
Actor Sean Connery born.

August 29 1930
Island of St Kilda evacuated.

December 22 1930
Author Neil Munro died in Helensburgh.

February 13 1931
Scottish Youth Hostel Association formed.

February 26 1931
Scotland football manager Ally MacLeod born in Glasgow. Long remembered, unfairly, for the disaster of the World Cup in Argentina in 1978.

April 27 1931
First meeting of the National Trust for Scotland which was formally incorporated on the following 1 May.

June 3 1931
The company formed by John Logie Baird televised the Epsom Derby which was then transmitted by the BBC.

August 25 1931
Ramsay MacDonald formed a National Government.

September 15 1931
12,000 Royal Navy sailors on 15 ships went on strike at Invergordon over cuts in their pay.

September 22 1931
Birth of politician, Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister for Defence, Viscount Younger of Leckie (George Younger). Later became Chairman of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc.

October 2 1931
Death of Sir Thomas Lipton, grocer, tea merchant and contestant for the "Americas Cup".

August 19 1932
Scottish aviator Jim Mollinson landed after the first East/West solo flight of the Atlantic from Portmarnock, Ireland to Pennfield, New Brunswick.

September 28 1932
TV mogul Jeremy Isaacs born.

May 2 1933
The story of the Loch Ness Monster first appeared in the press, starting off a long-running debate on whether or not some unknown animal or fish inhabits the murky depths of the loch.

March 26 1934
Car driving tests introduced for the first time.

April 20 1934
Scottish National Party founded with the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party.

September 26 1934
Liner "Queen Mary" (81,235 tons) launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank. She went on to break the Atlantic record (the "Blue Riband") four times.

February 26 1935
Robert Watson Watt demonstrated radar for the first time.

March 16 1935
John J R Macleod, Scottish/Canadian physiologist and winner of Nobel Prize (in 1923) died.

August 9 1935
Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire opened after David McIntyre set up Scottish Aviation Ltd. Aircraft had been flying from the area since 1913.

August 10 1935
Perth Museum and Art Gallery opened by the Duke and Duchess of York.

September 9 1935
Benny Lynch won the World Flyweight boxing title, defeating Jackie Brown in 2 rounds.

October 9 1935
Ornithologist and painter Archibald Thorburn died.

January 20 1936
King George V died and was succeeded by King Edward VIII (who abdicated 325 days later in order to marry Mrs Simpson).

March 4 1936
Jim Clark, Formula I World motor racing champion, born Fife.

March 8 1936
The "Oor Wullie" cartoon strip first appeared in the "Sunday Post".

March 20 1936
Death of nationaliust politician, traveller and writer Robert Cunninghame-Graham. He was the first President of the National Party of Scotland and first Chairman of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party. He was reputedly the model for characters in plays by George Bernard Shaw.

March 24 1936
An estimated one million people watch the Queen Mary leave the Clyde for the first time.

May 27 1936
Maiden voyage of liner Queen Mary to New York.

December 10 1936
King Edward VIII abdicated and King George VI acceded to the throne.

December 15 1936
Zoological Society of Glasgow founded. A zoo at Calderpark opened, after the Second World War, in 9 July 1947. The zoo closed in August 2003.

January 20 1937
Benny Lynch crowned world flyweight champion.

April 17 1937
A British record attendance at a football match was set when 149,547 watched Scotland play England at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Until 1950, this was a world record.

May 12 1937
Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth took place at Westminster Abbey.

May 28 1937
National Government formed under the leadership of Neville Chamberlain.

July 1 1937
The 999 emergency telephone service came into operation for police, fire, ambulance and coastguards.

June 19 1937
Sir J M Barrie, author of "Peter Pan" died.

August 21 1937
Birth of Donald Dewar, present First Minister in the Scottish Parliament.

November 9 1937
Ramsay MacDonald, first UK Labour Prime Minister, died aboard "Reina del Pacifico".

December 4 1937
Cartoon character Desperate Dan first appeared in the "Dandy" comic.

December 10 1937
Trains collide at Castlecary, 35 killed, 179 injured.

March 19 1938
Rugby first appeared on British television - England v Scotland at Twickenham in London.

March 31 1938
David Steel, (Lord Steel of Aikwood), politician and former leader of the Liberal party, born. He was elected "Presiding Officer" in the new Scottish Parliament when it opened on 12 May 1999.

May 17 1938
The Marquess of Bute sold half of the city of Cardiff for £20 million, at that time the biggest-ever British property deal.

July 9 1938
Gas masks issued to the civilian population in anticipation of the Second World War.

July 30 1938
First edition of the long-running "Beano" comic was published.

September 13 1938
John Smith, politician and leader of the Labour Party, born at Dalmally, Argyll.

September 27 1938
Liner Queen Elizabeth, then the largest passenger ship ever built, launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank.

January 2 1939
UK attendance record for a club football match created when 118,567 attended the Rangers v Celtic match at Ibrox stadium.

May 18 1939
Cosmo cinema in Rose Street, Glasgow opened its doors for the first time. Now the Glasgow Film Theatre, it is now the oldest active cinema in the city.

June 10 1939
Sir Jackie Stewart, three-times world motor racing champion, born in Dumbartonshire.

September 3 1939
Start of Second World War.

October 14 1939
German submarine sank HMS "Royal Oak" in Scapa Flow, Orkney, with the loss of 810 lives.

October 16 1939
City of Edinburgh Fighter Squadron (No 603) shoots down the first enemy aircraft over Britain (since 1918) after an attack on the Rosyth naval base on the Firth of Forth.

November 13 1939
The first bombs dropped on British soil in the Second World War fell on the Shetland Islands.

January 8 1940
Rationing of sugar, bacon and butter introduced.

February 12 1940
John Buchan, author (39 Steps etc) and diplomat (Governor General of Canada, 1935/1940) died in Ottowa.

February 24 1940
Footballer Denis Law who played for Manchester United and Scotland, born.

March 16 1940
The first British civilian victim of the Second World war was killed in the Orkney village of Bridge of Waithe when a Luftwaffe bomber targeting a naval air station near Kirkwall missed the correct target.

April 30 1940
Free French Destroyer "Maillr Breze" explodes and sinks off Greenock.

June 4 1940
Evacuation of Dunkirk (which began on May 27) was completed. 338,226 soldiers were brought back to the UK by the "little ships."

June 4 1940
Winston Churchillmade his speech to the nation saying: "We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

June 14 1940
Queen Mary, Aquitania, Empress of Canada, and Empress of Britain arrive in the River Clyde with the first contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops.

July 1 1940
Birth of Craig Brown, former manager of the Scotland football (soccer) team.

July 5 1940
A convoy of gold bullion worth 1,800 million pounds sails from the River Clyde.

October 23 1940
Poet and dramatist Tom McGrath born in Rutherglen.

February 4 1941
SS "Politician" ran aground on Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, creating the basis for Sir Compton MacKenzie's novel "Whisky Galore".

March 13/15 1941
Blitz of Clydebank by German Luftwaffe.

May 6 1941
Last major bombing attack on the Clyde area by the Luftwaffe; Greenock was badly hit with 280 dead.

May 10 1941
Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, descended by parachute into Scotland at Eaglesham.

June 2 1941
Clothes rationing introduced as a war-time measure. It was not lifted until 1949.

June 9 1942
First US troops (over 10,000 men) disembark from Queen Mary on the River Clyde.

August 25 1942
Prince George, the Duke of Kent, brother of King George VI, killed when his flying boat crashed into Eagle's Rock in Caithness, apparently en route to Iceland.

November 22 1942
Actor Tom Conti born.

November 24 1942
Comedian and actor Billy Connolly born.

March 27 1943
Aircraft carrier HMS Dasher blew up and sank off the island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde with the loss of 350 crew; there were 149 survivors.

May 9 1943
Viscount Cunningham, British admiral and C in C in the Mediterranean, issued his command "Sink, burn and destroy; let nothing pass".

June 17 1943
Annie S Swan, novelist, died.

October 15 1943
Poet William Souter died in Perth.

April 6 1944
"Pay As You Earn" Income Tax introduced for the first time.

September 18 1944
Birth of Lord Roger of Earlsferry, Lord Justice General.

November 30 1944
HMS Vanguard, Britain's biggest and last battleship, was launched at Clydebank.

January 10 1945
Singing star Rod Stewart born.

January 16 1945
Units of 52nd Lowland Division and 1st Commando Brigade cross from Holland into Germany and assault Heinsberg in "Operation Blackcock" in which Fusilier Dennis Donnini of the 4/5 Royal Scots Fusiliers, received the VC.

February 21 1945
Eric Liddell, "Chariots of Fire" athlete, winner of 1924 Olympics 400 metres, died in Japanese internment camp in China.

April 23 1945
Blackout restrictions lifted as World War II heads to a conclusion.

May 8 1945
Victory-in-Europe Day, end of World War II in Europe.

April 12 1945
The Scottish National Party gained their first electoral victory when they won the by-election in Motherwell and Wishaw by a majority of 617 votes.

June 15 1945
Queen Mary leaves Greenock, taking nearly 15,000 GIs home to US.

July 5 1945
First General Election after WWII - sweeping victory for the Labour Party.

September 11 1945
The Citizens Theatre on Glasgow moved from its original location in Buchanan Street to the heart of the Gorbals, one of the most run-down parts of the city.

January 8 1946
Lord Hardie of Blackford, Lord Advocate, born.

February 28 1946
Politician Robin Cook born.

June 1 1946
First TV licences issued in Britain, costing £2.

June 14 1946
John Logie Baird , inventor of the first television, died.

August 8 1946
Former World flyweight boxing champion Benny Lynch died.

March 13 1947
The classic Lerner and Loewe, Broadway musical "Brigadoon" opened at the Ziegfeld in New York.

July 9 1947
Glasgow Zoological Society opened a zoo at Calderpark. Glasgow Zoo eventually closed in 2003.

October 30 1947
Coal mines nationalised and brought into public ownership.

August 17 1947
First Edinburgh International Festival opened.

Seprember 4 1947
Alexander McArthur, author of the classic story about Glasgow in the 1930s, "No Mean City" died at the age of 46.

October 2 1947
The paddle steamer Waverley was launched from A. & J. Inglis's yard on the Clyde. After providing services on the Firth of Clyde she has been preserved and still takes passengers "doon the watter" as the oldest sea-going paddle steamer in the world.

October 30 1947
"Caronia" launched on the Clyde.

December 14 1947
Will Fyfe, comedian, died.

July 25 1948
Bread rationing ends in Britain.

September 27 1948
Singer Barbara Dickson, born.

April 24 1949
Chocolate and sweets were no longer rationed, a measure introduced at the start of World War 2. However, demand was so great that it had to be re-introduced.

May 4 1949
Twelve girls died in a fire at Grafton's fashion store in Glasgow.

February 26 1950
Entertainer and song writer Sir Harry Lauder died.

March 31 1950

The actor Robbie Coltrane was born (as Anthony Robert McMillan) in Rutherglen.

May 26 1950
Petrol rationing, introduced during WW2, was ended.

December 25 1950
Stone of Destiny removed from Westminster Abbey.

February 20 1951
Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister, born.

March 17 1951
The cartoon character "Dennis the Menace" appeared for the first time in the "Beano" comic.

April 13 1951
The Stone of Destiny, which had been removed from underneath the Coronation Chair by Scottish nationalists on 25 December 1950, was returned to Westminster Abbey after being found at Arbroath Abbey.

October 25 1951
Conservatives won the General Election with a majority of 26, beginning 13 years of government.

February 6 1952
King George VI dies and Queen Elizabeth II becomes monarch.

February 21 1952
Identity cards, introduced at a wartime security measure, were abolished in Britain.

March 14 1952
First television programmes broadcast from Kirk o' Shotts, Central Scotland.

June 23 1952
Salvador Dali's painting "Christ of St John of the Cross" went on display in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery. There was a public outcry when Dr Tom Honeyman, the then director of Glasgow's museums and art galleries, spent the city's entire annual purchasing budget (all £8,200 or US$13,000) to obtain the painting.

September 29 1952
John Cobb made an attempt at the world water-speed record on Loch Ness which ended in tragedy as the boat crashed and Cobb was killed.

January 31 1953
Princess Victoria, Stranraer-Larne ferry, sank in a storm with the loss of 133 lives; 44 were rescued.

January 31 1953
66 crew were saved from the cargo vessel Clan MacQuarrie after it went aground near Borve, Lewis. In winds gusting to 100mph, it was the biggest ever carried out using breeches buoy in a single operation.

February 4 1953
Rationing of chocolate and sweets finally ended. It had to be re-introduced in 1949 after a short spell due to excessive demand.

April 16 1953
Royal yacht "Britannia" launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank.

June 2 1953
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Objectors who said that Scotland had never had a "Queen Elizabeth I" were told that in future the "highest number will be used" where there is such a conflict.

July 3 1954
Food rationing officially ended.

July 9 1954
Cairngorm National Nature Reserve established.

October 16 1954
Former Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Forsyth born.

December 31 1954
Alex Salmond, former leader of the Scottish national Party, born.

March 11 1955
Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, died.

March 19 1955
Billy Graham began All-Scotland Crusade.

September 25 1956
The first telephone cable connecting the UK and North America "went live". 2,240 miles long, the cable ran from Gallanach Bay, near Oban in Argyll and Bute, to Clarenville, Canada.

October 21 1956
Tramcars stop running in Dundee.

November 16 1956
Tramcars stop running in Edinburgh.

December 17 1956
Petrol rationing was imposed following the Suez crisis and the closure of the canal.

May 9 1957
A spectacular blaze at Bell's Brae, Edinburgh, destroyed the premises of one of Britain's largest theatrical costumiers; around 90,000 costumes were lost.

June 1 1957
First Premium Bond prizes were drawn by the computer "Ernie" (Electronic random number indicator equipment).

August 13 1957
Scotland's first nuclear power station at Dounreay went "critical" ushering in the generation of power from atomic reactions.

February 9 1958
Golfer Sandy Lyle born.

February 18 1958
Writer Ian Banks born in Dunfermline, Fife.

October 18 1958
Denis Law became the youngest footballer to play for Scotland when he took part in the match against Cardiff when he was 18 years and 7 months old.

November 21 1958
Construction began on the Forth Road Bridge.

January 3 1959
Poet and critic Edwin Muir died.

May 2 1959
The first nuclear power station in Scotland, at Chapelcross, opened.

May 6 1959
Icelandic gunboats fired live rounds at British fishing trawlers, many of them from Scottish ports, during the "Cod War" over fishing rights.

September 18 1959
47 miners were killed at Auchengeich Colliery, Lanarkshire when the bogies carrying them to work ran into smoke 1,000 feet below ground.

November 17 1959
Prestwick and Renfrew airports in Scotland became the first in the UK to offer duty free goods for sale.

March 29 1960
Cheapside docks fire, Glasgow, 19 firemen killed.

May 18 1960
Real Madrid beat Eintracht-Frankfurt 7-3 at Hampden Park, Glasgow, to win the European Cup for the 5th year in succession.

August 22 1960
"Beyond the Fringe", an influential satirical revue, opened in Edinburgh.

October 25 1960
Elvis Presley touched down at Prestwick airport, his only visit to Scotland.

November 19 1960
"National Service" which required all fit young men to train in the armed forces, was brought to an end.

December 31 1960
The farthing coin (a quarter of an old penny) ceased to be legal tender.

March 3 1961
USS Proteus arrives in the Holy Loch to set up the Polaris nuclear submarine base.

April 15 1961
Scotland defeated 9-3 by England at Wembley, a record score for a football match between the two countries.

January 28 1962
Scottish Opera founded.

May 31 1962
Gaumont cinema in Edinburgh destroyed by fire.

September 4 1962
Last tramcar run in Glasgow (to Auchenshuggle).

September 24 1962
Birth of Scotland international footballer and later TV personality Ally McCoist.

1 January 1963
The Beatles opened a 5-day tour of Scotland to promote their first single "Love Me Do."

May 2 1963
Rootes car factory opens at Linwood, making the Hillman Imp.

August 15 1963
The last hanging in Scotland - 21-year-old Henry Burnett who was executed at Craiginches Prison in Aberdeen for the murder of seaman Thomas Guyan.

September 9 1963
Jim Clark became the world's youngest F1 motor racing champion.

August 14 1964
University of Strathclyde was constituted in Glasgow, based on the Royal College of Science and Technology.

September 4 1964
Forth Road Bridge opened by the Queen. At 6,156 feet long and a centre span of 3300 feet, it was the longest in Europe at that time.

November 20 1964
First stretch of the M8 Motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh opens.

April 11 1965
Racing circuit at Ingleston near Edinburgh opens.

July 31 1965
Cigarette advertising banned on television in Britain.

October 15 1965
Cruachan hydro-electric scheme opens.

October 28 1965
House of Commons passed the Bill abolishing the death penalty for murder.

November 4 1965
Pop star Lena Zavaroni was born. Her biggest hit was "Ma, He's Making Eyes at Me".

December 3 1965
The Beatles launched their last concert tour of Britain in Glasgow.

December 22 1965
Maximum speed limit of 70mph was imposed on all roads unless a lower limit was in place.

May 1 1966
First civil aircraft (a Handley-Page Herald which had left Renfrew airport six minutes earlier) landed at Glasgow airport at Abbotsinch, formerly HMS Sanderling, a Royal Naval Air Station.

June 14 1966
Walter McGowan wins World Fly-weight Championship.

August 18 1966
Tay Road Bridge opened.

May 10 1967
Breath tests for motorists suspected of drinking and driving introduced under the Road Safety Act.

May 25 1967
Celtic Football Club won European Cup beating Inter Milan 2-1 in Lisbon.

August 1 1967
University of Dundee which was incorporated into the University of St Andrews in 1890, constituted as a separate university.

September 20 1967
Liner "Queen Elizabeth II" launched at John Brown's shipyard at Clydebank.

December 14 1967
University of Stirling instituted by Royal charter.

January 15 1968
Hurricane winds of over 100mph hit Glasgow and the west of Scotland, damaging 250,000 homes, 1,700 homeless and 20 people killed.

April 7 1968
Jim Clark, Duns farmer, twice World Motor Racing Champion, killed in crash, Hockenheim.

April 23 1968
The new 5p and 10p decimal coins were introduced in anticipation of decimalisation (in 1971). They were used as one shilling and two shilling coins until then.

November 13 1968
Author Joe Corrie died in Edinburgh.

March 17 1969
Longhope lifeboat sank in the Pentland Firth with the loss of eight men on board, all from the small island of Hoy.

April 17 1969
Everyone in Britain over the age of 18 was allowed to vote in parliamentary elections. The minimum age of 21 had been set in 1928.

May 3 1969
Debut of Scottish Ballet at the King's Theatre, Glasgow.

June 20 1969
First announcement of the discovery of high-grade crude oil in the North Sea.

October 14 1969
The 50 pence decimal coin was first issued, replacing the ten shilling note.

December 18 1969
Death penalty for murder was formally abolished in Britain.

January 21 1970
Fraserburgh lifeboat sinks, only one crewman survives.

June 26 1970
Kingston Bridge over the River Clyde in Glasgow officially opened. At the time, it was the longest bridge in any British city.

July 16 1970
13th Commonwealth Games opened in Edinburgh.

January 2 1971
Ibrox Park disaster, 66 supporters killed on stairway 13.

February 12 1971
Ken Buchanan wins the World Lightweight Boxing Championship.

February 15 1971
Decimal currency introduced, abandoning 12 pennies to a shilling and 20 shillings to a pound.

March 27 1971
David Coulthard, Grand Prix racing driver born.

May 25 1971
Invergordon aluminium works starts production.

June 16 1971
Lord Reith, "father" of the BBC, died.

June 25 1971
Lord Boyd Orr, biologist and Nobel Prize Winner, died.

July 2 1971
Erskine Bridge over the River Clyde opened.

July 29 1971
A work-in began at John Brown's Clydebank shipyard led by activist Jimmy Reid. It led to the formation of Govan Shipbuilders which was later taken over by Marathon Manufacturing.

September 1 1971
Sole remaining gas street lamps in Glasgow were lit for the last time, bringing to an end the age of the "leeries", the lamplighters who started in 1718 with oil lamps.

October 20 1971
Explosion at Clarkston Toll shopping centre, killing 12.

November 10 1971
Kenny Dalglish made his international debut for Scotland's football (soccer) team in a match against Belgium. He went on to represent his country on 102 occasions.

January 9 1972
Liner Queen Elizabeth I, launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank, in 1938, caught fire and sank in Hong Kong where it was to serve as a floating marine university.

January 22 1972
UK joins the European Common Market (now called the European Union).

February 10 1972
The uninhabited island of Rockall, 290 miles out in the Atlantic from the Western Isles, was formally incorporated as part of Scotland. It had been annexed by a boarding party from HMS Vidal in 1955. It was on the flight path of rockets being test flown from Benbecula.

February 19 1972
Death of film director and producer John Grierson, a pioneer of documentary film making. He is credited with being the first person to use the word 'documentary' (in 1926). He produced one of British cinema's most famous documentary films, "Night Mail" and later produced the Oscar winning film "Seawards the Great Ships". In 1939, he left Britain to set up the National Film Board of Canada.

May 24 1972
Rangers win the European Cup Winners Cup in Barcelona.

September 20 1972
Paul McCartney, one of the "Beatles", was arrested for possession of marijuana at his farm in the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland.

January 15 1973
Neil M Gunn, author of "The Silver Darlings" and many other books and short stories, died.

March 13 1973
Scotland played Brazil to mark centenary of Scottish Football Association.

December 5 1973
Death of Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the Brechin-born inventor of radar.

January 27 1974
Professional football played on a Sunday for the first time.

October 10 1974
Labour won the General Election with an overall majority of three seats and Harold Wilson became Prime Minister.

November 7 1974
Writer Eric Linklater died in Orkney.

May 5 1975
The "Scottish Daily News", the first workers' co-operative national newspaper was published.

May 16 1975
Local Government (Scotland) Act (1974) came into force and the 33 counties and four city councils were replaced by nine regional, 53 district and three islands councils.

June 5 1975
Referendum held on British Membership of the European Community. In Scotland the vote was "Yes" 1,332,286; "No" 948,039. Turnout was 61%. Only Shetland and Western Isles had majorities against.

June 11 1975
First oil pumped ashore from British oilfields in the North Sea.

June 13 1975
Rate of price inflation reached 25% in the UK.

November 3 1975
Queen Elizabeth officially opened an underwater pipeline to bring the first North Sea oil ashore.

November 7 1975
The Scottish Daily News ceased publication only six months after it had been launched.

July 7 1976
David Steel (now Lord Steel of Aikwood) became leader of the Liberal Party.

October 17 1976
Jesuit priest St John Ogilvie (1579-1615) canonised.

April 29 1977
Scottish Aviation becomes part of British Aerospace.

June 4 1977
Damage estimated to cost £15,000 caused by fans who dug up the pitch at Wembley after Scotland defeated England 2-1.

November 13 1977
Start of firemen's strike which lasted for two months; cover was provided by the army with their out of date "green goddess" fire engines.

June 3 1978
Peru defeated Scotland 3-1 in the football World Cup in Argentina.

September 9 1978
Poet and Nationalist C M Grieve (Hugh MacDiarmid) died.

March 1 1979
Scots voted in favour of Devolution, but failed to reach the required 40% of the population in favour of implementing it.

January 6 1981
A.J. Cronin, author of "Keys of the Kingdom" and creator of the British television series "Dr Finlay's Casebook" died.

January 5 1982
Rod Stewart reached the top of the US charts with "Young Turks".

June 1 1982
Pope John Paul II in Glasgow.

June 9 1982
The 20p coin came into circulation.

May 21 1983
TSB Bank Scotland (now Lloyds TSB Scotland) formed.

January 31 1983
Wearing seat belts in the front of cars became compulsory.

October 21 1983
The Queen officially opened the Burrell Collection in Glasgow's Pollok Country Park. The museum's collection had been donated to the city nearly 40 years earlier by the shipping magnate Sir William Burrell.

March 17 1984
Scotland won Rugby "Grand Slam" at Murrayfield - the first time in 59 years.

September 1 1985
Freuchie in Fife won the Village Cricket Cup at Lord's Cricket Ground, the first time a Scottish club side had played on such hallowed ground.

February 2 1987
Novelist Alistair Maclean died. His books "The Guns of Navarone", "Ice Station Zebra" and "Where Eagles Dare" were made into films.

April 10 1988
Sandy Lyle becomes the first Scottish (and British) golfer to win the US Masters tournament.

April 28 1988
Glasgow Garden Festival opened by Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales.

April 29 1988
Actor Andrew Cruickshank, well known for the TV series "Dr Finlay's Case Book", died.

July 6 1988
Explosion aboard North Sea oil rig Piper Alpha, 167 lives lost.

August 6 1988
"Scotland on Sunday" newspaper, a sister paper of the "Scotsman", is published for the first time.

December 21 1988
Pan Am 747 blew up and crashed at Lockerbie, Dumfries, killing 243 passengers, 16 crew and 11 Lockerbie residents.

January 14 1990
Death of actor Gordon Jackson (Tunes of Glory, Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Upstairs, Downstairs etc).

January 15 1990
Strathclyde Region Council applied for 250,000 summary warrants against rate payers refusing to pay "Poll Tax" (introduced in Scotland in April 1989).

March 2 1990
The Queen officially inaugurated Glasgow's year as Cultural Capital of Europe.

March 17 1990
Scotland beat England 13-7 at Murrayfield to win the rugby "Grand Slam".

April 29 1990
Stephen Hendry, aged 21, becomes the youngest world snooker champion by beating Jimmy White 18-12 in the final.

May 16 1990
British Steel announced the closure of the hot strip mill at Ravenscraig with the loss of 770 jobs.

14 September 1990
Inflation reached 10.6%, the highest level for eight years.

August 30 1991
Liz McColgan won the World Athletics Championship 10,000 metres in Tokyo by a margin of 20 seconds.

November 3 1991
Liz McColgan won her first marathon in a record time.

February 16 1992
Journalist and poet George Mann MacBeth ("A War Quartet") died.

April 18 1992
Final performance at the Grassmarket, Edinburgh premises of the Traverse Theatre company - 25 years after it was opened by Jenny Lee, Britain's first minister of the arts. The theatre re-opened at a custom-made building beside the Usher Hall.

January 5 1993
89,000-tonne Liberian-registered "Braer" oil tanker, carrying 84,500 tonnes of crude oil, hit rocks on Shetland Isles in heavy seas.

March 21 1993
Pope John Paul sanctifies John Duns Scotus, philosopher, theologian (but the first "dunce").

April 20 1994
Sir Walter Scott's home at Abbotsford was raided and priceless antiques stolen.

May 12 1994
Rt Hon John Smith, leader of the Labour Party died.

June 2 1994
25 top intelligence officers and the crew of four were killed when a Chinook helicopter in which they were travelling from Northern Ireland crashed into a hillside on the Mull of Kintyre.

August 19 1994
Graham Obree, from Irvine in Ayrshire, broke the world record and became the world pursuit cycle champion over 4,000 metres in Hamar, Norway.

February 23 1995
James Herriot (pen name of James Alfred Wight), author of "All Creatures Great and Small", died aged 78.

March 16 1995
Death of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, chief of the Fraser clan. He developed the Commando force in the British army and was active in the Dieppe Raid (1942) and the D-Day landings (1944).

April 30 1995
Stephen Hendry wins the World Snooker Championship for the fourth time in a row.

May 13 1995
Alison Hargreave, a 33-year-old mother of two from Spean Bridge became the first woman to climb Mount Everest solo and without oxygen. She died three years later while descending K2, the world's second-highest mountain.

May 26 1995
In the opening game of their Rugby World Cup programme, Scotland defeated Ivory Coast 89-0. Skipper Gavin Hastings scored a world record 44 points.

October 9 1995
Death of Lord Home of the Hirsel, also known as Sir Alec Douglas-Home, formerly Foreign Secretary and UK Prime Minister.

October 17 1995
>Bridge to the Isle of Skye opened.

March 13 1996
Sixteen primary school children and their teacher murdered in Dunblane.

April 13 1996
George Mackay Brown, poet and novelist, died.

November 24 1996
Death of the poet Sorley MacLean.

November 27 1996
First deaths from E-coli outbreak in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

November 30 1996
Stone of Destiny, stolen from Scone by King Edward I of England in 1296, returned to Scotland and installed in Edinburgh Castle.

September 11 1997
Referendum on Devolution, which approved the creation of a new Scottish Parliament by a substantial majority.

April 6 1998
Celebration of Tartan Day approved by the US Senate, in recognition of the monumental achievements and invaluable contributions made by Scottish Americans.

January 11 1999
Novelist and politician Naomi Mitchison died.

May 6 1999
Election for the new Scottish Parliament. Results were Labour 56, SNP 35, Conservatives 18, Liberal Democrats 16, Greens 1, Scottish Socialists 1, Independent 1.

May 12 1999
Scottish Parliament convened for the first time since 1707. "Start of a new sang".

May 13 1999
Donald Dewar elected as First Minister of the new Scottish Parliament.

July 18 1999
Paul Lawrie won the Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie after a three-way play-off against Jean van de Veldt of France and Justin Leonard of the US.

July 1 1999
Official Opening of Scottish Parliament by the Queen - the first ever, directly elected Parliament in Scotland.

October 11 2000
Scotland's first First Minister Donald Dewar died suddenly after a fall on the steps of his official residence in Edinburgh.

December 22 2000
Pop mega-star Madonna married movie-producer Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle, putting Dornoch into the media spotlight.

April 13 2001
Entertainer, actor and comedian Jimmy Logan died.

April 25 2001
Motorola factory in Bathgate closes with the loss of 3,100 jobs.

November 8 2001
Henry McLeish resigned as Scotland's First Minister.

November 9 2001
Scottish novelist Dorothy Dunnett. Her meticulously researched historical novels included the 'Lymond Chronicles', in six volumes.

November 22 2001
Jack McConnell elected First Minister of Scotland.

February 21 2002
The all-Scots curling team won gold at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, watched by over 5 million TV viewers in the small hours of the morning.

March 29 2002
Longannet, the last deep coal mine in Scotland, closed, after being flooded a five-mile long mineshafts. An estimated 40 million tons of coal still remained to be extracted, but access would have been too expensive.

July 24 2002
The Princess Royal formally opened the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland's first national park.

November 3 2002
Death of Lonnie Donegan, Scottish skiffle music star and probably Britain's first pop superstar.

April 22 2005
Sculptor and artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi died. Born in Leith, he was a founder of the Independent Group, which is seen as a precursor to the '60s British pop art movement.

Other Sections of the Timeline
You can now go directly to the other sections of the chronological sequence or the events which have occured in particular calendar months - "This Day in January" etc.


This Day in...

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line