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Alan Parker, film director, is 62 today

St Valentine’s Day.

Feast day of St John the Baptist of the Conception, St Antoninus of Sorrento, St Maro, St Abraham of Carrhae, St Adolf of Osnabrück, St Auxentius.

1779: Captain James Cook, British explorer, was killed by natives in Hawaii.

1822: Britain’s postal services had to employ extra sorters as the fashion of sending messages to loved ones on this day continued to grow in popularity.

1852: Great Ormond Street children’s hospital, in London, UK, accepted its first patient.

1895: The Importance Of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde had its premiere in London.

1929: The St Valentine’s Day Massacre took place in a Chicago warehouse.

1945: US Air Force and RAF heavy bombers destroyed Dresden, leaving between 60-130,000 dead.

1946: The Bank of England was nationalised.

1956: At the 20th Soviet Communist Party Conference, Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s policies

1974: Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was sent into exile after publication of his book, The Gulag Archipelago.

1984: Britain’s Torvill and Dean skated their way to a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Yugoslavia.

1989: Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses.

On this day last year

The Standards in Public Office Commission decided not to investigate the awarding of contracts by Minister Martin Cullen to PR consultant Monica Leech. In a statement the ethics watchdog said the evidence before it did not establish a prima facie case which would have warranted an investigation within the terms of the relevant legislation.


Carl Bernstein, Watergate journalist, 62; Alan Parker, film director, 62; Kevin Keegan, former England football manager, 55; Meg Tilly, actress, 46; Du’ane Ladejo, athlete, 35.