Today in history: Apr 25
1769: Birth of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849), French-emigre engineer and inventor who solved the historic problem of underwater tunneling.india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 10:46 IST
• 1305: The Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace leader of the Scottish resistance forces during the first years of the long, and ultimately successful, struggle to free Scotland from English rule was hanged, drawn, beheaded and quartered in London. In 1306 Robert the Bruce raised the rebellion that eventually won independence for Scotland.
• 1926: Death of silent-screen idol Rudolph Valentino, aged 31, triggering mass hysteria and several suicides. He was buried in Hollywood Memorial Park. Each year on the anniversary of his death, a mysterious "Lady in Black" appeared at his tomb and left a single red rose.
• 1938: In the fifth Test against Australia at The Oval, Len Hutton scored a world record 364 (and now the third highest ) in 13 hours and 17 minutes. That was more than England’s totals in each of their last ten innings. England were all out for a record 903 (now the second highest total of all time).
• 1943: The battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle in history involving 6,000 tanks and 2000,000 troops and 4,000 aircraft ended. This battle, which started on 5 July was an unsuccessful German assault on the Soviet city of Kursk.
• 1973: Four employees of the Sveriges Kreditbank, Stockholm were taken hostage in the bank’s vault by a gunman, Jan-Erik Olsson, a 32-year-old thief and burglar. They were held hostage for 131 hours and after their release it was found that the victims had feelings of gratitude towards their captors and even visited them in prison. This incident gave us the term ‘Stockholm syndrome.