John Smith, the Labour Party leader, was born on this day in 1938.
Smith was born in Dalmally and studied at Glasgow University, before being called to the bar in 1967. He entered the House of Commons as Labour MP for Lanarkshire North in 1970 and served as Secretary for Trade, prior to becoming opposition front bench spokesman on economic and industrial issues in 1979. A move to the position of shadow chancellor in 1988 consolidated his reputation, and Smith was elected Labour party leader in 1992, following Neil Kinnock's resignation. A highly respected figure, Smith's unexpected death from a heart attack in 1994 prompted a deep sense of loss in Scotland,as Smith was felt to be a great potential national leader.
This day in 1644 saw the Battle of Aberdeen, when the Marquis of Montrose captured the city. Aberdeen was one of six campaigns that year with Montrose victorious at the helm, following his appointment as King's Lieutenant-General in Scotland in August. The Marquis, James Graham, had been one of the four dignitaries who drew up the National Covenant in 1638, however, his refusal to support the the Scottish Parliament's union with Cromwell's Roundheads led to his imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle in 1643.
Montrose led his undisciplined rabble of 1500 Irish and Scottish troops north, following their victory at Tippermuir on the 1st of September. There followed the long remembered sack of Aberdeen. Montrose withdrew towards Speyside, and was eventually defeated by Covenanters led by David Leslie at the Battle of Philiphaugh in September 1645, and was sentenced to death in Edinburgh by an Act of Parliament in 1650.
Today's recipe: a tangy potato salad, simple and suitable for vegans.