Showing posts from 2017

On This Day

1298 – King Edward I of England and his longbowmen defeated William Wallace and his Scottish schiltrons outside the town of Falkirk.

1456 – John Hunyadi, Regent of Kingdom of Hungary defeats Mehmet II of Ottoman Empire in Belgrade.

1894 – The first ever motorized racing event was held in France between the cities of Paris and Rouen. The race was won by Jules de Dion.

1916 – In San Francisco, California, a bomb exploded on Market Street during a Preparedness Day parade killing 10 and injuring 40. The true identity of the bomber (or bombers) remains unknown.

1933 – Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world, traveling 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

1934 – "Public Enemy No. 1" John Dillinger was mortally wounded by FBI agents, outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre.

1942 – The systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto began.

1944 – The Polish Committee of National Liberation published its manifesto, starting the period of Co…

On This Day

21st July

365 – A tsunami devestated the city of Alexandria, Egypt. The tsunami was caused by an earthquake estimated to be 8.0 on the Richter Scale. 5,000 people perished in the Alexandria, and 45,000 more died outside of the city.

1403 – King Henry IV of England defeated rebels to the north of the county town of Shropshire, England.

1545 – French troops landed on the coast of the Isle of Wight.

1904 – Louis Rigolly, a Frenchman, became the first man to break the 100mph barrier on land. He drove a 15-liter Gobron-Brille in Ostend, Belgium.

1925 – In Dayton, Tennessee, high school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in class and fined $100.

1925 – Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first man to break the 150mph land barrier at Pendine Sands in Wales. He drove a Sunbeam to a two-way average of 150.33mph.

1969 – Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission.

1972 – The Provisional I…

On This Day

21st July

1969 - Humans took their first steps on the Moon.  American Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.

On This Day 1960 to 2005

1968 – The Special Olympics was founded.

1969 - Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr. became the first humans to land on the Moon, while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, orbited above.

1974 - Thousands of Turkish troops invaded northern Cyprus.

1982 – The Provisional IRA detonated two bombs in Hyde Park and Regents Park in central London, killing eight soldiers on ceremonial duty, wounding forty-seven bystanders, and leading to the deaths of seven horses.

1986 – In South Africa, police fired tear gas into a church service for families of those held under the government's emergency decrees.

1989 – Burma's ruling junta put opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

1990 - An IRA bomb blew a 10-foot hole in the London Stock Exchange.

1996 – In Spain, an ETA bomb at an airport killed 35.

1998 – Two hundred aid workers from CARE International, Doctors Without Borders and other aid groups left Afghanistan…

On This Day 1712 to 1960

20th July

1712 – The Riot Act took effect in Great Britain.

1859 - American baseball fans were charged an admission fee for the first time. 1,500 spectators paid 50 cents each to see Brooklyn play New York.

1881 – Sioux Chief Sitting Bull led the last of his fugitive people in surrender to United States troops at Fort Buford, North Dakota.

1885 – The Football Association legalised professional football under pressure from the British Football Association.

1903 – Ford Motor Company shipped its first car.

1924 – Tehran fell under martial law after the American vice consul, Robert Imbrie, was killed by a mob enraged by rumours he had poisoned a fountain and killed several people.

1926 – A convention of the Methodist Church voted to allow women to become priests.

1928 – The Hungarian government issued a decree ordering Gypsies to end their nomadic ways, settle permanently in one place, and subject themselves to the same laws and taxes as other Hungarians.

1933 - Two-hundred Jewish merch…

On This Day

19th July

1545 – The Tudor warship Mary Rose sank off Portsmouth.

1553 – Lady Jane Grey was replaced by Mary I of England as Queen of England after having been Queen for just nine days.

1692 – Five women were hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, USA.

1799 – A group of Napoleon Bonaparte's soldiers discovered what is now known as The Rosetta Stone, enabling the translation of hieroglyphics for the first time.

1843 – Brunel's steamship the SS Great Britain was launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull or screw propeller and also becoming the largest vessel afloat in the world.

1870 – France declared war on Prussia.

1947 – Bogyoke Aung San, Prime minister of the shadow Burma government, and 6 of his cabinet along with 2 non-cabinet members were assassinated.

1963 – Joe Walker flew a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 106,010 metres (347,800 feet). Exceeding an altitude of 100 km, this flight qualified as human spaceflight under internat…

On This Day

12th July

55 - Julius Caesar was born.

1543 – King Henry VIII of England married his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr at Hampton Court Palace.

1812 – The United States invaded Canada at Windsor, Ontario.

1961 – The Panshet and Khadakvasala dams in India burst destroying most of the older sections of the city of Pune. Half of the city was submerged. More than 100,000 families dislocated and the death tally exceeded 2,000.

1962 – The Rolling Stones performed their first ever concert, at the Marquee Club in London.

1998 - Three young brothers, Richard Quinn, 11, Mark Quinn, 9, and Jason Quinn, 7, were murdered in a loyalist arson attack as the stand-off between Orangemen and police at Drumcree in Ireland.

2006 - Hezbollah guerrillas kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others in a cross-border raid; Israel sent ground troops into Lebanon in response.

On This Day

10th July

988 – The city of Dublin was founded on the banks of the river Liffey in Ireland.

1040 - Lady Godiva stripped and rode round the streets of Coventry in her birthday suit, to protest the heavy taxation imposed by her husband, Lord Leofric, the Earl of Mercia.
1212 – The most severe of several early fires of London burnt most of the city to the ground.

1460 – Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick defeated the king's Lancastrian forces and took King Henry VI prisoner in the Battle of Northampton.

1553 – Lady Jane Grey took the throne of England for - nine days. Awww bless.

1778 – Louis XVI of France declared war on the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1856 – Nikola Tesla was born.

1913 – Temperatures in Death Valley, California hit 134 °F (~56.7 °C), which is the highest temperature recorded in the United States.

1938 – Howard Hughes set a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world.

1940 - The German air force, the Luftwaffe, attacked shipping convoys o…

On This Day

9th July

1982 - The Queen fended off an intruder, when a man broke into Buckingham Palace and spent ten minutes talking to her, in her bedroom!

1991 - The Bank of Credit and Commerce International collapsed, losing about 20 local councils in the UK up to £30m in investments.

On This Day

8th July

1949 – Celebrities Helen Keller, Dorothy Parker, Danny Kaye, Fredric March, John Garfield, Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson were named in an FBI report as Communist Party members.

1953 – The United States Supreme Court ruled that Washington, D.C. restaurants could not refuse to serve black patrons.

1965 - Ronald Biggs who was serving a 30-year prison sentence for his part in the Great Train Robbery escaped from Wandsworth prison.

1968 – James Earl Ray was arrested for the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1984 – Homosexuality was declared legal in the Australia state of New South Wales.

1996 - Three young children and four adults were attacked by a man with a machete at an infant school in Wolverhampton, England.

2001 – Mamoru Takuma stabbed 8 school pupils to death at Ikeda Elementary School.

2003 - Conjoined Iranian twins, Ladan Bijani and Laleh Bijani (in Persian: لادن و لاله بیژنی ), who had volunteered to go ahead with a major operation to separate them, sadly died du…

On This Day

3rd July

1844 – The last nesting pair of Great Auks was killed. They were found incubating an egg off Iceland. Jón Brandsson and Sigurður Ísleifsson strangled the adults and Ketill Ketilsson smashed the egg with his boot.

1884 – The Dow Jones published its 1st stock average.

1928 - The first colour television transmission took place in London.

1969 - Former Rolling Stones guitarist, Brian Jones (born Lewis Brian Hopkin-Jones) drowned.

1971 - Jim Morrison, the lead singer of American rock group The Doors, was found dead in a bathtub in Paris of heart failure. He was only 27.

1976 - Israeli commandos rescued 103 hostages held by Arab militants at Entebbe airport, Uganda.

1987 - Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie was sentenced to life imprisonment at a court in Lyon.

1988 - Missiles fired from an American naval warship, the USS Vincennes, brought down an Iranian passenger jet in the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.

1996 – The Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland.

2005 –…

On This Day

2nd July

862 – St. Swithun, Bishop of Winchester died.

1698 – Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine.

1776 – The Continental Congress adopted a resolution severing ties with Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence was not approved until July 4.

1777 – Vermont became the first American territory to abolish slavery.

1839 - 53 African slaves being transported to Cuba on the Spanish merchant ship La Amistad revolted against their captors led by Joseph Cinque.

1850 – The self-contained gas mask was patented by Benjamin J. Lane.

1853 – The Russian Army invaded Turkey, beginning the Crimean War.

1881 – Charles J. Guiteau shot and fatally wounded U.S. President James Garfield, who eventually died on September 19.

1897 – Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi obtained a patent for radio in London.

1900 - The world's first rigid airship was demonstrated by Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.

1937 - U.S. avia…

On This Day

30th June

1860 – The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History took place.

1908 – The Tunguska event occured in Siberia.

1936 - Gone with the Wind was published.

1934 – The Night of the Long Knives, Adolf Hitler's violent purge of his political rivals in Germany, took place.

1953 – The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan, USA. (I wonder if it was a little red one.)

1960 – Congo gained independence from Belgium.

1963 – A car bomb, intended for Mafia boss Salvatore Greco, killed seven police and military officers near Palermo.

1969 – Nigeria banned Red Cross aid to Biafra, leaving over 4 million people to face starvation.

1971 - Three Russian cosmonauts were found dead in their Soyuz 11 space capsule after it made what looked like a perfect landing in Kazakhstan.

1985 - 39 Americans being held captive by the Shia Muslim Amal militia in Lebanon were released, after almost three weeks in captivity.

1990 – E…

Interesting Fact - Paddington Bear

In 1994, a Paddington Bear stuffed toy was chosen as the first item to pass from the English side of the Channel Tunnel to the French side when the two sides were linked up.

(I wonder if they were confused.)

On This Day

28th June

1922 - 18 year old Ralph Samuelson slapped a pair of sticks on his feet, grabbed hold of a rope behind a boat, and became the world's first waterskier. (His brother Ben operated the powerboat that pulled Ralph along. He broke the original skis in one landing, but his slightly-modified second pair still can be seen at the Water Ski Hall of Fame museum in Winter Haven, Florida.)

1960 - 45 men were killed in a gas explosion at a coal mine in Monmouthshire, Wales.

2004 - The United States handed power back to the Iraqi people at a low-key ceremony in Baghdad.


27th June 2017
Author Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear, died aged 91

On This Day

27th June

1967 - The world's first ATM was installed by Barclay's Bank in North London. (We also call the a hole in the wall or a cash machine.)

1986 - The International Court of Justice found the United States guilty of violating international law by supporting Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1991 - Yugoslav tanks, troops and aircraft rolled into the small republic of Slovenia, 48 hours after it declared independence.

On This Day

26th June

1284 – The legendary Pied Piper led 130 children out of Hamelin, Germany.

1483 – Richard III was crowned king of England.

1870 – The Christian holiday of Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1917 – The first U.S. troops arrived in France to fight alongside Britain, France, Italy, and Russia against Germany, and Austria-Hungary in World War I.

1945 – The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco.

1948 – The Western allies began an airlift to Berlin after the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin.

1960 – The former British Protectorate of Somaliland British Somaliland gained its independence.

1963 – John F. Kennedy spoke the famous words "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a doughnut), on a visit to West Berlin.

1974 - The bar code, allowing for the electronic scanning of prices, was used for the first time on a pack of gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1977 – The Yorkshire Ripper killed 16 year old shop assistant Jayne MacDonald in Leeds,…

On This Day

25th June

1678 – Elena Cornaro Piscopia became the first woman to be awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1876 – Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

1947 – The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1951 - The first colour TV broadcast took place on America's CBS Network.

1991 – Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1996 – The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

2006 – Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip in Palestine.

2007 – Severe flooding hit England. Parts of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire flooded including Louth, Horncastle and worst affected, Hull.

2009 - Michael Jackson died.

On This Day - 1973 to 2016

23rd June

1973 – A fire at a house in Hull, England, which killed a six year old boy was passed off as an accident; it later emerged that it was the first of 26 deaths by fire caused over the next seven years by arsonist Peter Dinsdale.

1983 - Pope John Paul II privately met banned union leader Lech Walesa, the founder of Solidarity, on a visit to Poland.

1984 - An auction of John Lennon's possessions raised $430,000, including $19,000 for a guitar used while Lennon was with the Beatles.

1985 – A terrorist bomb brought a Boeing 747 down off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people on board.

1988 – James Hansen testified to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that it was 99% probable that global warming had begun.

1991 – Moldova declared independence.

1992 - New York crime boss John Gotti (the Teflon Don) was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole.

1996 - The Nintendo 64 went on sale in Japan.

2004 - A U.S. lawyer sued Germany in…

On This Day

22nd June

1633 – The Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe.

1907 – The London Underground's Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway opened.

1922 – 19 strikebreakers and 2 union miners were murdered in Herrin, Illinois.

1941 - Hitler's German troops invaded the Soviet Union.

1969 – The Cuyahoga River, in Northeast Ohio in the United States, caught fire, which triggered a crack-down on pollution in the river. Time magazine described the Cuyahoga as the river that "oozes rather than flows" and in which a person "does not drown but decays."

1969 – Judy Garland died.

1978 – Charon, a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, was discovered.

1981 - Mark Chapman changed his plea to guilty and admitted he murdered John Lennon in December 1980.

1984 – Virgin Atlantic Airways launched. Its first flight was from London Heathrow Airport.

1987 – Fred Astaire died.

2002 – An earthquake i…

On This Day

21st June

1305 – King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Poland died.

1377 – King Edward III of England died.

1652 – Inigo Jones died.

1905, Jean-Paul Sartre was born.

1948 – Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album (LP) in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

1982 – Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William, heir to the throne.

1985 - Scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.

2001 – John Lee Hooker died.

2004 – SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.

2009 – Self-rule was introduced in Greenland.

On This Day

20th June

451 – Flavius Aetius' defeated Attila the Hun.

1214 – The University of Oxford received its charter.

1631 – The Irish village of Baltimore was attacked by Algerian pirates.

1685 – James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declared himself King of England at Bridgwater.

1756 – A British garrison was imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta.

1782 – The U.S. Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States.

1791 – King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family began the Flight to Varennes during The French Revolution.

1837 – Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne.

1840 – Samuel Morse received the patent for the telegraph.

1976 - Hundreds of Americans and Britons were moved from Beirut and taken to safety in Syria by the US military, following the murder of the US ambassador.

1979 – ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot dead by a Nicaraguan soldier under the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The murder was caught on tape and sparked international outcry agai…

On This Day

19th June

1269 – King Louis IX of France ordered all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver.

1306 – The Earl of Pembroke's army defeated Bruce's Scottish army at the Battle of Methven.

1865 – Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, Texas, United States, were finally informed of their freedom. The anniversary is still officially celebrated in Texas and 13 other contiguous states as Juneteenth.

1961 – Kuwait declared independence from the United Kingdom.

1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.

1970 - Edward Heath became prime minister after a surprise victory for the Conservatives in the general election.

1975 - An inquest jury decided Lord Lucan murdered the 29-year-old nanny of his three young children.

1978 – Garfield comic strip was first published. It has grown to over $1 billion in revenue, and is distributed to ove…


19th June

The State Opening of Parliament.

On This Day

18th June

1429 – French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turned the tide of the Hundred Years' War.

1767 – Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.

1812 - The United States declared war on on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1815 – The Battle of Waterloo led to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and final time.

1858 – Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin's own. This prompted Darwin to publish his theory.

1873 – Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 US presidential election. (The 19th Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits each of the states and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote beca…

On This Day

17th June

1579 – Sir Francis Drake claimed a land he called "Nova Albion" (modern California) for England.

1631 – Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spent more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

1882 - Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, was born.

1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbour aboard the French ship Isere.

1939 – Last public guillotining in France took place. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was guillotined in Versailles outside the prison Saint-Pierre.

1940 – The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania fell under the occupation of the Soviet Union.

1944 – Iceland declared independence from Denmark and became a republic.

1947 - Pan Am Airways was chartered as the world's first worldwide passenger airline.

1950 - The first documented kidney transplant took place in Chicago, on Ruth Tucker, a 44-year-old woman with polycystic kidney disease. Unfortunately the …

On This Day

16th June

1487 – The Battle of Stoke Field was fought. The final battle of the Wars of the Roses.

1586 – Mary Queen of Scots recognizes Philip II of Spain as her heir.

1779 – Spain declared war on Great Britain, and the siege of Gibraltar began.

1871 – The University Tests Act allowed students to enter the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham without religious tests, except for courses in theology.

1883 – Panic broke out at The Victoria Hall theatre, killing 183 children.

1903 – The Ford Motor Company was incorporated.

1915 – The British Women's Institute was founded.

1963 – Russian Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.

1972 – Red Army Faction member Ulrike Meinhof was captured by police in Langenhagen.

1976 – A non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto, South Africa turned into days of rioting when police opened fire on the crowd and kiled 566 children.

1992 - Andrew Morton's explosive new book about Princess Diana, including claims …

Interesting Fact - Dithering

According to a poll commissioned by ISA and Scottish Friendly, Brits spend nearly 3 years of their lives dithering.

(The top 5 reasons to dither were:-

Choosing birthday presents.Choosing what to wear on a night out.What to eat for dinner.What to watch on TV.Where to go on holiday.What makes you dither?)

On This Day

15th June

1215 – King John of England put his seal to the Magna Carta.

1667 – The first human blood transfusion was administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.

1752 – Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity.

1785 – Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, co-pilot of the first-ever manned flight (1783), and his companion, Pierre Romain, became the first-ever casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon exploded during an attempt to cross the English Channel.

1844 – Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

1877 – Henry Ossian Flipper became the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.

1909 – Representatives from England, Australia and South Africa met at Lord's and formed the ICC (Imperial Cricket Conference).

1911 – Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) was incorporated.

1919 – John Alcock and Arthur Brown complete the first nonstop transatlantic flight at Clifden, County…

On This Day

14th June

1381 – Richard II met leaders of the Peasants' Revolt on Blackheath.

1381 - The Tower of London was stormed by rebels who entered without resistance.

1645 – Battle of Naseby – 12,000 Royalist forces were beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.

1648 – Margaret Jones was hanged in Boston for witchcraft.

1777 – The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.

1789 – Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reached Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,000-mile) journey in an open boat.

1789 – Whisky distilled from corn was first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. He called it Bourbon because he lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

1822 – Charles Babbage proposed a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled "Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables".

1839 – The village of Henley, on the River Thames in Oxford…

On This Day

10th June

1184 BC – The city of Troy was sacked and burned.

1509 – Henry VIII of England married Catherine of Aragon.

1692 - Salem Village. Bridget Bishop, the first colonist tried in the Salem witch trials, was hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft. (In 1956 the Massachusetts General Court passed an act exonerating her. Well that's alright then.)

1776 - Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed to the Committee of Five to draft the American declaration of independence.

1788 – Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reached Alaska.

1955 – Eighty-three people were killed and at least 100 injured after an Austin-Healey and a Mercedes-Benz collided at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1959 - The Hovercraft, invented by Christopher Cockerell, was officially launched in Southampton.

1962 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin became the only prisoners to successfully escape from Alcatraz Island prison.


On This Day

9th June

62 – Claudia Octavia commited suicide.

68 - Roman Emperor Nero commited suicide.

1934 – Donald Duck makes his debut in The Wise Little Hen.

1958 – Queen Elizabeth II officially opened London Gatwick Airport, (LGW).

1975 - BBC radio broadcast the first live transmission from the House of Commons.

1978 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) opened its priesthood to "all worthy men", ending a 148-year-old policy excluding black men.

1985 – Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in Lebanon (he was not released until 1991).

1999 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) signed a peace treaty.

On This Day

8th June

1949 - George Orwell's book 1984 (Nineteen eighty-four) was published.

On This Day

7th June

1546 - England signed the Peace of Andres with Scotland and Ireland.

1557 - England declared war on France.

1862 - The United States and Britain agreed to suppress the slave trade.

1965 - Sony Corp introduced its home video tape recorder, priced at $995.

1975 - Sony introduced the Betamax videocassette recorder for sale to the public

2012 - Remains of the Curtain Theatre, where some of Shakespeare's plays were first performed, were found under a pub in London.

On This Day

6th June

1944 - The Battle of Normandy began as thousands of Allied troops started landing on the beaches of Normandy in northern Franc: the beginning of D-Day, which was code named Operation Overlord,

1966 - James Meredith, the first black man to brave the colour bar at the University of Mississippi, was shot in the back and legs while on a civil rights march.

1975 - British voters backed the UK's continued membership of the EEC by two-to-one in a nationwide referendum.

1982 – The Lebanon War began.

1984 - Nearly 300 people were killed as Indian troops stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, which was being held by Sikh militants.

2004 – Tamil was established as a "classical language" by the President of India.

On This Day

5th June

1963 - The Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, resigned from government, resigns over a sex scandal, admitting he lied to Parliament about his relationship with a call girl.

1993 – Parts of the Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, in the UK, fell into the sea following a landslide.

On This Day

3rd June

1539 – Hernando De Soto, Spanish explorer and conquistador, claimed Florida for Spain.

1839 – Lin Tse-hsü destroyed 1.2 million kg of opium in Humen, confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a Casus belli to open hostilities with China, resulting in the First Opium War.

1924 – Franz Kafka died.

1937 – The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson.

1940 – The Luftwaffe bombed Paris.

1946 - The first (modern) bikini bathing suit was displayed in Paris. Where else?

1956 – British Rail renamed 'Third Class' passenger facilities as 'Second Class'. Second Class facilities had been abolished in 1875, leaving just First Class and Third Class. (That's Britain for you.)

1989 – Troops attempted to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.

On This Day

2nd June

455 – The Vandals entered Rome, and plundered the city for two weeks.

1692 – Bridget Bishop was the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts.

1793 – Jean-Paul Marat recited the names of 29 people to the French National Convention. Almost all of these people were guillotined, followed by 17,000 more over the course of the next year during the Reign of Terror.

1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.

1946 – Italians voted to turn Italy from a monarchy into a Republic. After the referendum the king of Italy Umberto II di Savoia was exiled.

1953 - Queen Elizabeth II was crowned.

1966 - The United States landed a spacecraft on the Moon on its first try (four months behind the Soviet Union).

1985 - English clubs were banned from playing in Europe indefinitely, after the riot at Brussels' Heysel stadi…

On This Day

1st June

193 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus was murdered.

1495 – Friar John Cor recorded the first known batch of scotch whisky.

1533 – Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England.

1794 – The battle of the Glorious First of June was fought, the first naval engagement between Britain and France during the French Revolutionary Wars.

1869 – Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric voting machine.

1910 – Robert Falcon Scott's South Pole expedition left England.

1922 – The Royal Ulster Constabulary was founded.

1935 – The first driving tests were introduced in the United Kingdom.

1941 – The Farhud, a pogrom against Iraqi Jews, took place in Baghdad.

1942 – The Warsaw paper Liberty Brigade published the first news of the concentration camps.

1967 – The groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album by The Beatles was released.

1970 - British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was egged.

1974 – The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims was published in the journ…

On This Day

31st May

1578 – King Henry III* laid the first stone of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), in Paris. It is now the oldest bridge there.

1669 – Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys recorded the last event in his diary.

1946 - Heathrow International airport opened for civilian use.

1985 - The Football Association, supported by Margaret Thatcher, banned English football clubs from playing in Europe following the Heysel stadium tragedy.

*Henry III of France of course.

On This Day

29th May

1660 – Charles II was restored to the throne of Great Britain. (It was his birthday too.)

1913 – Igor Stravinsky's ballet score; The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris, France, provoking a riot.

1914 – Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; 1,024 people died.

1919 – Einstein's theory of general relativity was tested (and later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington's observation of a total solar eclipse in Principe and by Andrew Crommelin in Sobral, Ceará, Brazil.

1942 – Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", the best-selling Christmas single in history.

1953 – Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay's (adopted) 39th birthday.

1968 - Manchester Utd Football Club won the European Cup becoming the first English club to do so.

1972 – 26 people were killed and dozens mo…

On This Day

28th May

1503 – James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor were married according to a Papal Bull by Pope Alexander VI. A Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England signed on that occasion resulted in a peace that lasted ten years.

1533 – The Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declares the marriage of King Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn valid.

1859 – Big Ben was drawn on a carriage pulled by 16 horses from Whitechapel Bell Foundry to the Palace of Westminster.

1934 – The Glyndebourne festival in England was inaugurated.

1937 – Neville Chamberlain became British Prime Minister.

1942 – In retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazis in Czechoslovakia killed over 1800 people.

1952 – Women in Greece were given the right to vote.

1959: Two monkeys, Abe and Baker, became the first living creatures to survive a space mission. (Able died from the effects of anesthesia given for removal of implanted electrodes.)

1964 – The Palestine Liberation Organizati…

On This Day

23rd May

1701 - Capt. William Kidd was hanged in London for piracy and murder.

1977 - More than 100 children and six teachers were taken hostage in a primary school in Northern Holland (The Netherlands).

1984 - At least four people were killed and dozens more injured in an explosion at a Lancashire water treatment plant.

On This Day

20th May

1506 - Christopher Columbus died in poverty in Spain.

1570 – Cartographer Abraham Ortelius issued the first modern atlas.

1609 – Shakespeare's Sonnets were first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe.

1631 – The city of Magdeburg in Germany was seized by forces of the Holy Roman Empire and most of its inhabitants massacred, in one of the bloodiest incidents of the Thirty Years' War.

1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.

1902 – Cuba gained independence from the United States. Tomás Estrada Palma became the first President of Cuba.

1927 - Charles Lindbergh took off for Paris from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y., aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

1932 – Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to begin the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot. She landed in Ireland the next da…

Interesting Fact - Packaging

According to the Recycling Association, Lucozade sport drink bottles, and Pringles crisp tubes are the worst products for recycling.

(It's not just about how much plastic is used; the variety of materials that go into the packaging is key.  Pringles with its distinctive tube is one of the worst: it has a metal base, plastic cap, foil tear off lide and foil-lined cardboard sleeve.  The association described it as a nightmare.

I'm not sure which bin they should go into, but luckily I don't drink Lucozade, and I don't eat Pringles.)

On This Day

19th May

1499 – Catherine of Aragon, was married by proxy to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. Catherine was just 13 and Arthur 12.

1536 – Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, was beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.

1568 – Queen Elizabeth I of England ordered the arrest of Mary Queen of Scots.

1649 – An Act of Parliament declaring England a Commonwealth was passed by the Long Parliament. England would be a republic for the next eleven years.

1890 – Ho Chi Minh, the1st President of Vietnam was born.

1897 – Oscar Wilde was released from Reading Prison.

1943 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set Monday, May 1, 1944 as the date for the cross-English Channel landing (D-Day). It would be delayed over a month due to bad weather.

1962 - Marilyn Monroe sang "that" birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, New York City.

1984 – Poet John Betjeman, who had been Britain's Poet…

Interesting Word - Museum

The word ‘museum’ comes from classical Latin where it meant a place holy to the Muses.

(In Greek mythology the Muses were the goddesses of inspiration in literature, science and the arts.

The 9 muses were each protectors of a different art and symbolised by a different item; Calliope (epic poetry - a writing tablet), Clio (history - a scroll or book), Euterpe (lyric poetry - an aulos (a Greek flute)), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry - a comic mask), Melpomene (tragedy - a sword), Terpsichore (dance - a lyre), Erato (love poetry - a cithara (a Greek type of lyre)), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry / hymns - a veil), and Urania (astronomy - a globe and compass).

Nowadays, the word "muse" can  be used to refer to any person who inspires an artist, writer, or musician.)


18th May

International Museum Day

On This Day

18th May

1152 – Henry II of England married Eleanor of Aquitaine.

1756 – The Seven Years' War began when Great Britain declared war on France.

1803 – The Napoleonic Wars began when The United Kingdom revoked the Treaty of Amiens and declared war on France.

1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.

1812 – John Bellingham was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.

1872 – Bertrand Russell, British mathematician, historian, philosopher, and Nobel Prize laureate was born.

1944 – The deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union government began.

1991 - Helen Sharman became Britain's first astronaut.

On This Day

17th May

1521 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was executed for treason.

1536 – George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford and four other men were executed for treason.

1590 – Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of Scotland.

1792 – The New York Stock Exchange was formed.

1814 – The Constitution of Norway was signed and Danish Crown Prince Christian Frederik elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly.

1974 – Thirty-three people were killed by terrorist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan, Ireland.

1978 - Charlie Chaplin's stolen body was found.

1984 – Prince Charles called the proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend," sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture.

1992 – The WHO (World Health Organisation) took homosexuality out of its list of mental illnesses.

1994 - The U.N. Security Council approved sending troops to secure…

On This Day

16th May

1770 – 14-year old Marie Antoinette married 15-year-old Louis-Auguste who later became king of France.

1836 – Edgar Allan Poe married his 13-year-old cousin Virginia.

1920 – Pope Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc as a saint.

1960 - The first working laser was demonstrated by Theodore Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories. (But we still don't have proper light sabers.)

1966 – The Communist Party of China issued the 'May 16 Notice', marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

1975 – Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1990 – Jim Henson died.

On This Day

15th May

1567 – Mary Queen of Scots married James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, her third husband.

1718 – James Puckle, a London lawyer, patented the world's first machine gun.

1756 – The Seven Years' War began when England declared war on France.

1800 – George III survived two assassination attempts in one day.

1905 – Las Vegas, Nevada, was founded when 110 acres (0.4 km²), in what later would become downtown, were auctioned off.

1928 - Mickey Mouse appeared in his first animated cartoon "Plane Crazy".

1935 – The Moscow Metro was opened to the public.

1936 – Amy Johnson arrived back in England after a record-breaking return flight to Cape Town.

1940 – McDonald's opened its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

1957 - Britain dropped its first H-bomb.

1974 – Terrorists attacked an Israeli school, killing a total of 31 people, including 22 schoolchidren.

1988 – The Red Army began its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On This Day

14th May

1264 – Henry III of England was captured in France making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England.

1607 – Jamestown, Virginia was settled as an English colony.

1796 – Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccination.

1889 – The children's charity the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) was launched in London.

1955 – The Communist states signed the Warsaw Pact.

1998 – Frank Sinatra died.

On This Day

13th May

1958 – The trade mark Velcro was registered.

1981 – Pope John Paul II survived an assasination attempt after emergency surgery.

1989 – Large groups of students occupied Tiananmen Square in China and began a hunger strike.

1995 – British mother of two, Alison Hargreaves, conquered Everest.

Interesting Fact - Eating Out

According to research carried out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and water filter company Brita UK, Brits are needlessly buying bottled water in restaurants and pubs because they feel too awkward to ask for free tap water.

(Many people are unaware of the fact that, in England, Scotland and Wales, licensed premises such as bars, restaurants and theatres are required by law to provide free drinking water on request (although they can charge for the use of a glass).

Of course there is nothing worse than an awkward Brit, and I fully understand our reluctance to dare to ask for something for nothing.)

On This Day

12th May

1812 - Edward Lear was born.

1926 – A 9-day general Strike in the United Kingdom ended.

2008 – An earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occurred in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people.

2015 –  An earthquake (measuring around  7.3-magnitude) hit Nepal killing over 8,000 people.

Interesting Fact - Facebook

According to researchers from Vrije University in Amsterdam,  Facebook is as addictive as (if not more addictive than) cigarettes and chocolate.

(Seemingly just seeing the blue and white Facebook logo is enough to give an addict a buzz, making it impossible for them to resist logging on.  I'm sure Mr Zuckerberg is glad to hear that, but "impossible".  Really?
Check yourself, and if you find it irresistible, switch your device off and go for a walk.)

Interesting Fact - Cold Calling

A nuisance call company, Keurboom Communications Ltd, has been fined a record £400,000 for making nuisance calls.

(The company often masked who was making the calls, which ranged from road traffic accident claims and PPI compensation, with some people receiving repeat calls, sometimes on the same day and during unsociable hours.

Nuisance calls have been a problem in the UK for years, and what usually happens is when they are caught the firm declares bankruptcy, and avoids paying any fine.

In 2016 the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) issued fines totalling £1.923 million for nuisance marketing, but according to the Telegraph, out of 20 firms penalised, 15 went bust or declared themselves insolvent.
I wonder if the courts will see a penny of this fine?)


9th May

National Teacher Appreciation Day

I'd like to thank Mrs Hunt, who was one of the few teachers who tried to inspire her pupils to bigger and better things.

On This Day

6th May

1536 – King Henry VIII ordered English language Bibles be placed in every church.

1840 – The Penny Black postage stamp was introduced for use in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1882 – Thomas Henry Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish were stabbed and killed during the Phoenix Park Murders in Dublin.

1889 – The Eiffel Tower was officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris.

1910 – George V became King upon the death of his father, Edward VII.

1937 – The German Zeppelin Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-six people were killed.

1940 – John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.

1954 – Roger Bannister became the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.

1966 – Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were sentenced to life imprisonment for the Moors Murders in England.

1994 – The Channel Tunnel (aka the Chunnel) was officially ope…

On This Day

5th May

1215 – Rebel barons in England renounced their allegiance to King John — part of a chain of events leading to the signing of the Magna Carta.

1494 – Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Jamaica and claimed it for Spain. I think I'll try that next time I'm in Spain.

1821 – Emperor Napoleon I died in exile on the island of Saint Helena.

1921 - Coco Chanel introduced their famous perfume Chanel No. 5.

1925 – John T. Scopes was served with an arrest warrant for teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.

1949 – The Treaty of London established the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

1955 – West Germany regained full sovereignty.

1964 – The Council of Europe declared May 5 as Europe Day.

1980 - The siege of the Iranian embassy in London came to an end after a raid by SAS commandos.

1981 - Bobby Sands died in the Maze prison 66 days after first refusing to eat.

2005 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair was elected to a third term.

On This Day

4th May

1493 – Pope Alexander VI divided the New World between Spain and Portugal along the Line of Demarcation. (No one told the New World.)

1494 – Christopher Columbus landed in Jamaica.

1675 – King Charles II of England ordered the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

1814 – Emperor Napoleon I of France arrived at Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.

1904 – Charles Stewart Rolls met Frederick Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, England. (The rest as they say is history.)

1912 – Italy occupied the Greek island of Rhodes.

1932 – Mobster Al Capone began serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.

1945 – British forces liberated Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.

1945 – The North Germany Army surrendered to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

1949 – The entire Torino football team (except for one player who did not take the trip due to an injury) was killed in a plane crash at the Superga hill at the edge of Turin, Italy.

On This Day

30th April

1774 – British settlers massacred family members of Chief Logan, head of the Native American Mingo tribe, at Yellow Creek, Ohio. It sparked off the conflict known as Lord Dunmore's War.

1900 – Casey Jones died in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express.

1945 - Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide after being married for one day.

1945 - Soviet soldiers raised the Victory flag over the Reichstag building.

1952 - The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank was published in English.

1975 - The war in Vietnam ended as the government in Saigon announced its unconditional surrender to the Vietcong.

1993 - CERN published a statement that made the technology behind the WWW available on a royalty free basis.

1999 - Two people were killed and at least 30 injured in the third nail-bomb attack in London in two weeks.

2008 – Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia were confirmed by Russian scientists to be the re…

On This Day

29th April

1429 – Joan of Arc arrived to relieve the Siege of Orleans.

1770 – James Cook arrived at and named Botany Bay, Australia.

1882 – The "Elektromote" – forerunner of the tram – was tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin.

1885 - Women were admitted for the first time to examinations at England's Oxford University.

1916 – Martial law in Ireland was lifted and the Easter rebellion officially ended with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin.

1945 – The German Army in Italy unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

1945 – Adolf Hitler married his long-time partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designated Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor.

1945 - Dachau Concentration Camp was liberated by US Troops.

1967 – After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title.

1985 - Four gunmen escaped with nearly $8 million in cash stolen from the Well…

Interesting Fact - Work

Roughly 1.1m people work in Britain’s gig economy, and according to a survey carried out by Ipsos Mori and the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), 69 per cent of them are male.

(In recent years, the word gig was used to refer to a live performance by or engagement for a musician or group , but “Gig economy” work is used to describe part-time self-employed work, often office work, short tasks and ‘click work’ done online.  In Britain that kind of work has tended to attract women in the past.  Nowadays there is a real gender imbalance in some sectors: For example men account for 95 per cent of Uber drivers and 94 per cent of Deliveroo couriers.)

On This Day

28th April

1789 – Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors were set adrift and the rebel crew returned to Tahiti briefly and then set sail for Pitcairn Island. The incident became known as the Mutiny on the Bounty.

1920 – Azerbaijan was added to the Soviet Union. (I collect stamps and coins, not countries).

1932 – A vaccine for yellow fever was announced for use on humans.

1945 – Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were executed by a firing squad consisting of members of the Italian resistance movement.

1949 – Former First Lady of the Philippines Aurora Quezon, 61, was assassinated while en route to dedicate a hospital in memory of her late husband; her daughter and 10 other people were also killed.

1952 – The United States occupation of Japan ended.

1965 – United States troops landed in the Dominican Republic to "forestall establishment of a Communist dictatorship" and to evacuate U.S. Army troops.

1970 – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon formally authorized Americ…

Interesting Fact - Happiness

According to research funded by Butterkist popcorn, the average British adult feels a true 'wave of happiness' eight times a week.
(The main source of happiness was cuddling with a partner on the sofa.  Awww. How sweet.
Unsurprisingly only 16% of respondents said that work made them happy.)


On This Day

27th April

1124 – David I became King of Scotland.

1296 – The Scots were defeated by Edward I of England at the Battle of Dunbar.

1667 – The blind and impoverished John Milton sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.

1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passed the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by granting it a monopoly on the North American tea trade. They were not a Fair Trade company.

1791 - Samuel Finley Breese Morse, the inventor of the Morse code, was born.

1840 – The foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, was laid.

1992 – Betty Boothroyd became the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.

Interesting Food - Pretzels

Pretzels are thought to have been invented by Italian monks in the 5th century.

(Seemingly, they were made to resemble folded arms and given to children to reward them for good deeds.

What happened to, "a good deed is its own reward"?) 


26th April

Pretzel Day

On This Day

26th April

1949 - Heads of government from Australia, Britain, Ceylon, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs signed the Declaration of London and the modern Commonwealth was born.

Interesting Word - DNA

DNA is commonly used as an abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid, but as usual it all depends on context. It also stands for Does Not Apply, Did Not Attend or Data Not Available


25th April

DNA day.

On This Day

25th April

1719 - Daniel Defoe's famous book, Robinson Crusoe, was published.

1886 - Sigmund Freud opened his practice at Rathausstrasse 7, Vienna.

1953 - James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues published papers in the journal Nature on the structure of DNA.
1967 - The first law legalizing abortion in the United States was signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Arthur Love.

2005 - A Japanese commuter train crashed near Osaka, killing more than 70 people and injuring more than 300 others.

On This Day

23rd April

1564 - The Bard, William Shakespeare, is said to have been born on the 23rd of April. So, if he were still alive, he would be well over 400 years old today. Of course no one really knows the exact date of his birth because these things weren't so well regulated back then, but this date has been chosen for him, and it's the thought that counts.  Happy Birthday Will!

We do know that he was baptised on April 26th, and that he died on April 23rd 1616.

On This Day

21st April

753 B.C - Legend says Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, founded Rome.

1509 - Henry VIII became King of England.

1782 - Friedrich Froebel German educator and founder of the kindergarten, was born.
1789 - John Adams was sworn in as the first vice president of the United States.

1816 - Charlotte Bronte, author of "Jane Eyre, was born.

1838 - John Muir, the father of the environmental movement, died.
1910 - The author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died.
1918 - The German fighter ace Baron von Richthofen, "The Red Baron," was shot down.

1926 - Queen Elizabeth II was born.

1945 - The Red Army entered the outskirts of Berlin.

1959 - Robert Smith, musician from The Cure, was born.

1960 - Brazilia became the capital of Brazil, taking over from Rio de Janeiro.

On This Day

20th April

1653 - Oliver Cromwell, puritan, revolutionary, Lord Protector of England and the man who banned Christmas, dissolved Parliament to rule by decree.  (Of course he did.)

1999 - Two teenage boys murdered 12 fellow students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., before turning their guns on themselves.

On This Day

19th April

1587 – Francis Drake sank the Spanish fleet in Cádiz harbour.

1775 – The Battle of Lexington and Concord began, which started the American Revolution against the British.

1839 – The Treaty of London established Belgium as a kingdom.

1961 – The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba ended.

1984 – Advance Australia Fair was chosen as Australia's national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours.

1987 – The Simpsons premièred as a short cartoon on The Tracey Ullman Show.

1989 – Daphne du Maurier, British novelist died.

1992 – Benny Hill, and Frankie Howard died. They were both English comic actors.

1995 – A bomb in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, killed 168 people.

1999 – The German Bundestag returned to Berlin.

2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of the Papal conclave.

On This Day

18th April

1506 – The cornerstone of the current St. Peter's Basilica was laid.

1909 – Joan of Arc was beatified in Rome.

1783 – Fighting ceased in the American Revolution, eight years since it began.

1924 – Simon & Schuster published the first crossword puzzle book.

1945 – Over 1,000 allied bombers attacked the small island of Heligoland, Germany.

1955 - Albert Einstein died.

1980 – The Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) came into being. Canaan Banana was the country's first President.

1983 – A suicide bomber destroyed the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people.

1996 – At least 106 civilians were killed when the Israel Defense Forces shelled the UN compound at Quana, Lebanon, where more than 800 civilians had taken refuge.

On This Day

17th April

1397 – Geoffrey Chaucer recited the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. (And it's been torturing British schoolchildren ever since.)

1521 – Martin Luther spoke to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.

1961 – A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

1984 - WPC (Woman Police Constable) Yvonne Fletcher was shot and killed outside the Libyan embassy in central London.

1986 - British journalist John McCarthy was kidnapped, by the militant group Islamic Jihad, in Beirut. He spent more than five years in captivity.

1986 - Three bodies of murdered hostages, were found on the streets of Beirut. They were Leigh Douglas, Philip Padfield from the UK and an American, Peter Kilburn.

1986 – The 335 Years' War (1651–1986) between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly officially ended. It was both one of the world's longest wars and the …

On This Day

15th April

1452 – Leonardo da Vinci was born.

1755 – Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in London.

1802 – William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy saw a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud".

1892 – The General Electric Company was formed.

1912 – The RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, after hitting an iceberg two and a half hours earlier, killing over 1,500 people.

1923 – Insulin became generally available for use by people with diabetes.

1941 – 200 Luftwaffe bombers attacked Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing over 1,000 people.

1942 – The George Cross was awarded to "to the island fortress of Malta – its people and defenders" by King George VI.

1945 - British troops liberated the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.

1984 – Tommy Cooper died.

1989 - 96 Liverpool fans died in a crush at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough Football Stadium at the FA Cup semi-final between Li…

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