Week in history

On this week in history (7th to 13th August inclusive) as follows;

  • 1556 – A UFO appears above Basle in Switzerland
  • 1840 – The British Parliament passed a law forbidding the use of children as chimney sweeps
  • 1888 – A killer, ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders a London prostitute
  • 1889 – The screw bottle top is patented at the Hope Glass works near Barnsley in Yorkshire
  • 1929 – The Graf-Zeppelin airship takes off for a planned trip around the world
  • 1932 – US President Herbert Hoover says it’s time to scrap prohibition
  • 1958 – 17 year old British singer Cliff Richard is signed to Columbia records
  • 1963 – The Great Train Robbery takes place at Sears Crossing in Buckinghamshire with an estimated £2.5m in unused bank notes stolen
  • 1965 – Singapore is separated from Malaysia and becomes an independent state
  • 1966 – The first American moon satellite, Orbiter 1, is launched
  • 1973 – American Vice President Spiro Agnew goes under investigation for tax evasion
  • 1974 – Richard Nixon made history by being the first US President to resign from office
  • 1980 – The first giant panda born in captivity is delivered safely at a zoo in Mexico
  • 1991 – British journalist John McCarthy is freed by the Lebanese terrorist group who have been holding him hostage
  • 2004 – The first license for the cloning of human embryos is issued in the UK

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1757 – Thomas Telford, Scottish bridge engineer best known for the suspension bridge over the Menai Straits
  • 1860 – Annie Oakley, American markswoman who could hit the thin edge of a playing card at 30 paces
  • 1874 – Herbert Hoover, American Republican President with a belief in individual freedom
  • 1881 – Cecil B. De Mille, American film director legendary for large scale Biblical epics
  • 1888 – John Logie Baird, Scottish electrical engineer who invented television
  • 1892 – Hugh MacDairmid, Scottish dialect poet and founder of the Scottish National Party
  • 1897 – Enid Blyton, British author of children’s books and creator of ‘Noddy’ and ‘The Famous Five’
  • 1921 – Alex Haley, American author of Roots, which traced his ancestors from Africa into slavery
  • 1922 – Philip Larkin, British poet who wrote ‘The Whitsun Weddings’
  • 1927 – Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary who became Socialist President in 1959
  • 1938 – Rod Laver, Australian tennis player who won the singles at Wimbledon 4 times
  • 1937 – Dustin Hoffman, American film actor
  • 1949 – Mark Knopfler, British guitarist with the band Dire Straits
  • 1954 – Nigel Mansell, British motor racing world champion
  • 1964 – Whitney Houston, American singer and actress