Week in history (4th to 10th September)

On this week in history (4th to 10th September inclusive) as follows;

  • 1797 – A French army coup disposes of British-backed royalists in Paris
  • 1879 – The first British telephone exchange opens in Lombard St, London
  • 1894 – London taxi driver George Smith is the first person to be convicted for drunken diving, he is fined 20s (£1)
  • 1910 – Polish chemist Marie Curie announces she has isolated pure radium
  • 1911 – The first airmail service in Britain begins operating between Hendon and Windsor
  • 1922 – American aviator James Doolittle makes the first American coast to coast flight which takes 21 hours and 19 minutes
  • 1929 – The BBC invites Baird Co. to carry out experimental TV transmissions
  • 1936 – British aviator Beryl Markham flies solo across the Atlantic
  • 1948 – Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands abdicates in favour of her daughter Juliana
  • 1968 – Britain’s Virginia Wade beats Billie Jean King to win the first US open tennis championship
  • 1974 – US President Gerald Ford pardons Richard Nixon for his part in the Watergate affair
  • 1980 – The world’s longest road tunnel is opened in Switzerland stretching 10 miles between Goshenen and Airolo
  • 1982 – Death of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, famed British fighter pilot of WWII
  • 1988 – 11 year old Thomas Gregory from London is the youngest person to swim the English Channel
  • 2008 – Both the North-West Passage and the North-East Passage are clear of sea ice for the first time in recorded history

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1157 – Richard I King of England, known as Richard the Lionheart
  • 1533 – Elizabeth I, English monarch and daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII
  • 1585 – Cardinal de Richelieu, French statesman and chief minister to Louis XIII
  • 1771 – Mungo Park, Scottish surgeon who explored the true course of the River Niger in Africa
  • 1886 – Siegfried Sassoon, English war poet, novelist and biographer
  • 1888 – Joseph Kennedy, American founder of the dynasty that gave rise to the first Catholic American president
  • 1914 – Robert Wise, American film director
  • 1925 – Peter Sellers, English actor best known for his comic roles
  • 1929 – Arnold Palmer, American champion golfer
  • 1935 – Chaim Topol, Israeli stage and screen actor
  • 1936 – Buddy Holly, American rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist
  • 1941 – Otis Redding, American singer and songwriter
  • 1942 – Britt Ekland, Swedish actress and model
  • 1946 – Freddie Mercury, British lead singer of the band ‘Queen’
  • 1960 – Hugh Grant, English film actor