This Week in History

This week in history (9th to 15th October inclusive) as follows;

  • 1192 – King Richard the Lionheart abandons the Holy Land after an unsuccessful crusade leaving Jerusalem in Muslim hands
  • 1651 – The Navigation Act is passed allowing only English ships to import goods from Africa, America and Asia into England
  • 1727 – George II is crowned King in London
  • 1884 – Greenwich is adopted as the universal meridian
  • 1897 – Henry Sturmey sets off in his Daimler from Land’s End aiming to be the first person to drive from there to John O’Groats, a distance of 929 miles
  • 1919 – The first ‘in flight’ meals are served on board a Handley-Page flight from London to Paris at a cost of 3 shillings (15p)
  • 1928 – The first ‘iron lung’ is used at the Boston Children’s hospital in Massachusetts
  • 1957 – A major radiation leak is detected at Windscale atomic power station in Cumbria following a nuclear accident on October 7th
  • 1967 – The Argentine born revolutionary Che Guevara is shot dead by Bolivian Army troops
  • 1969 – The British 10 shilling note is replaced with a 50 pence coin
  • 1975 – Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor remarry in a remote village in Botswana
  • 1978 – British punk Sid Vicious is arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen
  • 1980 – Soviet cosmonauts return to earth after a record 185 days in space in the craft Salyut 6
  • 1988 – The Law Lords lift an injunction and allow British newspapers to print extracts from Peter Wright’s book Spycatcher
  • 1997 – Thrust sets the first supersonic land speed record, breaking the sound barrier at 766mph

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 70BC – Virgil, Roman epic and pastoral poet
  • 1537 – Edward VI, English monarch and son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour
  • 1644 – William Penn, English Quaker leader who founded the American Quaker colony of Pennsylvania
  • 1853 – Lillie Langtry, English society beauty known as ‘Jersey Lillie’ who was  intimate with Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales
  • 1881 – P G Woodhouse, English author and creator of the famous butler Jeeves
  • 1884 – Eleanor Roosevelt, American writer and cicil rights campaigner
  • 1890 – Dwight D Eisenhower, American military commander and twice president of the USA
  • 1920 – Thelonius Monk, American jazz pianist and composer who led the way in bebop
  • 1925 – Margaret Thatcher, British Conservative politician and Prime Minister
  • 1935 – Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor who specialised in the music of Bellini, Verdi and Puccini
  • 1937 – Bobby Charlton, ex England and Manchester United footballer who won the world cup in 1966
  • 1940 – Cliff Richard, British pop singer
  • 1940 – John Lennon, English pop singer, musician and songwriter who rose to fame with The Beatles
  • 1955 – Steve Ovett, British middle distance runner and Olympic gold medallist
  • 1982 – Ian Thorpe, Australian swimmer who won 5 Olympic gold medals