On this week in history

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

• 1154 – Nicholas Breakspeare becomes the first English Pope
• 1791 – In Britain, the Observer Sunday newspaper is published for the first time
• 1792 – George Washington is re-elected President of the US
• 1864 – Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge at Bristol is opened
• 1902 – The 1.14 mile long and 130ft high Aswan Dam on the River Nile is completed
• 1905 – The roof of Charing Cross Station in London collapses killing 5 people
• 1913 – Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst is arrested in Plymouth on her return to the UK from the US
• 1921 – Ireland’s 26 southern states were granted independence from Britain, becoming the Irish Free State
• 1937 – In Britain, The Dandy comic is produced for the first time
• 1956 – Rose Heilbron becomes Britain’s first female judge
• 1980 – John Lennon is shot dead in New York
• 1987 – The US and the USSR agree to dismantle all short and medium range nuclear missiles based in Europe
• 1988 – Nelson Mandela is moved to a luxury home in the grounds of Pollsmoor Prison
• 1995 – A link is established between the cattle disease BSE and CJD, a brain disease in humans
• 2008 – Scientists confirm the existence of a black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy

And some notable birthdays include;

• 1542 – Mary Queen of Scots, Scottish Queen who was forced to abdicate in favour of her son James I of England
• 1608 – John Milton, English poet whose greatest works were Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained
• 1822 – Cesar Franck, Belgian composer who developed a ‘cyclic form’, using the same theme in more than one movement of work
• 1886 – Clarence Birdseye, pioneer of deep-frozen food
• 1896 – Ira Gershwin, American lyricist who with his brother George wrote such hits as ‘Lady Be Good’ and ‘I Got Rhythm’
• 1915 – Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, German operatic soprano
• 1915 – Eli Wallach, American film actor specialising in tough guy roles
• 1918 – Kirk Douglas, American film actor
• 1920 – Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer
• 1925 – Sammy Davis Jr, American actor, singer and dancer
• 1935 – Little Richard, American pioneer of Rock ‘n’ Roll
• 1940 – David Carradine, American actor most associated with the TV series Kung Fu
• 1943 – Jim Morrison, American singer with the cult rock group The Doors
• 1960 – Kenneth Branagh, English actor and film director
• 1975 – Ronnie O’Sullivan, English snooker world champion