This week in history

On this week in history (11th to 17th December inclusive) as follows;

  • 1688 – King James II of England flees the country
  • 1861 – Price Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, dies of typhoid
  • 1894 – The first motor show opens in Paris with 9 exhibitors
  • 1904 – The first electric train comes into service on London’s Metropolitan railway
  • 1907 – In New York, a rule is introduced forcing women to sign affidavits attesting to their age and good character before they marry
  • 1907 – The liner Mauretania runs aground at Liverpool
  • 1913 – The world’s biggest battle-cruiser, HMS Tiger, is launched in Glasgow
  • 1914 – In the Battle of the Falklands, all British ships survive while 4 German cruisers are sunk
  • 1962 – US Mariner II sends back the first close-up photographs of the planet Venus
  • 1987 – At Christie’s Auction House in London, Charlie Chaplin’s cane and bowler hat sell for £82,500 and his boots for £38,500
  • 1987 – In Britain, Davina Durbin becomes the world’s first triple heart, lungs and liver transplant patient
  • 1988 – In Britain, rock star Elton John is awarded £1m in damages against The Sun newspaper
  • 1989 – In South Africa, ANC leader Nelson Mandela meets President F W de Klerk for the first time
  • 1990 – ANC President Oliver Tambo returns home to South Africa after 30 years in exile
  • 1991 – In London, Stella Rimington is named as the first female head of the security service MI5

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1503 – Nostradamus, French astrologer and physician
  • 1734 – George Romney, English portrait painter
  • 1775 – Jane Austen, English novelist whose major works include Emma and Pride and Prejudice
  • 1778 – Sir Humphrey David, an English chemist who invented the safety lamp for miners and who discovered sodium, calcium and potassium
  • 1832 – Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, French engineer who built the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • 1889 – Noel Coward, English playwright, composer and actor
  • 1892 – Jean Paul Getty, American oil billionaire and founder of the J. Paul Getty Art Museum in California
  • 1895 – George VI, English monarch who succeeded to the throne when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry Mrs Simpson
  • 1908 – Willard Frank Libby, an American chemist who developed radio-carbon dating
  • 1925 – Dick Van Dyke, American actor and comedian
  • 1929 – Christopher Plummer, British stage and screen actor
  • 1935 – Lee Remick, American stage and screen actress
  • 1939 – Liv Ullman, Norwegian actress who most notably appeared in Ingmar Bergman films
  • 1946 – Stan Smith, American tennis player who won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1972
  • 1973 – Paula Radcliffe, English long-distance runner