On this week in history

On this week in history (5th to 11th March inclusive) as follows;

  • 1461 – Henry VI of England is deposed by the Duke of York in the course of the Wars of the Roses
  • 1831 – The French Foreign Legion is founded to serve in France’s African colonies
  • 1856 – The Covent Garden Opera House in London is destroyed by fire
  • 1912 – Frenchman Henri Seimet flies from Paris to London in three hours, the first aviator ever to make the journey non-stop
  • 1946 – Winston Churchill, on tour in the US, says that an ‘iron curtain has descended across Europe’ in a speech about the Russian threat
  • 1952 – An artificial heart is used for the first time,  on a 41 year old male patient, keeping him alive for 80 minutes
  • 1966 – In London, Ronnie Kray of the notorious Kray twins walks into the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel Rd and shoots a rival gangster, George Cornell, through the head
  • 1967 – Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Joseph Stalin, defects to the west
  • 1971 – In London, 4000 women’s libbers march from Hyde Park to 10 Downing St
  • 1971 – Swiss men finally vote to give women the right to vote and to hold federal office
  • 1983 – Australian Christopher Massey sets a water skiing speed record of 143.08 mph
  • 1988 – Police in a south Indian village keep 3000 residents indoors to enforce a government ban on the nude worshipping of a Hindu god
  • 1991 – The last Cruise Missile leaves Greenham Common airbase in Berkshire
  • 2001 – Donald Campbell’s boat ‘Bluebird’ is recovered from Coniston Water in Cumbria 34 years after Campbell died trying to break the water speed record
  • 2011 – The HMS Ark Royal, former flagship of the British Navy, is decommissioned after nearly 30 years of service

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1454 – Amerigo Vespucci, Italian navigator who discovered the mouth of the Amazon and who gave his name to America
  • 1819 – Sire Henry Tate, British sugar magnate who endowed the Tate Gallery in London
  • 1859 – Kenneth Grahame, Scottish author of ‘Wind in the Willows’
  • 1885 – Sir Malcolm Campbell, British holder of the world speed records on land and sea
  • 1913 – Andre Courreges, French courtier and inventor of the mini skirt in 1964
  • 1916 – Harold Wilson, British Labour Party Prime Minister 1964 -70 and 1974-6
  • 1931 – Rupert Murdoch, Australian media tycoon
  • 1934 – Yuri Gagarin, Soviet astronaut and first man in space
  • 1945 – Mickey Dolenz, American actor and pop musician, founder member of the pop group ‘The Monkees’
  • 1952 – Douglas Adams, British author of the cult that is ‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’
  • 1952 – Bill Beaumont, British Lions and England International rugby champion
  • 1955 – David Wilkie, British swimmer and Olympic gold medallist at the 1976 Olympics
  • 1958 – Sharon Stone, American film actress
  • 1958 – Rik Mayall, British comedian who found fame with the TV series ‘The Young Ones’
  • 1964 – Prince Edward, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh