On this week in history

On this week in history (2nd to 8th April inclusive) as follows:

  • 1580 – An earthquake in London damages St Paul’s Cathedral
  • 1843 – English poet William Wordsworth is appointed Poet Laureate
  • 1873 – British trains are fitted with toilets, but only in the sleeping cars
  • 1896 – Gold is discovered in the Yukon
  • 1904 – Britain and France sign the Entente Cordiale, a mutual recognition of each other’s colonial interests, particularly in North Africa
  • 1922 – In Russia, Joseph Stalin is appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party
  • 1943 – British economist John Maynard Keynes launches a plan for post-war reconstruction
  • 1944 – Pay As You Earn Income Tax is introduced in Great Britain
  • 1960 – The film Ben Hur wins 10 Oscars
  • 1962 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro offers to ransom prisoners held since the invasion of the Bay of Pigs on April 19 1961
  • 1977 – The Damned play New York becoming the first punk band to go on stage in the US
  • 1981 – Cancer sufferer Bob Champion wins the Grand National riding Aldaniti
  • 1982 – Buenos Aires celebrates the invasion of the Falkland Islands while the UN says that Argentina must withdraw
  • 1982 – 44 year old American Jim Princeton returns $37.1m (£20m) in negotiable bearer certificates which he finds outside 110 Wall St
  • 1990 – British golfer Nick Faldo wins his second successive US Masters

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1725 – Giovanni Casanova, Italian adventurer famous for his amorous conquests
  • 1891 – Ole Kirk Christiansen, Danish toymaker who invented Lego
  • 1893 – Mary Pickford, Canadian born actress who became known as ‘America’s Sweetheart’
  • 1915 – Billie Holiday, American jazz singer par excellence
  • 1919 – Ian Smith – Rhodesian prime minister who unilaterally declared independence from Britain in 1965
  • 1920 – Ravi Shankar, indian sitar player whose music was brought to western attention by the Beatles
  • 1929 – Andre Previn, American composer, pianist and conductor
  • 1930 – Dorothy Tutin, British stage and screen actress
  • 1939 – Francis Ford Coppola, American film producer best known for ‘The Godfather’
  • 1939 – David Frost, British television presenter and producer
  • 1939 – Marvin Gaye, American soul singer and one of the foremost Tamla Motown artists
  • 1961 – Eddie Murphy, American film actor and comedian
  • 1963 – Julian Lennon, British pop musician and son of John Lennon
  • 1964 – Russell Crowe, Australian Oscar-winning film actor
  • 1979 – Heath Ledger, Australian film actor who won a posthumous Oscar for his performance in the film ‘The Dark Knight’