A week in history

On this week in history (16th to 22nd April inclusive) as follows;

  • 1775 – Paul Revere rides from Charleston to Lexington to warn US militiamen of the British advance
  • 1791 – William Wilberforce’s parliamentary campaign to abolish the slave trade meets defeat in the House of commons
  • 1860 – The first match between an American and an English boxer takes place in Hampshire, England
  • 1917 – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returns to Russia after 3 years of exile in Zurich
  • 1924 – Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party wins the Italian elections
  • 1934 – The first launderette is opened in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1953 – The royal yacht Britannia is launched
  • 1960 – American rock star Eddie Cochrane is killed in a car crash in England
  • 1968 – An American tycoon buys London Bridge for £1m, confusing it with tower Bridge
  • 1969 – Desmond Decker becomes the first Jamaican artist to reach the top of the UK singles chart with his song ‘The Israelites’
  • 1975 – The communist Khmer Rouge seize Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia
  • 1979 – Jeremy Thorpe, former leader of the Liberal Party, goes on trial accused of conspiring to murder his male lover
  • 1980 – Rhodesia becomes independent Zimbabwe
  • 1983 – A car bomb destroys the US embassy in Beirut
  • 1999 – The German parliament returns to the newly-renovated Reichstag building in Berlin

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1816 – Charlotte Bronte, British novelist and eldest of the three Bronte sisters and author of Jane Eyre
  • 1867 – Wilbur Wright, American aviator who, with his brother Orville, invented the first powered aircraft
  • 1870 – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Russian leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and first leader of communist Russia
  • 1889 – Adolf Hitler, Austrian-born housepainter and subsequently German dictator, architect of WWII
  • 1889 – Charlie Chaplin, English-born comedian and silent film star
  • 1904 – Robert Oppenheimer, American nuclear scientist who developed the atom bomb
  • 1916 – Yehudi Menuhin, American-born violinist who gave his first public recital at the age of six
  • 1924 – Henry Mancini, American composer responsible for many film scores
  • 1926 – Elizabeth II, who became Queen of England in 1952
  • 1929 – James Last, German bandleader and composer
  • 1935 – Dudley Moore, British musician, actor and comedian
  • 1937 – Jack Nicholson, American Oscar-winning film actor
  • 1941 – Ryan O’Neil, American film actor
  • 1958 – Malcolm Marshall, Barbadian fast bowler who regularly pulverised the English test cricket teams
  • 1987 – Maria Sharapova, Russian two-time Tennis Major winner