A week in history

On this week in history (7th to 13th May inclusive) as follows;

  • 1811 – Britain announces that paper money is to be legal tender to stave off an economic crisis
  • 1887 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show opens in London
  • 1911 – The British parliament agrees to Home Rule for Ireland
  • 1926 – The voting age for British women is lowered from 30 to 21
  • 1937 – The coronation in London of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth is broadcast live worldwide by the BBC
  • 1943 – Allied forces capture Tunis from the Germans
  • 1945 – Street parties are held all over Britain as VE Day is celebrated, marking the end of WWII in Europe
  • 1956 – Elvis Presley first enters the UK charts with ‘Heartbreak Hotel’
  • 1962 – The Beatles sign a recording contract with EMI’s Parlaphone label
  • 1963 – Bob Dylan refuses to appear on the Ed Sullivan show on the grounds that the show is ‘too square’
  • 1969 – The minimum voting age in Britain is lowered from 21 to 18
  • 1985 – The main stand at Bradford City football ground catches fire, killing 40 and injuring more than 170
  • 1988 – Boston hosts the first gathering of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens
  • 1990 – Robert Maxwell launches the first European newspaper – called The European
  • 2010 – Conservative Party leader David Cameron forms the first coalition government in the UK since WWII

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1820 – Florence Nightingale, English nurse whose experiences in the Crimean War led to her becoming a hospital reformer
  • 1828 – Josephine Butler, English social reformer who campaigned for women’s rights
  • 1838 – John Wilkes Booth, American assassin who ended the life of Abraham Lincoln
  • 1842 – Sir Arthur Sullivan, English composer who wrote 16 operettas with G S Gilbert
  • 1888 – Irving Berlin, Russian-born American composer of musical comedies and film scores
  • 1899 – Fred Astaire, American actor, dancer and singer
  • 1904 – Salvador Dali, Spanish surrealist painter
  • 1912 – Phil Silvers, American comedian best known for his role as Sergeant Bilko
  • 1914 – Joe Louis, American world heavyweight boxing champion known as ‘The Brown Bomber’
  • 1919 – Eva Peron, Actress wife of Argentine President Juan Peron and popular spiritual leader
  • 1926 – Sir David Attenborough, English broadcaster and naturalist who has been the face and voice for the BBC’s natural history programming for decades
  • 1929 – Burt Bacharach, American composer whose collaboration with Hal David produced many memorable hits
  • 1936 – Glenda Jackson, British stage and film actress and later politician
  • 1941 – Eric Burden, British rock singer who had hits with the group ‘The Animals’
  • 1960 – Paul ‘Bono’ Hewson, Irish musician with the band U2 and tireless campaigner for humanitarian issues