A Week in History

On this week in history (28th May to 3rd June inclusive) as follows;

  • 1453 – Constantinople falls to the Turkish army after a siege lasting for a year
  • 1498 – Italian explorer Christopher Columbus embarks on his third voyage under the patronage of King Ferdinand of Spain
  • 1536 – Eleven days after the execution of his third wife Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII of England marries Jane Seymour
  • 1795 – The Virginia Assembly opposes Britain’s Stamp Act
  • 1831 – Sir James Clark Ross locates the magnetic North Pole on his Arctic expedition with Admiral Parry
  • 1910 – Captain Robert Falcon Scott sails out of London’s East India docks on the Terra Nova, bound for the South Pole
  • 1942 – Television licenses are first issued in Britain
  • 1959 – The first hovercraft is launched at Cowes on the Isle of White
  • 1961 – South Africa declares itself a republic, independent of the British Commonwealth
  • 1965 – British racing driver Jim Clark becomes the first non-American driver to win the Indianapolis 500
  • 1972 – Presidents Nixon and Brezhnev sign the first arms reduction pact
  • 1979 – Rhodesia takes the name of Zimbabwe
  • 1989 – Russian politician Boris Yeltzin is elected to the Supreme Soviet after earlier being excluded
  • 1990 – France bans the import of British beef in case it carries the BSE virus known as ‘mad cow disease’
  • 2004 – Nelson Mandela announces his retirement from public life

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1759 – William Pitt (the Younger), English statesman who became prime minister at the age of 24, the youngest British prime minister ever
  • 1808 – Jefferson Davis, American president of the Confederate States
  • 1840 – Thomas Hardy, English novelist and poet
  • 1846 – Peter Carl Faberge, Russian goldsmith and jeweller
  • 1857 – Sir Edward Elgar, English composer best known for the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstances marches
  • 1860 – Walter Sickert, British Impressionist painter and etcher
  • 1908 – Ian Fleming, British novelist who created James Bond
  • 1917 – John F Kennedy, American politician who was the first Roman Catholic, and the youngest, president ever elected
  • 1925 – Tony Curtis, American singer and film actor
  • 1926 – Marilyn Monroe, American film actress
  • 1930 – Clint Eastwood, American film actor and director
  • 1937 – Morgan Freeman, American Oscar winning actor
  • 1950 – Suzi Quatro, American rock guitarist and singer
  • 1968 – Kylie Minogue, Australian actress and pop singer
  • 1986 – Rafael Nadal, Spanish world number 1 tennis player