On This Day – Peter Pan’s Uniform and the End of the Birch

25 Feb

The Usurper

1570 Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by Pope Pius V. He declared her a usurper for her severe persecution of Roman Catholics in England. It was the last such judgment made against a reigning monarch by any pope.

Death of the Wren

1723 The death of Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history and architect of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Peter Pan

Peter Llewelyn Davies in 1917 at age 20

1897 The birth of Peter Llewelyn Davies, the namesake of Peter Pan. The author, J. M. Barrie publicly identified him as the source of the name for the title character in his famous play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. This identification as ‘the original Peter Pan’ plagued Davies throughout his life.

Emmeline, The Terrorist

1913 English suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst went on trial for a bomb attack on the home of David Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Lesson Unlearned

Princess Victoria

1953 At an inquest, crew members admitted that the Princess Victoria, a ferry which sank off Belfast, had sailed with her giant bow doors open, drowning 128 people. The same tragedy was repeated on 6th March 1987 outside Zeebrugge harbour when the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized.

The Island Princess 

Roddy Llewellyn

1978 Princess Margaret and her friend, Roddy Llewellyn, left for a holiday on the romantic island of Mustique. On 10th May an announcement was made that the Princess intended to divorce Lord Snowdon after two years’ separation. A few days later, Roddy said that he had no plans to marry the Princess.

The End of the Birch

1982 The European Court of Human Rights ruled that corporal punishment in schools (if it was against the parents’ wishes) was a violation of the Human Rights Convention.

The Birmingham Six

The Birmingham Six after their arrest

1991 After serving 17 years in prison, it was announced that ‘the Birmingham Six’ would soon be released when it was decided that their convictions were unsafe. All were jailed in 1975 for an IRA attack on two pubs in Birmingham in November 1974 in which 21 people died.

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