On This Day – An Admiral Suitor, Small Potatoes and a Photocopier

20 Mar


Henry IV

1413 The death of King Henry IV of England. It partly fulfilled a prophecy saying that he would die in Jerusalem. He died in Westminster Abbey’s Jerusalem Chamber.

An Admiral Suitor

1549 Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral of England who had planned to marry Princess Elizabeth after his wife, Catherine Parr died, was tried and executed for treason.

Small Potatoes

1616 Sir Walter Raleigh was freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment to conduct a second expedition to Venezuela in search of El Dorado. On Raleigh’s return to England, the outraged Spanish ambassador successfully demanded that King James reinstate Raleigh’s death sentence.

An Apple and a Scientist

Head and shoulders portrait of man in black with shoulder-length grey hair, a large sharp nose, and an abstracted gaze

1727 Isaac Newton, English scientist and discoverer of the ‘Laws of Gravity’, died, aged 84. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

A Photocopier

MBHT_1780_Watt_copying_press_patent.jpg (102324 bytes)

1780 James Watt began manufacturing the first duplicator, which he had invented to help with the burden of office work generated by his steam engine business.

Dartmoor Prison

1806 The foundation stone of Dartmoor prison in Devon was laid. It opened three years later to house French prisoners of war, but by 1850 the first convicts were being imprisoned.

The Start of a Dynasty

1908 The birth of Sir Michael Redgrave, English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.

White Cliffs of Dover

1917 Dame Vera Lynn (known during the Second World War Vera as the “Forces Sweetheart” was born. Her songs included “We’ll Meet Again” and “White Cliffs of Dover”.

A Kidnap Attempt

1974 An attempt was made to kidnap Princess Anne in the Mall by a gunman who fired six shots, then tried to drag her out of the car. He fled as passers-by joined her bodyguard and police to foil the attempt, and was later caught. Ian Ball, who was charged with attempted murder, claimed he did it to highlight the lack of mental care facilities.

Radio Caroline

Frederica Oil Painting

1980 Mi Amigo, the ship from which the pirate radio station Radio Caroline broadcast its music programmes, sank during a severe storm. Radio Caroline was unlicensed by any government for most of its early life and was launched to circumvent the record companies’ control of popular music broadcasting in the United Kingdom and the BBC’s radio broadcasting monopoly. The station is still on the air today and currently broadcasts 24 hours a day via the Eurobird 1 satellite and the Internet.

Two Little Boys

Warrington Bombing tributes

1993 Two young boys (Johnathan Ball, aged 3 and Tim Parry aged 12) died and at least 50 people were injured in two bomb blasts close to Warrington’s shopping centre.

Hot Air

B. Piccard and B. Jones. Cancelled the 3/24/1999 at Château-d'Oex

1999 British balloonist Brian Jones and Swiss physicist Bertrand Piccard became the first to fly a hot-air balloon non-stop around the world.

Ninth Anniversary of Slaughter

Baghdad with scene of explosion on horizon

2003 Prime Minister Tony Blair made a live televised address and confirmed that British troops were in action in Iraq. American missiles hit Baghdad at 5:35 a.m. signalling the start of the US led campaign to topple Saddam Hussein.

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