Baa Baa Black Sheep
1774 Mary Cooper published the first book of English nursery rhymes. Called Tommy Thumb’s Song Book, it included Baa Baa Black Sheep, whose ‘three bags full’ is thought to refer to a tax imposed on the wool trade in 1275.
1824 The British parliament purchased 38 paintings (cost £57,000) to establish a national collection now at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London.
The English Football League
1888 The English Football League was founded when 12 clubs met at a hotel in Fleet Street, London.
The First International
1906 The first rugby international between France and England in Paris ended with a 35-0 victory to England.
A Hard Day’s Night
1912 The birth of Wilfrid Brambell, Irish film and television actor best known for his role as Albert Steptoe in the television series Steptoe and Son. He also performed alongside The Beatles in their film A Hard Day’s Night, playing Paul McCartney’s fictional grandfather and played Ebenezer Scrooge in a musical version of A Christmas Carol.
1942 The BBC began broadcasting in Morse code to the French Resistance.
The Phantom Lord
1948 Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer of musicals, was born. Several of his 13 musicals have run for more than a decade, both in the West End and on Broadway. He was awarded a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government.
1954 Closed since 1939, the London bullion market, a market for trading gold and silver, reopened.
The Minister and the Call Girl
1963 John Profumo (Secretary of State for War) denied any impropriety with the model Christine Keeler, or that he was in any way connected to her disappearance when she had been due to appear as a witness in a trial at the Old Bailey. On 5th June 1963 he resigned after admitting that he had lied about his relationship.
1997 Comet Hale-Bopp made its closest approach to Earth in the skies over the northern hemisphere. The comet’s next pass is predicted for the year 4397.