William Caxton’s Printed Word
1484 William Caxton printed his translation of Aesop’s Fables. As far as is known, Caxton was the first English person to work as a printer and the first to introduce a printing press into England. He was also the first English retailer of printed books
1839 At a public meeting held in Henley Town Hall, the Henley Regatta was born. It was decided that the introduction of an annual regatta would attract visitors to the town and be a source of amusement to the locals. The regatta lasts for 5 days (Wednesday to Sunday) over the first weekend in July. The most prestigious event at the regatta is the Grand Challenge Cup for Men’s Eights, which has been awarded since the regatta was first staged.
Jeannette C. Pickersgill’s Secret
1885 ‘A lady well-known in literary and scientific circles’ was the only clue The Times gave to the identity of the woman who was cremated by the Cremation Society in Woking, Surrey. She was the first person to be officially cremated in Britain and was a Mrs. Pickersgill, the first of three cremations that year.
Death of the Diamond Geezer
1902 The British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes died in Cape Town aged 48. Rhodes who controlled 90% of the world’s diamond production, was influential in establishing the British crown in South Africa and Rhodesia.
Blacks and Tans
1920 The British special constables known as the Black and Tans arrived in Ireland. Their nickname came from the colours of their uniform.
1923 BBC Radio started regular weather forecasts.
Father of the Welfare State
1945 David Lloyd George, British statesman and Liberal Prime Minister, died. He was Prime Minister of a wartime coalition government between the years 1916–22, Leader of the Liberal Party from 1926–31 and a key figure in the introduction of many reforms which laid the foundations of the modern welfare state.
200 Years Later
1973 Women stockbroker were allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange for the first time in its 200 year history.
1973 Noël Coward, English playwright and entertainer died.
The First Royal Email
1976 Queen Elizabeth II sent the first royal e-mail, from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in Worcestershire.One of the Commonwealth recipients was 12-year old Katrina Barber in Australia.
The Gang of Four
1981 Four Labour defectors, known as the Gang of Four, launched the Social Democrats party. The four were Roy Jenkins, (former Labour cabinet minister), David Owen, William Rodgers and Shirley Williams. Their aim was to ‘reconcile the nation’ and ‘heal divisions between classes’.