Death of a Kingmaker
1471 The Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians at the Battle of Barnet. Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, ‘the Kingmaker’, was slain in the battle. He had put Henry VI on the throne, but Edward IV returned from exile in Holland to reclaim the crown.
A Silver Trumpet Muffled in Silk
1904 John Gielgud, English actor was born. He was known for his beautiful speaking of verse and particularly for his warm and expressive voice. His colleague Sir Alec Guinness likened it to ‘a silver trumpet muffled in silk.’ Gielgud is one of the few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award.
1912 The British built luxury liner Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic shortly before midnight, and sank in the early hours of the next morning. 1500 passengers and crew were killed.
The Highway Code
1931 The Ministry of Transport issued the first Highway Code, a set of guidelines and rules for drivers.
1950 Comic strip hero Dan Dare, the pilot of a space ship, made his first appearance in the first edition of the comic, the Eagle. The comic merged with Lion comic in 1969. All 900,000 copies of the first issue were sold. Its founders were Mancunian Frank Hampson and an Oxford-educated vicar Marcus Morris.
The Younger Brother
1951 The birth of Julian Lloyd Webber, British solo cellist who has been described as the ‘doyen of British cellists’. He is the second son of the composer William Lloyd Webber and younger brother of the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
1983 The first cordless telephone, capable of operating up to 600 feet from base, was introduced. It was made by Fidelity and British Telecom and sold for £170.
Farewell, Noele Gordon
1985 The death of Noele Gordon, English film and television actress. She was credited as the first woman to be seen on colour television sets, as she took part in the BBC’s early tests in colour broadcasting in the 1940s. First in 1969 and then during the following decade, she won the TV Times award for most popular television actress on eight occasions. In ‘Crossroads’, she took the role of motel owner Meg Richardson (later Meg Mortimer) and was the only member of the Crossroads cast who had a permanent contract.
In the Pink
1989 Police in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, revealed that violent prisoners were being put into a bright pink cell which seemed to have a calming effect. The colour was named Baker-Miller Pink after the police chief and psychologist who thought up the idea.