The Siege of Londonderry
1689 The siege of Londonderry began when supporters of James II attacked the city. The population nearly starved to death before the siege was raised on 30th July.
New South Wales
1770 Captain James Cook discovered New South Wales in Australia (PS. I can’t but wonder – the place couldn’t have possibly been called New South Wales when Cook arrived there. I’ve tried to find original names of various parts of that territory but without too much success. Will report back when I learn more.)
Caravanning in Style
1879 The first mobile home (horse-drawn) was used in a journey from London to Cyprus.
1912 The Irish-born writer Bram Stoker, author of Count Dracula, died at his London home. He was 65.
Carry On, Leslie
1924 The birth of Leslie Phillips, CBE and English actor with a highly recognisable ‘upper class accent’. Originally known for his work as a comedy actor playing English stereotypes in the Carry On films and the Doctor series, Phillips subsequently made the transition to character roles.
Anyone for Badminton?
1949 The Badminton Horse Trials were held for the first time, at Badminton, Gloucestershire.
Horses and Butterflies
1961 The birth of actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, best known for his roles as Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, Gary Sparrow in Goodnight Sweetheart, and as Adam Parkinson in Carla Lane’s series Butterflies.
It’s not How You Start
1964 BBC Two launched, with a power cut because of a fire at Battersea Power Station.
A Tragic Milestone
1974 The conflict in Northern Ireland claimed its 1,000th victim, a petrol station owner from County Fermanagh.
1981 Steve Davis became the world snooker champion at 23 years of age, beating Doug Mountjoy at Sheffield.
1989 Scientists said that the Earth had narrowly missed being struck by a passing asteroid weighing 400 million tons.
Death of a Magnificent Man
1992 Benny Hill, English comedian died. Between the end of World War II and the dawn of television he worked as a radio performer. His film credits included parts in nine films such as Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Italian Job. His world famous Benny Hill Show ran for nearly four decades and remained a cult series in much of the world long after Hill’s death.