1662 King Charles II granted a charter to the Royal Society of London, which became an important centre of scientific activity in England.
1778 James Hargreaves, the English inventor of the spinning jenny died. After he had begun to sell the machines to help support his large family, hand spinners, fearing unemployment, broke into his house and destroyed a number of jennies, causing Hargreaves to move from Blackburn to Nottingham in 1768.
1834 The South Atlantic island of St Helena was declared a British crown colony.
1838 The British steamer Sirius became the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean from England to New York. The voyage took 18 days and 10 hours.
1915 The second battle of Ypres started when German troops released clouds of deadly chlorine gas on British troops. It was the first major gas attack of World War I.
Bring Out the Violins
1916 The birth of Yehudi Menuhin, the US born violinist. In 1965 he was granted.a knighthood, but did not receive the title until 1985, when he became a British citizen.
The Last Stand
1945 World War II – After learning that Soviet forces had taken Eberswalde without a fight, Adolf Hitler admitted defeat in his underground bunker and stated that suicide was his only recourse.
1943 Britain discontinued printing £1,000 notes.
A Spy for a Spy
1964 British businessman Greville Wynne, imprisoned by the Russians for spying, was swapped for the Russian spy Gordon Lonsdale, who was jailed by the British for his role in an espionage ring in 1961.
Around the World in 312 Days
1969 British yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnston sailed into Falmouth Harbour, completing the first non-stop solo voyage around the world. He was at sea for 312 days. His yacht was named Suhaili which means “good wind”.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
1972 Sylvia Cook and John Fairfax became the first people to row across the Pacific Ocean (the world’s largest ocean). They arrived in Australia in their boat Britannia after being at sea for 362 days.
The Big Number Change
2000 The Big Number Change took place. It was an update of telephone dialling codes in Britain in response to the rapid growth of telecommunications and the impending exhaustion of numbers.