1420 King Henry V of England married Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI, King of France.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Hardy
1840 Thomas Hardy, English novelist and poet was born. He continues to be widely regarded for his novels, such as Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.
Chemist in Boots
1850 The birth of Jesse Boot, chemist, philanthropist and founder of ‘Boots the Chemist’.
Pomp and Circumstance
1857 Edward Elgar, English composer was born. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance Marches.
Happy Birthday, TUC
1868 The first meeting of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), in Manchester.
1910 The Hon. C.S. Rolls became the first Briton to fly across the Channel travelling from Dover to Sangatte and back in a Short-Wright biplane. The following year on this day, the Air Navigation Act came into force to control the requirements of both pilots and machines.
Hallo, Australia, UK Calling
1924 England spoke to Australia by wireless, the first time that a wireless conversation had been held between 2 countries or over so great a distance. The transmissions, by the Amalgamated Wireless Co. were between Poldhu in Cornwall and Vaucluse in Sydney.
An Unhappy Day
1946 The birth of Peter Sutcliffe, the serial killer who was dubbed ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’. In 1981 Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attacking seven others. He is currently serving 20 sentences of life imprisonment in Broadmoor Hospital. In 2010 The High Court dismissed an appeal, confirming that he would serve a whole life tariff and would never be released from imprisonment.
1953 The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in Westminster Abbey, London. It was the first British coronation to be televised and was a cold, wet day.
The First Past the Post
1954 British jockey Lester Piggott, aged 18, became the youngest jockey to win the Derby.
1988 The Australian High Court rejected Britain’s bid to ban further publication of the ‘Spycatcher’ memoirs of former British secret agent Peter Wright.
2012 The start of 4 days of celebrations to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.