Know Your Pretenders
1688 The birth of James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender to the British throne and son of the deposed James II of England (James VII of Scotland).
1719 The Battle of Glen Shiel, in the West Highlands of Scotland took place ‘On This Day’ between British government troops and an alliance of Jacobites and Spaniards, resulting in a victory for the government forces. It was the last close engagement of British and foreign troops on mainland Great Britain.
The Boat Race
1829 The Oxford team won the first-ever Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.
Happy Birthday, Your Royal Highness
1921 Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth was born; as Philippos Schleswig- Holstein Soenderburg-Glucksburg on the Greek island of Corfu.
Do You Remember Robert Maxwell?
1923 The birth of Robert Maxwell, Czechoslovakian-born British media proprietor and former Member of Parliament. His unexplained death (at sea, around the Canary Islands) revealed huge discrepancies in his companies’ finances, including the Mirror Group pension fund, which Maxwell had fraudulently misappropriated.
1940 World War II: Italy officially declared war on Britain and France.
1942 World War II: The Czech village of Lidice was destroyed and every man in it killed in reprisal for the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich. Women and children were deported.
The First Automatic Landing
1965 A de Havilland jet airliner made the first automatic landing, relying entirely on instruments, at Heathrow Airport.
Jaws, the Perch
1977 An elusive goldfish eating perch with a prodigious appetite was finally netted after two years on the rampage in a Kent pond. The fish, nicknamed Jaws, was caught by two Southern Water Board engineers equipped with a rowing boat, a fishing net and a 240v stun rod. Jaws was accused of eating 3,000 goldfish in a breeding lake near Canterbury.
Arise, Sir Bob
1986 Bob Geldof, the Irish-born singer and charity fund raiser and US citizen John Paul Getty II, were both made honorary knights by Queen Elizabeth II.
Farewell, Les Dawson
1993 The death of Manchester born comedian Les Dawson. He is remembered for his deadpan style, grumpy on stage personality, and jokes about his mother-in-law and wife.
1989 After an era of 157 years, Britain’s last lightship was towed away from its position north-west of the Channel Island of Guernsey
1990 A British Airways pilot survived after being partly sucked out of the cockpit at 23,000 feet above London.
2000 London’s new Millennium Bridge was closed for safety checks after large crowds caused it to sway violently.