The Great Siege of Gibraltar
1779 Spain declared war on Britain, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar began. In February 1783 the siege was lifted and the French and Spanish troops retired, disheartened and defeated, after three years and seven months’ conflict. The final peace treaty left Gibraltar with the British, but the victorious British garrison sustained a loss of 1,231 men, and expended 8,000 barrels of gunpowder.
Happy Birthday, RSPCA
1824 The RSPCA Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded.
The Bonny Bonnet
1880 The distinctive Salvation Army ladies’ bonnets were worn for the first time when they marched in procession in London.
Suffer Little Children
1883 The Victoria Hall theatre panic in Sunderland killed 183 children. At the end of the show an announcement was made that children with certain numbered tickets would be presented with a prize upon exit. Worried about missing out on the treats, many of the estimated 1,100 children in the gallery stampeded toward the staircase leading downstairs. Those at the front became trapped, and were crushed by the weight of the crowd behind them.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Laurel
1890 Stan Laurel, (Arthur Jefferson) English born comedy actor of Laurel and Hardy fame, was born.
Happy Birthday, WI
1915 The foundation of the Women’s Institute, regularly referred to as simply the WI. Its two aims were to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. It is now the largest women’s voluntary organisation in the UK.
Farewell, Mr. Booth
1929 The death of the English religious leader General Bramwell Booth, founder of the Salvation Army.
Where Will it All End?
1930 Mixed bathing was permitted for the first time in Hyde Park, London.
1958 Yellow ‘No Waiting’ lines were introduced to British streets.