ON This Day – By Royal Command and Lacy Knickers

20 Jun

Oxford Charter

1214 The University of Oxford received its charter. Oxford is the second-oldest surviving university in the world (Bologna in Italy is the oldest) and the oldest in the English-speaking world.

Black Hole of Calcutta

1756 In India, the night of the infamous ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’, where more than 140 British soldiers and civilians were placed in a small prison cell – 18 feet by 14 feet – by the Nawab of Bengal. The following morning only 23 emerged alive.

Start of a Very Long Story

1837 On the death of William IV, Queen Victoria, aged 18, acceded to the throne. Her reign of 63 years and 7 months is currently longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history.

Buffalo Bill by Royal Command

1887 On Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Buffalo Bill Cody staged a Royal Command performance of his famous Wild West Show, and four European kings boarded the original Deadwood coach driven by Cody.

The Longest Bridge

1887 Britain’s longest railway bridge over the River Tay opened. The first had collapsed in 1879 whilst the Edinburgh to Dundee train was crossing, killing over 90 people.

Happy Birthday, Ms Cookson

Catherine Cookson's picture

1906 Catherine Cookson, English novelist, was born

Happy Birthday, Wendy Craig

Main image of Craig, Wendy (1934-)

1934 The birth of Wendy Craig, BAFTA Award winning actress who is best known for her appearances in the sitcoms Butterflies.

Lacy Knickers


1949 American tennis player ‘Gorgeous’ Gussie Moran caused a sensation at the Wimbledon Championships by wearing lace-trimmed pants under a short skirt.

Was it An Improvement?

1984 The biggest exam shake up for over 10 years was announced with O Level and CSE exams to be replaced by new examinations, to be known as GCSEs.

The Last Match


1996 English cricket umpire Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird received a standing ovation by players and spectators at Lords when he took the field to officiate in his final Test Match.

Puttin’ On the Ritz

1997 Former Conservative minister Jonathan Aitken lost his libel action against The Guardian newspaper over allegations that wealthy Arabs paid for him to stay at the Ritz Hotel in Paris while he was a minister.



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