1675 The laying of the foundation stone of the new St Paul’s Cathedral in London The cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and the site faced that of the church destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Dollond
1706 The birth of John Dollond, English optician. Dollond & Aitchison opticians was established in 1750.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Napier
1791 The birth of Robert Napier, Scottish engineer who is often called ‘The Father of Clyde Shipbuilding’. His first engine, the Leven engine, is on display at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Dumbarton.
1798 During the Irish Rebellion the British Army defeated Irish rebels at the Battle of Vinegar Hill in Enniscorthy, County Wexford. It marked a turning point in the rebellion, as it was the last attempt by the rebels to hold and defend ground against the British military.
1854 The first Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest medal for bravery, was awarded to Charles Lucas, who was awarded it during the Crimean War for conspicuous bravery. The medal was made from metal from a cannon captured at Sebastopol. The Victoria Cross was extended to colonial troops in 1867 and to date a total of 1,356 Victoria Crosses have been awarded.
A Minor Detail
1898 A reporter covering the launch of HMS Albion on the Thames was in such a hurry to file his story that he missed the fact that 38 people drowned when a temporary jetty collapsed.
1919 German sailors scuttled 72 warships at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys even though Germany had surrendered. It was the greatest act of self-destruction in modern military history.
1937 First televising of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships.
Happy Birthday to Me
1942 The birth, in Sarajevo, of the mystery writer Mira Kolar-Brown
Happy Birthday, Ms Kirkbride
1954 The birth, in Oldham, Lancashire of actress Anne Kirkbride, best known for her long-running role as Deirdre Barlow in Coronation Street, which she has played since 1972.
Oh, Baby, Baby
1948 The first stored programme to run on a computer was put through its paces on the Small Scale Experimental Machine, known as Baby, at Manchester University.
The Royal Family
1969 The BBC TV broadcast ‘Royal Family’ – a documentary going behind the public facade of the British Royal Family. This was the first time anyone had seen Queen Elizabeth II, her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and their children other than on official engagements.
Happy Birthday, Prince William
1982 Diana, Princess of Wales, gave birth to a boy, (Prince William) sixteen hours after checking in to St Mary’s Hospital, in London.