On this DAY
NATIONAL DAY OF COSTA RICA 1649: Titus Oates, English Anglican priest and fabricator of the “Popish Plot” in 1678, was born. 1830: At the official opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Britain’s first railway fatality occurred when MP William Huskisson stepped from a train to shake hands with the Duke of Wellington – and was run over. 1859: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, British engineer, died. He designed the Clifton suspension bridge and the three largest ships in the world. 1890: Agatha Christie, creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and writer of detective stories, was born in Torquay. 1916: Tanks went into battle for the first time for the British Army, in the Somme. 1935: At a Nuremberg rally, Adolf Hitler issued new decrees which relegated Jews to sub-human status and made the swastika the official German flag. 1974: Civil war broke out in Beirut between Christians and Muslims. 1985: Tony Jacklin’s European team won the Ryder Cup from the US. 2008: Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders signed a landmark deal under which the leader of nearly three decades was to cede some power. ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: The elusive snow leopard - long considered endangered - was upgraded to ‘vulnerable’, though conservationists warned it does not mean they are safe.