on this DAY
1812: One of the worst winters on record began – and caused the defeat of Napoleon. During his retreat from Moscow, troops endured temperatures as low as -37C for 27 consecutive days.
1841: Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was born. He was 61 when he was crowned and gave his name to the Edwardian Age in English manners, fashion and literature.
1859: Flogging in the British Army was abolished.
1938: ‘Kristallnacht’ in Germany, when Nazis burned 267 synagogues and destroyed thousands of Jewish homes and businesses.
1940: Neville Chamberlain died just months after resigning as Britain’s wartime prime minister.
1953: Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, author of Under Milk Wood, died aged 39, after falling into an alcoholic coma.
1979: A computer fault led to a fullscale nuclear alert in the US.
1989: The East German government lifted the Iron Curtain to allow free travel through the Berlin Wall. Thousands of East Berliners swarmed through the crossing points.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Fertility experts celebrated IVF’s 40th anniversary.