On this day
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, probably the greatest British engineer, died. He designed the Clifton suspension bridge and many others, and also designed and built the three largest ships in the world.
1871: The Army and Navy Co-operative began the first mail order business to meet the needs of its members in Britain and overseas.
1890: Agatha Christie, creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and writer of detective stories which sold more than 300 million copies, was born in Torquay.
1916: Tanks went into battle for the first time for the British Army, in the Somme. Designed by Sir Ernest Swinton, they revolutionised battle strategy.
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 who had long dominated the competition.
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.
2017: The elusive snow leopard - long considered endangered was upgraded to ‘vulnerable’, though conservationists warned the new classification does not mean they are safe.