On this DAY
1741: A weary Handel finished his Messiah, 24 days after he had started it. Supplied with the libretto, he confined himself in his room at Brook Street, London, living almost entirely on coffee until he completed the music.
1812: Napoleon entered Moscow, which had been abandoned by the Russians and their scorched earth policy. But winter was approaching and Napoleon soon had to retreat.
1852: The Duke of Wellington, English military commander, the ‘Iron Duke’, victor at Waterloo, statesman and Tory Prime Minister, died aged 83.
1886: The typewriter ribbon was patented by George Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee.
1891: The first penalty kick in an English League football game was taken by Heath of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Accrington.
1927: Isadora Duncan, the American dancer, was strangled by her scarf in Nice when the fringe caught in the wheel of a sports car.
1964: The British daily newspaper the Daily Herald ceased publication and was replaced by The Sun. 1974: Giant pandas Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching arrived at London Zoo.
1982: Princess Grace of Monaco, also known as American actress Grace Kelly, died in hospital without regaining consciousness after a car crash the previous day.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: China was in mourning following the death of the world’s oldest panda, Basi, at the age of 37.