On this DAY
65 BC: Horace, Roman poet, was born in Venusian Apulia. 1542: Mary, Queen of Scots, was born at Linlithgow Palace. 1733: A Dorset man reported seeing a polished silver disc in the sky – the first known sighting of a UFO. 1854: Pope Pius IX declared that Christ’s mother, the Virgin Mary, was preserved from all sin from the moment she was conceived. 1859: Thomas de Quincey, essayist, died in Scotland. 1864: The Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon at Bristol, designed by Brunel, was opened. 1941: Britain and the United States declared war on Japan. 1980: John Lennon was shot dead in New York by Mark David Chapman. 1991: Leaders of Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine formed a “commonwealth of independent states” and pronounced the Soviet Union dead. ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: A YouTube prankster freed by a fire crew after using Polyfilla to ‘cement’ his head inside a microwave was warned against risking his life for ‘other people’s entertainment’.