Leicester Mercury

On this DAY


1718: The first machine gun was patented by London lawyer James Puckle who, as a keen fisherman, intended to use it at sea.

1800: George III survived two assassinat­ion attempts in one day. 1858: The present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (the third on the site) was opened.

1936: Amy Johnson arrived in England after a record-breaking 12-day, 15-hour flight from London to Cape Town and back. 1940: Nylon stockings went on sale in America. In the first eight hours, 72,000 pairs were sold in New York city alone.

1941: Britain’s first jet-propelled aircraft, the GlosterWhi­ttle E28/39, flew for the first time.

1988: Soviet troops began leaving Afghanista­n after eight years of occupation.

1991: Edith Cresson became the first female prime minister of France. ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Ryanair cut more than 250 jobs across its offices in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Poland amid the collapse in demand for flights.

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