Western Daily Press - - 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.

1859: Flog­ging in the Bri­tish Army was abol­ished.

1922: The SS – Schutzstaffel or “Pro­tec­tion Squad” – was formed in Ger­many.

1938: “Kristall­nacht” in Ger­many, when Nazis burned 267 syn­a­gogues and de­stroyed thou­sands of Jew­ish homes and busi­nesses, smash­ing win­dows – which gave the night its name.

1953: Welsh poet Dy­lan Thomas, au­thor of Un­der Milk Wood, died aged 39, af­ter fall­ing into an al­co­holic coma fol­low­ing 18 stiff whiskies.

1979: A com­puter fault led to a full-scale nu­clear alert in the United States.

1989: The East Ger­man govern­ment lifted the Iron Cur­tain to al­low free travel through the Ber­lin Wall.

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