Sues Blog

Days in the Past

May 18th


1919 Birthday of Dame Margot Fonteyn, British ballerina and partner of Rudolph Nureyexv

1954 European Convention on Human Rights comes into effect.

1975 First woman, Japanese Junko Tabei, to reach summit of world’s highest peak, Mount Everest in Nepal (29,029 ft)

May 17th

1510 Death of great Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli aged 65 – penniless

1861 Birth of package holiday

1993 Rebecca Stephens first British woman to climb Everest

May 16th

1989 First successful hole in the heart operation carried out.

1991 Frances’s first female prime minister Edith Cresson

May 15th

1918 World’s first regular air mail service begins between Washington and New York

1928 Medics take to the Skies of Oz. Medical care went airbourne in Australia today with the launching of a Flying Doctor Service.

1936 Amy Johnson arrives in England after a record breaking return flight from London to Cape Town

1991 Cyclone death toll in Bangladesh climbs towards 250,000.

May 14th

1796 British physician Edward Jenner carries out the first successful vaccination against smallpox

1847 HMS Driver completes the first round the world voyage by a steamship

1900 The second modern Olympic Games open in Paris

1948 Birth of Israel – 400,000 Jews proclaim Zionist state of Israel

May 13th

1981 Pope John Paul II shot I Vatican by Turkish gunman but survived

May 12th

Edward Lear

1812 Birth of Edward Lear

1820 Birth of Florence Nightingale

1969 Minimum voting age in Britain lowered from 21 to 18

May 11th

1812 British prime minister Spencer Perceval is shot dead in the House of Commons

1904 Birth of Salvador Dali

1941 Blitz batters London

1956 Elvis Presley first enters UK charts with Heartbreak Hotel

1985 The main stand at Bradford City football ground in norther England catches fire, killing 40 and injuring more than 170

1991 Cyclone death toll in Bangladesh climbs towards 250,000.

May 10th

1849 Death of Hokusai, great Japanese printmaker

1899 Birth of Fred Astaire, American actor, dancer and singer.

May 9th

1860 Birth of J.M. Barrie Sottish dramatist – best known as writer of Peter Pan.

1911 British parliament agrees to Home Rule for Ireland

May 7th

1840 Birth of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky

1926 The voting age of women in Britain reduced from 30 to 21.

1945 Surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allies

2010 First Coalition Gov in UK since WW II led by Conservative party leader David Cameron

May 6th

1856 Birth of Sigmund Freud Austrian pioneer of psychoanalysis

1877 Sioux chief Crazy Horse surrenders and gives up all claim to Nebraska (Wild Wild West)

1910 George V accedes to throne on death of King Edward VII

1915 Birth of Orson Welles (Time Machine)

1937 The German transatlantic airship Hindenburg exploded while landing in New Jersey killing 35 of 97 aboard.

1954 Four minute mile broken by Roger Bannister.

May 5th

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1818 Birth of Karl Marx

1865 First train robbery carried out – Ohio, USA

1963 Launch of Britain’s first satellite

1967 Flower-power anthem ‘San Francisco’ enters US singles charts

May 4th

1852 Birth of Alice Liddell – inspiration for Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass books.

1926 First ever General Stike – Britain comes to a standstill.

1970 Four students shot dead by US National Guardsmen at massed anti-war protest. 2 more shot dead at Jackson State University, Mississippi – nationwide demonstrations following President Richard Nixon sending US troops into Cambodia week before.

1979 Maggie Thatcher moves into No. 10!

May 3rd

1915 In Flanders fields the poppies blow – written by Canadian poet, John McCrae, this day.

1937 Gone with the Wind writer Margaret Mitchell wins a Pulitzer Prize for this her first novel

2008 Over 84,000 die as Cyclone Nargis sweeps through Myanmar

May 2nd

1519 Death of Leonardo da Vinci – Florentine painter – as famous for his scientific brilliance as for his art

1729 Birthday of Catherine II Empress of Russia – gained throne in 1762 after coup in which husband Peter III was murdered.

1904 Birthday of Bing Crosby

1975 Birthday of David Beckham, English footballer

May 1st

1851 Queen Victoria opens Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London.

1873 Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone died of malaria in central Africa aged 60.

1904 Death of Dvorak, composer of New World Symphony.

1931 Then tallest building in the world, Empire State Building in New York, opened by US President Herbert Hoover.

1967 Elvis Presley married Priscila Beaulieu.

1997 Tony Blair elected UK Prime Minister.

April 29th

1980 Death of Alfred Hitchcock ‘Drama is life with the dull bits cut out’. Through films like Psycho, Vertigo, and The Birds, legendary director proved the master of his art.

2011 Prince William marries Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

April 28th

1770 Captain Cook lands at Botany Bay

1789 Mutiny on the Bounty

2009 Mexico confirms the outbreak of swine flu in humans

April 27th

Ferdinand Magellan

1521 Death of Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan at hand of locals in Philippines. (Tudor Explorers)

1828 London Zoo ‘inauguration’ – open to general public soon after.

1937 Opening of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

1986 Chernobyl. Meltdown in nuclear reactor following fire at Chernobyl nuclear power station, Ukraine. No word of warning from Soviet authorities as radiation spread to neighbouring countries.


1791 Samuel Morse American inventor of the magnetic telegraph and Morse code

April 26th

1900 Massive fire makes 12,000 homeless in Hull and Ottawa area.

1937 Fascists unleash terror on Guernica. Civil war in Spain – bombing by German planes of medieval Basque town of Guernica – German and Italian forces supporting rebel Nationalist forces of Fascist leader General Franco.

1994 First Multi-racial elections in South Africa after three and a half centuries of white domination.  Nelson Mandela of ANC tipped to become president.

Word of the Day

Illation – a deduction or conclusion

April 24

1660 The English Parliament votes for restoration of monarchy.

1719 Robinson Crusoe published in London.

1953 Scientists (British Francis Crick and American James Watson) crack the genetic code – publication of paper establishing structure and function of DNA.

1964 Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen loses her head to thieves.

1559 Birthday of Oliver Cromwell – Lord Protector of England 1653 – 8.

Word of the Day

Ikebana – the art of Japanese flower arrangement.

April 24

1858 Ben is back. The best and biggest bell in the world, Big Ben, is at last ready to behung in the clock tower of Westminster Palace, at 2nd attempt.

1949 The rationing of sweets in post-war Britain comes to an end, but is reintroduced 4 months later due to unsustainable demand

1986 Death of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, for whom Ed VIII gave up his thrown. She was 89

1942 Birthday of Barbara Streisand – Oscar winning star of Funny Girl

Word of the Day

Zymosis – fermentation

From the BBC website today:

It’s 30 years ago to the day that the Hubble telescope was launched – and to celebrate its birthday, the veteran observatory has produced another astonishing image of the cosmos.

This one is of a star-forming region close to our Milky Way Galaxy, about 163,000 light-years from Earth.

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