List of Historical Anniversaries

I often wonder what significant anniversaries are due at some point in the future as some of them might be of interest as triggers for blog posts or visits somewhere. However, it is often difficult to find out quickly what events have significant anniversaries - hence this section on the website.

By "significant anniversaries", I mean dates that are not, for example, the 73rd anniversary of something, but the 50th, 100th, 200th etc.

It should help to flag up interesting events.

Anniversaries during December 2018

Note: This page lists ALL anniversaries, not just the key dates.
For that more useful list, click here.

AnniversaryDetails
598th Henry V of England enters Paris. (1st Dec 1420)
99th Lady Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom (she had been elected to that position on November 28). (1st Dec 1919)
93rd World War I aftermath: The final Locarno Treaty is signed in London, establishing post-war territorial settlements. (1st Dec 1925)
28th Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed. (1st Dec 1990)
151st At Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States. (1st Dec 1867)
27th Thousands of British shops, including retail giants Asda and Tesco, defy trading laws and open their doors on a Sunday in a bid to boost trade that has been badly hit by the ongoing recession. (1st Dec 1991)
125th Arthur Conan Doyle surprises the reading public by revealing in the story The Adventure of the Final Problem, published in this month's Strand Magazine, that his character Sherlock Holmes had apparently died at the Reichenbach Falls on 4 May 1891. (1st Dec 1893)
105th Extension of London Underground Bakerloo Line between Baker Street and Paddington opens. (1st Dec 1913)
105th Bakerloo Line extension from Edgware Road to Paddington opens. (1st Dec 1913)
32nd The government launches an inquiry into financial irregularities at Guinness. (1st Dec 1986)
42nd Punk rock band the Sex Pistols achieve public notoriety as they unleash several swearwords live on Bill Grundy's TV show. (1st Dec 1976)
75th (date uncertain) construction of prototype Mark I Colossus computer, the world's first totally electronic programmable computing device, at the Post Office Research Station, Dollis Hill, to assist in cryptanalysis at Bletchley Park, is completed. (1st Dec 1943)
175th the world's first Christmas cards, commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London from the artist John Callcott Horsley, are sent. (1st Dec 1843)
263rd The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire. (2nd Dec 1755)
19th The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive. (2nd Dec 1999)
63rd Barnes rail crash, Barnes, South London: collision due to signal error and consequent fire: 13 killed, 35 injured. (2nd Dec 1955)
3rd MPs vote 397 to 223 to authorise UK air strikes against Islamic State in Syria (2nd Dec 2015)
92nd The Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin ends the martial law that had been declared due to General Strike. (2nd Dec 1926)
202nd Spa Fields riots: a mass meeting of conspirators dispersed by the police. (2nd Dec 1816)
75th First "Bevin Boys" selected from conscripts to work in the coal mines. (2nd Dec 1943)
75th Pigeons White Vision, Winkie and Tyke become the first recipients of the Dickin Medal, instituted to honour the work of animals in war. (2nd Dec 1943)
30th Health minister Edwina Currie provokes outrage by stating that most of Britain's egg production is infected with the salmonella bacteria, causing an immediate nationwide fall in egg sales. (3rd Dec 1988)
74th World War II: The Home Guard is stood down. (3rd Dec 1944)
92nd Agatha Christie disappears from her home in Surrey for 11 days. The reason for the disappearance has never been explained. (3rd Dec 1926)
273rd Charles Edward Stewart's army reaches Derby, its furthest point during the second Jacobite Rising. (4th Dec 1745)
227th The first edition of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, is published. (4th Dec 1791)
47th McGurk's Bar bombing: An Ulster Volunteer Force bomb kills 15 civilians and wounds 17 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (4th Dec 1971)
38th English rock group Led Zeppelin officially disbands, following the death of drummer John Bonham on September 25th. (4th Dec 1980)
47th Fifteen people are killed and seventeen others injured in a bomb attack that destroys McGurk's Bar in Belfast. (4th Dec 1971)
3rd The Forth Road Bridge in Scotland is closed due to structural defects, and the Scottish Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, declares that it will not be reopened until January 2016. (4th Dec 2015)
10th Karen Matthews, 32, was convicted of the kidnapping her 9-year-old daughter, Shanon, who was kidnapped in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, on 19 February 2008. (4th Dec 2008)
252nd In London, James Christie holds his first sale. (5th Dec 1766)
66th Great Smog of 1952: A cold fog descends upon London, combining with air pollution and killing at least 12,000 in the weeks and months that follow. (5th Dec 1952)
60th Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) is inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh. (5th Dec 1958)
60th The Preston bypass, the UK's first stretch of motorway, opens to traffic for the first time. It is now part of the M6 and M55 motorways (5th Dec 1958)
13th The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect in the United Kingdom, and the first civil partnership is registered there. (5th Dec 2005)
27th The Robert Maxwell Business Empire goes into receivership with 1billion+ debts, exactly one month after Robert Maxwell's death. (5th Dec 1991)
44th Party Political Broadcast, the final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, was broadcast on BBC 2. (5th Dec 1974)
3rd Storm Desmond batters the UK with high-speed winds and heavy rain, causing severe disruption. People are evacuated from their homes as flash flooding sweeps through parts of Cumbria, with police declaring a "major incident". (5th Dec 2015)
370th Colonel Pride of the New Model Army purges the Long Parliament of MPs sympathetic to King Charles I of England, in order for the King's trial to go ahead; came to be known as "Pride's Purge". (6th Dec 1648)
121st London becomes the world's first city to host licenced taxicabs. (6th Dec 1897)
97th The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed in London by British and Irish representatives. (6th Dec 1921)
96th One year to the day after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State comes into existence. (6th Dec 1922)
77th World War II: The United Kingdom declares war on Finland in support of the Soviet Union during the Continuation War. (6th Dec 1941)
43rd An IRA Active Service Unit takes a couple hostage in Balcombe Street, London. (6th Dec 1975)
36th Droppin Well bombing: The Irish National Liberation Army detonate a bomb in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, killing eleven British soldiers and six civilians. (6th Dec 1982)
35th First heart and lung transplant carried out in Britain at Harefield. (6th Dec 1983)
95th General election is won by the Conservative Party under Stanley Baldwin but without enough seats to form a majority. (6th Dec 1923)
30th The last shipbuilding facilities on Wearside, once the largest shipbuilding area in the world, are to close with the loss of 2,400 jobs. (6th Dec 1988)
13th David Cameron, is elected Leader of the Conservative Party, defeating David Davis. (6th Dec 2005)
43rd Balcombe Street Siege: IRA members on the run from police broke into a London flat taking the residents hostage. The siege ended after six days with the gunmen giving themselves up to the police. (6th Dec 1975)
286th The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London. (7th Dec 1732)
12th A tornado strikes Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties. (7th Dec 2006)
207th The first of the Ratcliff Highway murders, in homes half a mile apart near Wapping in London. (7th Dec 1811)
130th John Boyd Dunlop patents the pneumatic bicycle tyre. (7th Dec 1888)
63rd Clement Attlee resigns as leader of the Labour Party after twenty years. (7th Dec 1955)
358th Margaret Hughes becomes the first actress to appear on an English public stage, playing the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare's play Othello. (8th Dec 1660)
32nd British Gas shares floated on the Stock Exchange. The initial public offering of 135p per share values the company at 9 billion, the highest equity offering ever at this time. (8th Dec 1986)
37th Arthur Scargill becomes leader of the National Union of Mineworkers. (8th Dec 1981)
35th The House of Lords votes to allow television broadcast of its proceedings. (8th Dec 1983)
104th World War I: The Battle of the Falkland Islands results in a decisive British victory over the German fleet. (8th Dec 1914)
154th The Clifton Suspension Bridge across the Bristol Avon, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed as a memorial to him, opens to traffic. (8th Dec 1864)
154th James Clerk Maxwell presents his paper A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field to the Royal Society, treating light as an electromagnetic wave. (8th Dec 1864)
58th The first episode of the world's longest-running television soap opera Coronation Street is broadcast. (9th Dec 1960)
57th Tanganyika becomes independent from Britain. (9th Dec 1961)
15th The M6 Toll motorway opens, giving the United Kingdom its first toll motorway. (9th Dec 2003)
45th The Sunningdale Agreement was signed by British and Irish politicians. (9th Dec 1973)
3rd MPs debate whether Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump should be banned from entering the UK after an online petition reaches over 100,000 signatures. This followed Trump making a statement about halting all Muslims from entering the United States, and claims he made that parts of London are "so radicalised the police are afraid for their lives". (9th Dec 2015)
477th Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham are executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII. (10th Dec 1541)
334th Isaac Newton's derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley. (10th Dec 1684)
111th The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clash with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals who have been vivisected. (10th Dec 1907)
82nd Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signs the Instrument of Abdication. (10th Dec 1936)
25th The last shift leaves Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marks the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages. (10th Dec 1993)
15th The official inflation target measure is changed to the Consumer Price Index figure from RPIX. (10th Dec 2003)
65th Winston Churchill wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values". (10th Dec 1953)
2nd Heavy snowfall and strong winds bring widespread disruption to the UK. (10th Dec 2016)
150th Whitaker's Almanack first published. (10th Dec 1868)
150th The world's first traffic lights are installed in Parliament Square in London. (10th Dec 1868)
250th Royal Academy founded in London, with Joshua Reynolds as its first President. (10th Dec 1768)
736th Llywelyn the Last, the last native Prince of Wales, is killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, south Wales. (11th Dec 1282)
87th The British Parliament enacts the Statute of Westminster 1931, establishing legislative equality between the self-governing dominions of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Irish Free State, Dominion of Newfoundland, the Dominion of New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa. (11th Dec 1931)
82nd Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII's abdication as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Dominions beyond the Seas, and Emperor of India becomes effective. (11th Dec 1936)
13th The Buncefield Oil Depot catches fire in Hemel Hempstead, England. (11th Dec 2005)
13th Explosions tear through Buncefield oil storage facility located near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. (11th Dec 2005)
107th King George V and Mary of Teck are enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India. (12th Dec 1911)
79th HMS Duchess (H64) sinks after a collision with HMS Barham off the coast of Scotland with the loss of 124 men (12th Dec 1939)
78th World War II: Approximately 70 people are killed in the Marples Hotel, Fitzalan Square, Sheffield as a result of a German air raid. (12th Dec 1940)
77th World War II: UK declares war on Bulgaria. (12th Dec 1941)
36th Women's peace protest at Greenham Common - 30,000 women hold hands and form a human chain around the 14.5 kilometres perimeter fence. (12th Dec 1982)
12th Peugeot produces its last car at the Ryton Plant signalling the end of mass car production in Coventry, formerly a major centre of the British motor industry. (12th Dec 2006)
441st Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage. (12th Dec 1577)
17th Roy Whiting is found guilty of the murder of Sarah Payne. The judge sentences him to life imprisonment and says that it is a rare case in which he would recommend to the appropriate authorities that life should mean life. It is only the 24th time that such a recommendation has been made in British legal history. (12th Dec 2001)
87th The Abbey Road Studios in London are opened by Sir Edward Elgar. (12th Dec 1931)
63rd Christopher Cockerell patents his design of hovercraft. (12th Dec 1955)
83rd Opening of The De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill on Sea in East Sussex, designed by Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff in the International style. (12th Dec 1935)
52nd Harry Roberts, John Whitney and John Duddy are sentenced to life imprisonment (each with a recommended minimum of thirty years) for the murder of three West London policemen in August. (12th Dec 1966)
152nd The Oaks explosion in the Barnsley seam in Yorkshire kills 361 coal miners; a subsidiary explosion the following day kills 27 rescuers. (12th Dec 1866)
30th 35 people are killed in the Clapham Junction rail crash. (12th Dec 1988)
375th English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire. (13th Dec 1643)
249th Dartmouth College is founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III, on land donated by Royal Governor John Wentworth. (13th Dec 1769)
151st Fenian bomb explodes in Clerkenwell, London, killing six. (13th Dec 1867)
29th The Provisional Irish Republican Army launch an attack on a British Army permanent vehicle checkpoint near Rosslea, Northern Ireland. Two British soldiers are killed and one badly wounded. (13th Dec 1989)
476th Princess Mary Stuart becomes Mary, Queen of Scots. (14th Dec 1542)
122nd The Glasgow Underground Railway is opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company. (14th Dec 1896)
6th Former Labour Party MP Margaret Moran is given a two year supervision and treatment order after falsely claiming 53,000 in expenses. (14th Dec 2012)
100th general election polling held. It is the first national election in the United Kingdom at which women are entitled to vote or stand, and the male franchise is extended. This is known as the "Coupon election" from the letter of endorsement given to candidates of the official (and victorious) Coalition by Bonar Law and Lloyd George. (14th Dec 1918)
112th The London Underground's Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway opens. (15th Dec 1906)
307th Occasional Conformity Act bars noncomformists and Roman Catholics from public office. (15th Dec 1711)
14th David Blunkett resigns as Home Secretary after three-and-a-half years in the role. (15th Dec 2004)
44th New speed limits were introduced on Britain's roads in an attempt to save fuel at a time of Arab fuel embargoes following the Yom Kippur War. (15th Dec 1974)
3rd British astronaut Tim Peake becomes the first Briton under the banner of the European Space Agency to set foot on the International Space Station. (15th Dec 2015)
42nd Denis Healey secures a £2.3 billion loan for Britain from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on condition that £2.5 billion is cut from public expenditure. (15th Dec 1976)
92nd Legitimacy Act 1926 permits the legitimisation of a child born to unmarried parents by their subsequent marriage to each other. (15th Dec 1926)
25th The Downing Street Declaration signed between the UK and Irish governments on the future of Northern Ireland. (15th Dec 1993)
587th Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris. (16th Dec 1431)
365th Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. (16th Dec 1653)
329th Convention Parliament: The Declaration of Right is embodied in the Bill of Rights. (16th Dec 1689)
104th World War I: German battleships under Franz von Hipper bombard the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough. (16th Dec 1914)
27th Stella Rimington is announced as the first female director general of MI5 (16th Dec 1991)
15th The Government announces plans to build a new runway at Stansted Airport in Essex and a short-haul runway at Heathrow Airport sparking anger from environmental groups. (16th Dec 2003)
9th ITV closes its news and information service on Teletext, leaving the ITV channel(s) without such a service for the first time in 35 years. (16th Dec 2009)
34th Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union visits Britain. (16th Dec 1984)
63rd The Queen opens a new terminal at London Airport. (16th Dec 1955)
93rd Construction of the Queensway Tunnel beneath the River Mersey begins. (16th Dec 1925)
80th aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (91) (launched by Cammell Laird in Birkenhead in 1937 under the 1934 build plan) is commissioned into the Royal Navy. (16th Dec 1938)
125th establishment, in Yorkshire, of the Bront? Society, possibly the oldest literary society of this nature, dedicated to establishing what will become the Bront? Parsonage Museum. (16th Dec 1893)
480th Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England. (17th Dec 1538)
441st Francis Drake sails from Plymouth, England, on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for English Queen Elizabeth I. (17th Dec 1577)
300th Great Britain declares war on Spain. (17th Dec 1718)
35th The IRA bombs Harrods Department Store in London, killing six people. (17th Dec 1983)
21st The United Kingdom commences its Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, which extends the state's gun ban to include all handguns-with the exception of antique and show weapons. (17th Dec 1997)
15th The Soham murder trial ends at the Old Bailey in London, with Ian Huntley found guilty of two counts of murder. His girlfriend Maxine Carr is found guilty of perverting the course of justice. (17th Dec 2003)
32nd The world's first heart, lung and liver transplant is carried out at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire. (17th Dec 1986)
130th The Lyric Theatre (London) opens. (17th Dec 1888)
50th Mary Bell, an 11-year-old girl from Newcastle upon Tyne, is sentenced to life detention for the manslaughter of two small boys. (17th Dec 1968)
50th Official opening of first phase of the Royal Mint's new Llantrisant plant in South Wales. (17th Dec 1968)
106th The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson. (18th Dec 1912)
49th Home Secretary James Callaghan's motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years. (18th Dec 1969)
77th National Service Act passed: All men and women aged 18-60 are now liable to some form of national service. (18th Dec 1941)
10th Robert Napper pleaded guilty to killing Rachel Nickell, who was stabbed to death on Wimbledon Common on 15 July 1992. (18th Dec 2008)
9th Heavy snowfall causes widespread disruption across large parts of South East England, East Anglia, the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber. (18th Dec 2009)
34th The government announces the privatisation of the Trustee Savings Bank. (18th Dec 1984)
3rd Britain's last deep coal mine, Kellingley Colliery at Beal, North Yorkshire, closes. (18th Dec 2015)
10th Woolworths announced their 807 UK stores will close by 5 January 2009, putting some 27,000 people out of work. (18th Dec 2008)
864th Henry II of England is crowned at Westminster Abbey. (19th Dec 1154)
412th The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery depart England carrying settlers who found, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States. (19th Dec 1606)
94th The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London. (19th Dec 1924)
86th BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service (19th Dec 1932)
55th Zanzibar gains independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy, under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah. (19th Dec 1963)
34th The Sino-British Joint Declaration, stating that the People's Republic of China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the United Kingdom would restore Hong Kong to China with effect from July 1, 1997 is signed in Beijing by Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher. (19th Dec 1984)
5th Part of the ceiling of the Apollo Theatre in London collapses during a performance, injuring at least 81 people in the audience. (19th Dec 2013)
13th The Civil Partnership Act 2004 comes into force, granting same-sex couples similar legal rights to those of married heterosexuals. (19th Dec 2005)
10th MFI ceases trading, closing all 111 of its stores and leaving its 1,400 workforce redundant. The furniture retailer had been in business since 1964, and had used the MFI name since 1971. (19th Dec 2008)
30th PC Gavin Carlton, 29, is shot dead in Coventry in a siege by two armed bank robbers. His colleague DC Leonard Jakeman is also shot but survives. One of the gunmen gives himself up to police, while the other shoots himself dead. (19th Dec 1988)
826th Richard the Lion-Heart is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third crusade. (20th Dec 1192)
63rd Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales. (20th Dec 1955)
11th Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days. (20th Dec 2007)
37th Penlee lifeboat disaster: The crew of the MV Union Star and the life-boat Solomon Browne sent to rescue them are all killed in heavy seas off Cornwall; some of the bodies are never found. (20th Dec 1981)
105th Serious fire at Portsmouth Dockyard destroys the semaphore tower. (20th Dec 1913)
63rd Cardiff becomes the official capital of Wales. (20th Dec 1955)
90th the first Harry Ramsden's fish and chip shop opens in Yorkshire. (20th Dec 1928)
174th The Rochdale Pioneers commence business at their cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement. (21st Dec 1844)
146th HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth. (21st Dec 1872)
30th A bomb explodes on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270. (21st Dec 1988)
17th The Metropolitan Police storm a cargo ship in the English Channel fearing that it may contain terrorist material. (21st Dec 2001)
55th First episode of the seven-part serial The Daleks broadcast in the Doctor Who series, introducing the alien Daleks (revealed fully in the following week's episode). (21st Dec 1963)
15th Victoria Line on the London Underground closed south of Stockwell for two weeks to allow Asbestos removal at Brixton (21st Dec 2003)
12th Steve Wright is charged on suspicion of murdering five Ipswich prostitutes. (21st Dec 2006)
62nd The Government of Northern Ireland under Basil Brooke uses the Special Powers Act to intern several hundred republican suspects without trial. (21st Dec 1956)
53rd A 70 mph speed limit is applied to all rural roads including motorways for the first time. Previously, there had been no speed limit. (22nd Dec 1965)
44th The house of former British Prime Minister Ted Heath is attacked by members of the Provisional IRA. (22nd Dec 1974)
17th Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63. (22nd Dec 2001)
330th As part of the Glorious Revolution, King James II of England flees England to Paris after being deposed in favour of his nephew, William of Orange and his daughter Mary. (22nd Dec 1688)
19th Westminster Station on the London Underground's Jubilee Line opens. (22nd Dec 1999)
53rd A 70 mph speed limit is imposed on British roads. (22nd Dec 1965)
102nd The Sopwith Camel biplane fighter aircraft makes its maiden flight at Brooklands. (22nd Dec 1916)
99th Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 becomes law in the UK. (23rd Dec 1919)
81st First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber. (23rd Dec 1937)
27th Bohemian Rhapsody returns to the top of the British singles charts after 16 years, with the re-release's proceeds being donated to the Terence Higgins Trust. (23rd Dec 1991)
5th Former MP Denis MacShane is sentenced to six months in jail for expenses fraud after he admitted to submitting 19 false receipts totalling 12,900. (23rd Dec 2013)
5th World War II computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing, who had been chemically castrated in 1952 following his conviction for homosexuality, is given a posthumous royal pardon (23rd Dec 2013)
54th Richard Beeching announces his intention to resign as Chairman of the British Railways Board after three-and-a-half years, during which he proposed the closure of many smaller and financially non-viable railway lines. (23rd Dec 1964)
38th Witnesses report the first of several sightings of unexplained lights near RAF Woodbridge, in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, an incident called "Britain's Roswell" (24th Dec 1980)
952nd William the Conqueror is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London. (24th Dec 1066)
94th Air crash at Croydon air field - 8 dead. (24th Dec 1924)
104th Britain is bombed for the first time when a German aircraft drops a bomb over Dover. (24th Dec 1914)
204th Treaty of Ghent signed by the United Kingdom and the United States ending the War of 1812, however due to the time it takes for news to reach America, fighting continues for weeks. (24th Dec 1814)
53rd A meteorite shower falls on Barwell, Leicestershire. (24th Dec 1965)
60th 1958 Bristol Britannia 312 crash: a BOAC Bristol Britannia airliner crashes near Winkton in Hampshire on a routine test flight. (24th Dec 1958)
90th first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols to be broadcast from King's College, Cambridge, by BBC Radio. (24th Dec 1928)
68th The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, is taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students. It later turns up in Scotland on April 11, 1951. (25th Dec 1950)
33rd Charitable organisation Comic Relief is launched. (25th Dec 1985)
62nd PG Tips launches its long-running TV advertising campaign using a chimpanzees' tea party. (25th Dec 1956)
82nd Princess Alexandra of Kent, daughter of The Duke and Duchess of Kent, is born in London. This will be the last royal birth attended by the Home Secretary. (25th Dec 1936)
883rd Coronation of King Stephen of England. (26th Dec 1135)
158th The first ever inter-club football match takes place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield, England. (26th Dec 1860)
72nd David Lean's film of Great Expectations released. (26th Dec 1946)
20th great Boxing Day Storm: severe gale force winds hit Ireland, southern Scotland and northern England. Roads, railways and electricity are disrupted. (26th Dec 1998)
70th the first series of Reith Lectures, Bertrand Russell on Authority and the Individual, begins broadcasting on the BBC Home Service. (26th Dec 1948)
315th Portugal and England sign the Methuen Treaty which gives preference to Portuguese imported wines into England. (27th Dec 1703)
187th Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate the theory of evolution. (27th Dec 1831)
182nd The worst ever avalanche in England occurs at Lewes, Sussex, killing 8 people. (27th Dec 1836)
21st Protestant paramilitary leader Billy Wright is assassinated in Northern Ireland. (27th Dec 1997)
205th A thick fog blankets London causing the Prince Regent to turn back from a trip to Hatfield House and the Birmingham mail coach to take 7 hours to reach Uxbridge. (27th Dec 1813)
53rd The British oil platform Sea Gem collapses in the North Sea, killing 13 of the 32 men on it. (27th Dec 1965)
953rd Westminster Abbey is consecrated. (28th Dec 1065)
139th The Tay Bridge Disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland collapses as a train passes over it, killing 75. (28th Dec 1879)
68th The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom's first National Park. (28th Dec 1950)
100th Countess Constance Markievicz, while detained in Holloway Prison, becomes the first woman MP elected to (but not to take her seat in) the British House of Commons. (28th Dec 1918)
848th Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II. (29th Dec 1170)
158th The first British seagoing iron-clad warship, HMS Warrior is launched. (29th Dec 1860)
78th In The Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe fire-bombs London, killing almost 200 civilians. (29th Dec 1940)
43rd Two new laws, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Equal Pay Act 1970, came into force aiming to end unequal pay of men and women in the workplace. (29th Dec 1975)
12th The British government pays off the Anglo-American loan made in 1946. (29th Dec 2006)
100th the Sunday Express newspaper published for the first time. (29th Dec 1918)
558th Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield. (30th Dec 1460)
165th A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an Iguanodon created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London. (30th Dec 1853)
99th Lincoln's Inn in London admits its first female bar student. (30th Dec 1919)
418th The British East India Company is chartered. (31st Dec 1600)
358th James II of England is named Duke of Normandy by Louis XIV of France. (31st Dec 1660)
323rd A window tax is imposed in England, causing many householders to brick up windows to avoid the tax. (31st Dec 1695)
95th The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC. (31st Dec 1923)
58th The farthing coin ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom. (31st Dec 1960)
45th As a result of coal shortages caused by industrial action, the electricity consumption reduction measure - the Three-Day Week, announced on 17 December - came into force at midnight. (31st Dec 1973)
73rd Britain receives its first shipment of bananas since the beginning of the war. (31st Dec 1945)
52nd Thieves steal millions of pounds worth of paintings from Dulwich Art Gallery in London. (31st Dec 1966)

 

 

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