All British Historical Anniversaries in December 2021

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 2021

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

601st Henry V of England enters Paris. (1st Dec 1420)
102nd 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)
96th World War I aftermath: The final Locarno Treaty is signed in London, establishing post-war territorial settlements. (1st Dec 1925)
154th At Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States. (1st Dec 1867)
128th 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)
108th Extension of London Underground Bakerloo Line between Baker Street and Paddington opens. (1st Dec 1913)
108th Bakerloo Line extension from Edgware Road to Paddington opens. (1st Dec 1913)
45th Punk rock band the Sex Pistols achieve public notoriety as they unleash several swearwords live on Bill Grundy's TV show. (1st Dec 1976)
11th Heavy snow and freezing temperatures now affect most of the country, with road, rail and air services disrupted and thousands of schools shut. Gatwick and Edinburgh Airports are both closed. (1st Dec 2010)
78th (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)
178th the world's first Christmas cards, commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London from the artist John Callcott Horsley, are sent. (1st Dec 1843)
266th The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire. (2nd Dec 1755)
66th Barnes rail crash, Barnes, South London: collision due to signal error and consequent fire: 13 killed, 35 injured. (2nd Dec 1955)
95th The Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin ends the martial law that had been declared due to General Strike. (2nd Dec 1926)
205th Spa Fields riots: a mass meeting of conspirators dispersed by the police. (2nd Dec 1816)
78th First "Bevin Boys" selected from conscripts to work in the coal mines. (2nd Dec 1943)
78th 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)
77th World War II: The Home Guard is stood down. (3rd Dec 1944)
95th Agatha Christie disappears from her home in Surrey for 11 days. The reason for the disappearance has never been explained. (3rd Dec 1926)
11th The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS?Ark Royal returns to Portsmouth for the last time before being decommissioned. The amphibious warfare ship HMS?Albion is announced as her successor as the Royal Navy's flagship. (3rd Dec 2010)
276th Charles Edward Stewart's army reaches Derby, its furthest point during the second Jacobite Rising. (4th Dec 1745)
230th The first edition of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, is published. (4th Dec 1791)
50th McGurk's Bar bombing: An Ulster Volunteer Force bomb kills 15 civilians and wounds 17 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (4th Dec 1971)
50th Fifteen people are killed and seventeen others injured in a bomb attack that destroys McGurk's Bar in Belfast. (4th Dec 1971)
6th 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)
13th Lapland New Forest, a Christmas themed park in Dorset closed after scores of complaints about the poor quality of its attractions. (4th Dec 2008)
3rd The 100,000 Genomes Project is completed by scientists in Cambridge. (5th Dec 2018)
255th In London, James Christie holds his first sale. (5th Dec 1766)
69th 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)
63rd 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)
63rd 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)
7th Scotland reduces its drink-drive limit from 80?mg to 50?mg, bringing the country's legal limit into line with much of mainland Europe. (5th Dec 2014)
47th Party Political Broadcast, the final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, was broadcast on BBC 2. (5th Dec 1974)
373rd 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)
124th London becomes the world's first city to host licenced taxicabs. (6th Dec 1897)
100th The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed in London by British and Irish representatives. (6th Dec 1921)
99th One year to the day after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State comes into existence. (6th Dec 1922)
80th World War II: The United Kingdom declares war on Finland in support of the Soviet Union during the Continuation War. (6th Dec 1941)
46th An IRA Active Service Unit takes a couple hostage in Balcombe Street, London. (6th Dec 1975)
98th General election is won by the Conservative Party under Stanley Baldwin but without enough seats to form a majority. (6th Dec 1923)
46th 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)
16th David Cameron, 39-year-old MP for Witney in Oxfordshire, is elected as Leader of the Conservative Party, defeating David Davis. (6th Dec 2005)
289th The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London. (7th Dec 1732)
210th The first of the Ratcliff Highway murders, in homes half a mile apart near Wapping in London. (7th Dec 1811)
5th HMS Illustrious, the last Invincible-class aircraft carrier, makes its final voyage out of Portsmouth Harbour to a ship recycling company in Turkey. (7th Dec 2016)
133rd John Boyd Dunlop patents the pneumatic bicycle tyre. (7th Dec 1888)
66th Clement Attlee resigns as leader of the Labour Party after twenty years. (7th Dec 1955)
2nd Virgin Trains cease operations on the West Coast Main Line after running trains on the line since 9 March 1997. They are replaced the following day by Avanti West Coast. (7th Dec 2019)
15th A tornado hits London. (7th Dec 2006)
361st 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)
107th World War I: The Battle of the Falkland Islands results in a decisive British victory over the German fleet. (8th Dec 1914)
157th 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)
157th 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)
61st The first episode of the world's longest-running television soap opera Coronation Street is broadcast. (9th Dec 1960)
60th Tanganyika becomes independent from Britain. (9th Dec 1961)
48th The Sunningdale Agreement was signed by British and Irish politicians. (9th Dec 1973)
9th University College Falmouth, Cornwall, is granted full university status as Falmouth University, a creative arts institution. (9th Dec 2012)
11th The coalition government wins a vote in the House of Commons to raise the cap on university tuition fees in England to ?9,000 with a majority of 21. (9th Dec 2010)
18th The M6 Toll motorway opens, giving the United Kingdom its first toll motorway and providing a northern by-pass for the congested section of the M6 motorway through the West Midlands conurbation. (9th Dec 2003)
16th The last Routemaster buses in regular service in London run, on route 159. (9th Dec 2005)
480th Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham are executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII. (10th Dec 1541)
337th 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)
114th 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)
85th Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signs the Instrument of Abdication. (10th Dec 1936)
68th 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)
153rd Whitaker's Almanack first published. (10th Dec 1868)
153rd The world's first traffic lights are installed in Parliament Square in London. (10th Dec 1868)
253rd Royal Academy founded in London, with Joshua Reynolds as its first President. (10th Dec 1768)
20th Timothy Hunt and Paul Nurse win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Leland H. Hartwell "for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle". (10th Dec 2001)
18th The official inflation target measure is changed to the Consumer Price Index figure from RPIX. (10th Dec 2003)
739th Llywelyn the Last, the last native Prince of Wales, is killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, south Wales. (11th Dec 1282)
90th 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)
85th 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)
16th Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal fire: explosions tear through Buncefield oil storage facility located near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. (11th Dec 2005)
110th King George V and Mary of Teck are enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India. (12th Dec 1911)
82nd HMS Duchess (H64) sinks after a collision with HMS Barham off the coast of Scotland with the loss of 124 men (12th Dec 1939)
81st 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)
80th World War II: UK declares war on Bulgaria. (12th Dec 1941)
444th Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage. (12th Dec 1577)
90th The Abbey Road Studios in London are opened by Sir Edward Elgar. (12th Dec 1931)
7th Disruption is caused at airports across the country due to a computer system failure at the UK's air traffic control centre, causing hundreds of delays and over eighty cancellations at Heathrow. Delays and cancellations continue the following day. (12th Dec 2014)
66th Christopher Cockerell patents his design of hovercraft. (12th Dec 1955)
86th 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)
55th 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)
155th 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)
2nd In the general election, the Conservative Party, led by Boris Johnson, achieves a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons, while the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, suffers major losses resulting in their lowest proportion of seats since 1935. The Scottish National Party wins a landslide in Scotland, winning 48 of the 59 seats. (12th Dec 2019)
18th Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones receives a knighthood from Charles, Prince of Wales. (12th Dec 2003)
378th English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire. (13th Dec 1643)
252nd 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)
154th Fenian bomb explodes in Clerkenwell, London, killing six. (13th Dec 1867)
11th Mark Weston, the first person to face a second murder trial in the United Kingdom following the abolition of the double jeopardy rule in England and Wales, is convicted of killing a woman in Oxfordshire in 1995. He is sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum term of 13 years. (13th Dec 2010)
479th Princess Mary Stuart becomes Mary, Queen of Scots. (14th Dec 1542)
125th The Glasgow Underground Railway is opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company. (14th Dec 1896)
103rd 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)
17th Millau Viaduct in France, designed by British architect Norman Foster, is opened. (14th Dec 2004)
115th The London Underground's Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway opens. (15th Dec 1906)
310th Occasional Conformity Act bars noncomformists and Roman Catholics from public office. (15th Dec 1711)
6th 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)
47th 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)
45th 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)
95th Legitimacy Act 1926 permits the legitimisation of a child born to unmarried parents by their subsequent marriage to each other. (15th Dec 1926)
12th Paedophile nursery worker Vanessa George is jailed indefinitely after previously admitting to seven sexual assaults and six counts of making and distributing indecent pictures of children. (15th Dec 2009)
3rd Tolls for crossing the Severn Estuary between England and Wales are scrapped, 800 years after they were first introduced. (16th Dec 2018)
590th Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris. (16th Dec 1431)
368th Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. (16th Dec 1653)
332nd Convention Parliament: The Declaration of Right is embodied in the Bill of Rights. (16th Dec 1689)
107th World War I: German battleships under Franz von Hipper bombard the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough. (16th Dec 1914)
5th A riot occurs at HMP Birmingham, described as the worst since the Strangeways prison riot and protest of 1990. Authorities regain control of all four wings after more than 12 hours of disorder involving 600 inmates. (16th Dec 2016)
66th The Queen opens a new terminal at London Airport. (16th Dec 1955)
96th Construction of the Queensway Tunnel beneath the River Mersey begins. (16th Dec 1925)
83rd 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)
128th 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)
18th 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 environmentalist groups. (16th Dec 2003)
483rd Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England. (17th Dec 1538)
444th 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)
303rd Great Britain declares war on Spain. (17th Dec 1718)
133rd The Lyric Theatre (London) opens. (17th Dec 1888)
7th Libby Lane becomes the new Bishop of Stockport and the first woman to become a bishop of the Church of England since the change to canon law just a month ago. (17th Dec 2014)
53rd 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)
53rd Official opening of first phase of the Royal Mint's new Llantrisant plant in South Wales. (17th Dec 1968)
109th The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson. (18th Dec 1912)
52nd 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)
80th National Service Act passed: All men and women aged 18-60 are now liable to some form of national service. (18th Dec 1941)
15th A man is arrested near Felixstowe on suspicion of murdering five Ipswich prostitutes. (18th Dec 2006)
14th Nick Clegg won the Liberal Democrats leadership election. (18th Dec 2007)
12th After 27 years, Sir Terry Wogan presents his final breakfast show on BBC Radio 2. (18th Dec 2009)
3rd Tens of thousands of passengers at Gatwick Airport experience flight disruption due to reported drone sightings over the airfield. Police were still hunting for the drone operator the following day. Two days later, the runway reopens for passengers. (19th Dec 2018)
867th Henry II of England is crowned at Westminster Abbey. (19th Dec 1154)
415th 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)
97th The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London. (19th Dec 1924)
89th BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service (19th Dec 1932)
58th Zanzibar gains independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy, under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah. (19th Dec 1963)
7th A High Court judge orders the winding up of Hereford United football club following a petition from the Inland Revenue over unpaid tax debts. (19th Dec 2014)
8th Part of the ornate ceiling of the Apollo Theatre in London collapses during a performance, injuring at least 81 people in the audience. (19th Dec 2013)
16th The Civil Partnership Act 2004 comes into force, granting same-sex couples similar legal rights to those of married heterosexuals. The first civil partnership in the United Kingdom under the normal application of the new rules is registered at Belfast City Hall between Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close. The first partnerships in Scotland are registered on 20 December and in England on 21 December. (19th Dec 2005)
13th 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)
829th 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)
66th Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales. (20th Dec 1955)
108th Serious fire at Portsmouth Dockyard destroys the semaphore tower. (20th Dec 1913)
66th Cardiff becomes the official capital of Wales. (20th Dec 1955)
93rd the first Harry Ramsden's fish and chip shop opens in Yorkshire. (20th Dec 1928)
177th The Rochdale Pioneers commence business at their cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement. (21st Dec 1844)
149th HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth. (21st Dec 1872)
58th 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)
65th The Government of Northern Ireland under Basil Brooke uses the Special Powers Act to intern several hundred republican suspects without trial. (21st Dec 1956)
56th 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)
47th The house of former British Prime Minister Ted Heath is attacked by members of the Provisional IRA. (22nd Dec 1974)
333rd 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)
56th A 70 mph speed limit is imposed on British roads. (22nd Dec 1965)
105th The Sopwith Camel biplane fighter aircraft makes its maiden flight at Brooklands. (22nd Dec 1916)
20th British-born terrorist, Richard Reid, attempts to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to Miami International Airport, using explosives hidden in his shoes. (22nd Dec 2001)
102nd Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 becomes law in the UK. (23rd Dec 1919)
84th First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber. (23rd Dec 1937)
57th 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)
8th 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)
955th William the Conqueror is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London. (24th Dec 1066)
97th Air crash at Croydon air field - 8 dead. (24th Dec 1924)
107th Britain is bombed for the first time when a German aircraft drops a bomb over Dover. (24th Dec 1914)
207th 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)
56th A meteorite shower falls on Barwell, Leicestershire. (24th Dec 1965)
63rd 1958 Bristol Britannia 312 crash: a BOAC Bristol Britannia airliner crashes near Winkton in Hampshire on a routine test flight. (24th Dec 1958)
93rd first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols to be broadcast from King's College, Cambridge, by BBC Radio. (24th Dec 1928)
71st 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)
6th Storm Eva causes more intensive flooding in northern England, with homes evacuated in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and rivers overflowing in Manchester and Leeds. (25th Dec 2015)
7th Parcel delivery firm City Link announces that it has gone into administration after substantial losses. The general secretary of the RMT union calls the timing of the announcement a "disgrace". (25th Dec 2014)
65th PG Tips launches its long-running TV advertising campaign using a chimpanzees' tea party. (25th Dec 1956)
85th 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)
886th Coronation of King Stephen of England. (26th Dec 1135)
161st 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)
75th David Lean's film of Great Expectations released. (26th Dec 1946)
73rd the first series of Reith Lectures, Bertrand Russell on Authority and the Individual, begins broadcasting on the BBC Home Service. (26th Dec 1948)
318th Portugal and England sign the Methuen Treaty which gives preference to Portuguese imported wines into England. (27th Dec 1703)
190th Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate the theory of evolution. (27th Dec 1831)
185th The worst ever avalanche in England occurs at Lewes, Sussex, killing 8 people. (27th Dec 1836)
208th 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)
56th The British oil platform Sea Gem collapses in the North Sea, killing 13 of the 32 men on it. (27th Dec 1965)
13th The first wave of Woolworths store closures sees 200 stores shut their doors, with the closure to be completed in the new year unless a buyer for the company is found in the next few days. (27th Dec 2008)
956th Westminster Abbey is consecrated. (28th Dec 1065)
142nd 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)
71st The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom's first National Park. (28th Dec 1950)
103rd 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)
3rd HMV goes into administration for the second time (the first was in 2013). (28th Dec 2018)
851st Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II. (29th Dec 1170)
161st The first British seagoing iron-clad warship, HMS Warrior is launched. (29th Dec 1860)
81st In The Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe fire-bombs London, killing almost 200 civilians. (29th Dec 1940)
7th The Scottish government confirms a case of Ebola being treated in a Glasgow hospital. The victim is a healthcare worker who had travelled back from Sierra Leone the previous day. (29th Dec 2014)
46th 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)
11th Greater Gabbard wind farm first generates electricity. (29th Dec 2010)
103rd the Sunday Express newspaper published for the first time. (29th Dec 1918)
15th The British government pays off the Anglo-American loan made in 1946. (29th Dec 2006)
12th Akmal Shaikh becomes the first EU native to be executed in China in 50 years. Gordon Brown releases a statement indicating that he is appalled. (29th Dec 2009)
561st Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield. (30th Dec 1460)
168th 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)
102nd Lincoln's Inn in London admits its first female bar student. (30th Dec 1919)
10th 2011 was the second warmest year on record for the UK, according to the Met Office. Only 2006, with an average temperature of 9.73C (49.5F), was warmer than 2011's average temperature of 9.62C (49.3F). (30th Dec 2011)
421st The British East India Company is chartered. (31st Dec 1600)
361st James II of England is named Duke of Normandy by Louis XIV of France. (31st Dec 1660)
326th A window tax is imposed in England, causing many householders to brick up windows to avoid the tax. (31st Dec 1695)
98th The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC. (31st Dec 1923)
61st The farthing coin ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom. (31st Dec 1960)
48th 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)
76th Britain receives its first shipment of bananas since the beginning of the war. (31st Dec 1945)
55th Thieves steal millions of pounds worth of paintings from Dulwich Art Gallery in London. (31st Dec 1966)
2nd The first opposite-sex couples are granted civil partnerships in England and Wales by amended legislation under the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc.) Act of 26 March. (31st Dec 2019)


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