On this day: First British Grand Prix takes place

EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

On this day in 1948, the first British racing Grand Prix at Silverstone took place. Picture: Getty Images
On this day in 1948, the first British racing Grand Prix at Silverstone took place. Picture: Getty Images
On this day in 1948, the first British racing Grand Prix at Silverstone took place. Picture: Getty Images

490BC: The original marathon was run by a messenger who hot-footed it to Athens from the Battle of Marathon, in which the Greeks defeated the Persians. “Rejoice, we conquer, ” he gasped then dropped dead.

935: Saint Wenceslas was murdered by his brother, Boleslaus I of Bohemia.

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1347: Calais surrendered to the English in the Hundred Years War.

1362: Guillam de Grimoard was elected as Pope Urban V.

1396: Battle of the Clans on the North Inch at Perth, when the feuding Kay and Chattan clans chose 30 of their men to fight each other armed only with swords and bows and arrows.

1448: Christian I was crowned king of Denmark.

1542: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered California, at San Diego Bay.

1665: Thousands fled from London, as news broke that 7,000 had died in one week from bubonic plague in the worst epidemic since the Black Death.

1687: Venetians took Athens from the Turks.

1745: The anthem God Save the King was first performed at Drury Lane Theatre, London, when news reached the south of the Jacobites’ victory over the Hanoverian forces at the Battle of Prestonpans.

1785: Napoleon Bonaparte, aged 16, graduated from the military academy in Paris. He was 42nd in a class of 51.

1859: The US Navy abolished flogging as a punishment.

1865: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became Britain’s first practising woman physician and surgeon.

1867: Toronto became the capital of Ontario.

1887: The Huang Ho River in China flooded, causing around 1.5 million deaths.

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1894: Simon Marks and Tom spencer went into partnership, opening their first “Penny Bazaar” in Leeds, the forerunner to the Marks & Spencer’s retail empire.

1920: In the “Black Sox Scandal”, eight members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team were indicted for throwing the world series – one of the biggest scandals in the history of the sport.

1923: The Radio Times magazine was first published, carrying details of radio programmes.

1924: Lieutenants Smith and Nelson, in US army Douglas aircraft, completed the first flight round the world, a total of 26,103 miles with 57 stops.

1933: British actress Greer Garson married civil servant Edward Snelson

1948: The first British motor racing Grand Prix at Silverstone took place.

1961: Syria seceded from the United Arab Republic.

1978: Pieter Botha became prime minister of South Africa.

1989: The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Information Bureau announced it had discovered a cure for a hangover – celery.

1992: Lord Tebbit accused the Germans of a conspiracy to support the franc while allowing sterling to crash out of the ERM.

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1994: More than 900 people drowned when the ferry Estonia sank in the Baltic.

1996: At Ascot, Frankie Dettori became the first jockey to ride all seven winners at a race meeting in Britain.

2000: Ariel Sharon visited the al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem.

2008: Spanish banking giant Santander announced it was to take over the £20 billion savings business and branch network of troubled Bradford & Bingley.


Mira Sorvino, actress, 48; Brigitte Bardot, actress and animal rights campaigner, 82; Peter Brookes, cartoonist, 72; Jim Diamond, Scottish singer, 62; Hilary Duff, American actress and singer, 28; Janeane Garofalo, actress and comedian, 51; Mika Hakkinen, racing driver, 47; Sir Jeremy Isaacs, general director, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 1988-97, 83; Helen Shapiro, singer, 69; Jon Snow, broadcaster, 68; Naomi Watts, actress, 47.


Births: 1573 Caravaggio, artist; 1768 John “Gentleman” Jackson, pugilist; 1888 Herman Cyril McNeile (“Sapper”), creator of Bulldog Drummond; 1902 Ed Sullivan, American TV presenter; 1909 Al Capp, cartoonist; 1916 Peter Finch, actor; 1920 Alan Davie CBE, Grangemouth-born artist; 1924 Marcelo Mastroianni, Italian film star; 1938 Ben E King, American soul singer (the Drifters); 1952 Sylvia Kristel, Dutch actress.

Deaths: AD929 King Wenceslaus of Bohemia (martyred); 1582 George Buchanan, historian of Scotland, tutor of James VI; 1895 Louis Pasteur, chemist; 1953 Edwin Hubble, astronomer; 1959 Gerard Hoffnung, humorist, artist, musician; 1960 Sylvia Pankhurst, feminist; 1964 Arthur “Harpo” Marx, comic; 1966 Andre Breton, painter; 1973 WH Auden, poet; 1978 Pope John Paul I; 1989 Ferdinand Marcos, former president of Philippines.