On this day: First British Grand Prix takes place

EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

On this day in 1926, driver M Benoist, in a Delage, practises for the first British Grand Prix, held at Brooklands, Surrey. Picture: Getty Images
On this day in 1926, driver M Benoist, in a Delage, practises for the first British Grand Prix, held at Brooklands, Surrey. Picture: Getty Images

1711: Ascot became “Royal” with the attendance of Queen Anne at the races.

1840: Parliament passed an act prohibiting the employment of climbing boys as chimney sweeps.

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1858: Ottawa, the choice of Queen Victoria, was made the capital of Canada.

1888: The revolving door was patented by Theophilus Van Kannel of Philadelphia.

1891: The telephoto lens was patented by a Frenchman, A Duboscq.

1925: British Summer Time became permanent feature with the passing of the Daylight Saving Act.

1926: The first British motor racing Grand Prix was held, at the Brooklands track, over 287 miles.

1941: Soviet planes carried out their first bombing raids against Berlin.

1942: Guadalcanal, in the southern Solomon Islands, was assaulted by United States Marines in one of the most costly Pacific campaigns of the Second World War. It was finally won the following January.

1945: Soviet Union declared war on Japan seven days before Japanese surrendered.

1958: The Litter Act came into force in Britain.

1964: People’s Republic of the Congo was proclaimed.

1988: First issue published of Scotland on Sunday, sister paper of The Scotsman.

1989: A four-mile wide slick of orange algae appeared off the Cornish coast after a heatwave and bathers were warned that it could irritate the skin.

1990: At 12:34 and 56 seconds on this day, 7.8.90, the sequence of numbers ran from 1 to 0. It occurs once each century.

1990: The United States announced it would send troops to Saudi Arabia to defend it against threatened invasion by Iraq.

1992: Britain called for United Nations action to end concentration camp atrocities in Serbia.

1993: More than 4,300 people visited Buckingham Palace on the first day it was open to the public, well down on the 7,000 expected.

1995: Britain’s Jonathan Edwards broke his own world triple jump record twice, becoming the first man to clear 18 metres, when he won gold at the world athletics championships in Gothenburg.

1997: Tony Blair ordered an inquiry into the Labour Party in Paisley after the suicide of MP Gordon McMaster.

1998: The United States embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya killed approximately 212 people.

2007: Baseball star Barry Bonds, of the San Francisco Giants, broke Hank Aaron’s record by after hitting his 756th home run.

2008: Georgia launched a military offensive against South Ossetia to counter the alleged Russian invasion, starting the South Ossetia War.

2011: A survey by the Road Users’ Alliance revealed that Britain had one of the poorest motorway networks in whole of Europe.

2011: Seven people were shot dead following a family dispute in Akron, in the American state of Ohio.

2012: Sir Chris Hoy took the gold medal in the men’s keirin final at the London Games, making him the most successful British Olympian ever.


Paul Lambert, football manager, 46; Greg Chappell MBE, Australian cricketer and commentator, 67; Brian Conley, comedian and actor, 54; Eamonn Darcy, Irish golfer, 63; Bruce Dickinson, heavy metal musician (Iron Maiden), 57; David Duchovny, American actor (The X Files), 55; Tina O’Brien, actress, 32; Matthew Parris, MP 1979-87, broadcaster and columnist, 66; Nick Ross, broadcaster, 68; Alexei Sayle, comedian, 63; Walter Swinburn, jockey and trainer, 54; Charlize Theron, South African-born film actress, 40; Helen Flanagan, actress (Coronation Street), 25; Wayne Knight, actor, 60; Robert Mueller, director of FBI 2001 to 2013, 71; BJ Thomas, singer-songwriter (Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head), 73; Alberto Salazar, athletics coach and former long-distance 
runner, 57; Jacquie O’Sullivan, British singer-songwriter (Bananarama), 55.


Births: 1783 John Heathcote, lace-making pioneer who invented the earp-loom; 1831 Dean Frederick Farrar, clergyman and writer of school stories (Eric, or Little by Little); 1876 Margarete Geertruida Zelle (Mata Hari), Dutch-born dancer, courtesan and German spy.

Deaths: 1106 Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor; 1485 Alexander Stewart, Scottish prince, 1st Duke of Albany; 1903 Martha Jane Cannary, American frontierswomen Calamity Jane; 1931 Bix Beiderbecke, jazz cornet-player and composer; 1957 Oliver Hardy, film comedian; 1995 Tom Scott, poet, critic and essayist; 1996 Ossie Clark, Sixties fashion designer; 2004 Red Adair, American oil-well firefighter.