On this day: Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin
National day of Botswana.
1791: Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute was first performed in Vienna.
1888: Jack the Ripper murdered two more women, Liz Stride and Kate Edowes, in London.
1902: Artificial silk was first patented, as ‘rayon’.
1911: World’s first flying stuntman, Lieutenant HH Arnold, performed flying sequence in The Military Air Scout in New York.
1922: Benito Mussolini formed first Fascist government in Italy.
1928: Discovery of penicillin by Ayrshire-born Sir Alexander Fleming was announced.
1929: BBC made the first experimental television broadcast.
1929: Maiden flight of the first rocket-powered aircraft, designed by German engineer Fritz von Opel.
1935: George Gershwin’s Porgy And Bess was premiered in Boston.
1936: Pinewood Studios opened near Iver, Buckinghamshire.
1938: On his return from Munich prime minister Neville Chamberlain told a crowd at Heston Airport, London: “I believe it is peace in our time.”
1939: Pact agreeing on partition of Poland was signed by Germany and USSR.
1939: A British Expeditionary Force of 158,000 men was sent to France.
1946: International military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, found 22 Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes. Eleven were sentenced to death.
1958: Soviet Union resumed nuclear testing.
1965: Judge Elizabeth Lane was sworn in to become Britain’s first female High Court Judge.
1966: Lord Thomson of Fleet bought the Times newspaper.
1967: BBC’s Radio 1 went on the air for the first time.
1971: United States and Soviet Union signed pacts designed to avoid accidental nuclear war.
1992: A new, smaller and lighter 10p coin was introduced in Britain.
1994: Aldwych tube station (originally Strand Station) of the London Underground closed after 88 years service.
1999: Japan’s second worst nuclear accident occurred at a uranium reprocessing facility in Tokai-mura, northeast of Tokyo.
2005: Controversial drawings of Muhammad were printed in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
2009: An earthquake in Sumatra killed more than 1,100 people.
Rula Lenska (born Countess Roza-Marie Leopoldnya Lubienska), actress, 76; Gary Armstrong, rugby player, 47; Lacey Chabert, actress, 31; Angie Dickinson (born Angeline Brown), film actress, 82; Jenna Elfman, actress, 42; Martina Hingis, former Wimbledon champion, 33; Barbara Knox MBE, actress, 80; Johnny Mathis, singer, 78; Ian Ogilvy, actor, 70; Eric Stoltz, actor and director, 51; Victoria Tennant, British actress, 63.
Births: 1788 Lord Raglan, field marshal at Charge of the Light Brigade; 1881 Hans Geiger, German scientist and joint inventor of the Geiger counter; 1906 Michael Innes, thriller writer and academic; 1921 Deborah Kerr, Helensburgh-born actress; 1924 Truman Capote, author; 1947 Marc Bolan, glam rock star.
Deaths: 1772 James Brindley, canal engineer; 1913 Rudolf Diesel, inventor of engine that bears his name; 1955 James Dean, actor; 1978 Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist with dummy Charlie McCarthy; 1985 Charles Richter, seismologist and deviser of Richter scale; 1998 Gordon Richards, racehorse trainer.