On this day: Channel Tunnel breakthrough

A French worker and his British counterpart meet on this day in  1990 during the historic breakthrough in the Channel Tunnel. Picture: Getty
A French worker and his British counterpart meet on this day in 1990 during the historic breakthrough in the Channel Tunnel. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 1 December

National Day of Romania

1768: The first of three volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica appeared, edited by William Smellie and published in Edinburgh.

1768: The Royal Academy of Arts was founded in London.

1787: The first lighthouse in Scotland, built at Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh, by Thomas Smith and Robert Stevenson, went into operation.

1886: The Severn Railway Tunnel under the Bristol Channel was opened to trains, making it the longest railway tunnel in Britain.

1887: Portugal secured the cession of Macao from China.

1895: The first credit card in Britain, called The Golden Promise and Guarantee of Honour, was issued. It was limited to shops in Kingston upon Hull.

1906: The Cinema Omnia Pathé, the world’s first purpose-built picture palace, opened in Paris.

1916: First road safety campaign opened in London.

1921: Henri Landru – Bluebeard – found guilty of the murder of ten women and the son of one of them.

1925: The Summer Time Act was made permanent.

1942: Beveridge Report on Social Security, which was the basis of the welfare state, was issued.

1966: Britain’s post offices issued the first special Christmas stamps, designed by children. They sold at threepence, and one shilling and sixpence.

1966: Hurricane-force winds caused widespread damage in UK.

1987: Department of Trade inspectors were ordered into the Guinness company to investigate allegations of misconduct which ended with four arrests, including the chairman, Ernest Saunders.

1988: Benazir Bhutto was named Pakistan’s prime minister, becoming first woman to lead a modern-day Muslim nation.

1990: At 11:12am in the Channel Tunnel, the British and French teams joined by shaking hands and exchanging national flags.

1991: Ukrainians voted 9-1 in favour of independence from Soviet Union in a referendum.

1994: The Labour leader, Tony Blair, criticised over sending his son to grant-maintained school.

2009: The Treaty of Lisbon, which amended the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community – the constitutional basis of European Union.


Emily Mortimer, actress, 43; Woody Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg), actor, writer, producer and director, 79; Gordon Crosse, composer, 77; Keith Michell, actor, 88; Bette Midler, singer and actress, 69; Kenny Milne, rugby player, 53; Jeremy Northam, actor, 53; Gilbert O’Sullivan, singer, 68; Stephen Poliakoff CBE, playwright, 62; Sarah Silverman, comedian, 44; Lee Trevino, golfer, 75; Janelle Monáe, singer-songwriter, 29; Charlene Tilton, actress, 56; John Densmore, drummer (The Doors); Salvatore Schillaci, Italian footballer, 50; Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka politician and former Test cricketer, 51.


Births: 1761 Madame Marie Tussaud, who made death masks of the severed heads of the famous during French Revolution; 1895 Henry Williamson, novelist and author of Tarka the Otter; 1930 Matt Monro, singer; 1940 Richard Pryor, actor.

Deaths: 1135 King Henry I of England; 1755 Maurice Greene, composer and organist; 1825 Tsar Alexander I of Russia; 1940 Mike Denness OBE, Scottish-born England cricket captain; 1964 JBS Haldane, Scottish scientist.