Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 10 January
1812: An impenetrable fog of sooty smoke and polluted mist shrouded London so totally that midday was like midnight.
1828: The lowest-ever denomination note was issued by the Bank of England – worth one penny.
1840: Sir Rowland Hill’s Penny Post came into force in Britain.
1840: Shorthand inventor Isaac Pitman advertised the first correspondence course. 1863: First section of London Underground – Paddington to Farringdon Street – was opened.
1901: The first oil strike in Texas.
1920: The League of Nations came into being, holding its first meeting in Geneva. It was dissolved on same date in 1946, and superseded by the UN.
1928: Leon Trotsky ordered into exile by Soviet government.
1947: Fifteen miners died in explosion at Burngrange Colliery, Midlothian, caused by flame from open acetylene lamp.
1953: The European Coal and Steel Community met for the first time.
1977: Two Soviet cosmonauts went into space to join crew of orbiting Salyut research station.
1985: Sir Clive Sinclair unveiled the £399 C5 battery and pedal-powered tricycle, with a range of 20 miles. He predicted that by the year 2000 the petrol engine would be a thing of the past.
1989: Astronomers discovered 90-trillion-mile long stream of gas that appeared to be feeding a black hole at centre of Earth’s Milky Way galaxy.
1990: China ended seven months of martial law in Beijing. Tiananmen Square was opened for first time since June 1989 massacre.
1991: Last-ditch talks to prevent war in the Gulf failed in Geneva.
1992: A bomb exploded in Whitehall, only 300 metres away from Downing Street. The IRA claimed responsibility.
1993: Iraqis crossed into Kuwait and seized four Silkworm missiles.
1998: Donald Dewar, the Scottish Secretary, announced he had chosen Holyrood as the site for the new Scottish Parliament building, and that it would be ready for the autumn session of 2001.
2005: A mudslide occurs in La Conchita, California, killed ten people, and closing the coast road between San Francisco and Los Angeles, for ten days.
2011: Torrential rain in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley caused severe flash flooding, killing nine people.
Abigail Clancy, model, 28; Pat Benatar, pop/rock singer, 61; Tom Clarke, Labour MP, 73; Shawn Colvin, rock singer, 58; Aynsley Dunbar, rock drummer, 68; Donald Fagen, co-founder and lead singer of Steely Dan, 66; George Foreman, boxer, ordained priest and grilling machine entrepreneur, 65; Caroline Langrishe, TV actress, 56; Mischa Maisky, cellist, 66; Sherrill Milnes, American baritone, 79; Rod Stewart, rock singer, 69.
Births: 1769 Michel Ney, French army marshal; 1776 Doctor George Birkbeck, educationist; 1880 Grock (Adrien Wettach), Swiss circus clown and entertainer; 1883 Alexei Tolstoy, novelist and playwright; 1903 Barbara Hepworth, sculptor; 1922 Billy Liddell, footballer.
Deaths: 1645 Archbishop William Laud, who provoked Bishops’ Wars in Scotland by trying to impose the Prayer Book (beheaded for treason); 1778 Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist; Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, fashion designer; 2007 Carlo Ponti, film producer.