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This Day in History - 10th October


1731 The birth of Henry Cavendish, the English physicist and chemist who discovered hydrogen.

1877 William Morris, motoring pioneer and English car manufacturer, was born. The Morris name remained in use until 1984 when British Leyland's Austin Rover Group decided to concentrate on the more popular Austin brand. William Morris (1st Viscount Nuffield), endowed Nuffield College, Oxford in 1937 and the Nuffield Foundation in 1943.


1881 The Savoy Theatre, the first public building to be lit by electricity, opened with a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Patience'.


1903 Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst formed the Women's Social and Political Union to fight for women's emancipation in Britain.


1928 George V opened the Tyne Bridge. It contained Britain's largest steel arch.


1957 A major radiation leak was detected at the Windscale (now known as Sellafield) nuclear plant in Cumbria after an accident three days earlier. Milk from about 500 square km. of nearby countryside was diluted and destroyed for about a month.


1961 Following a volcanic eruption, the entire population of the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha was evacuated to Britain.


1971 After being sold (to Robert McCulloch, chairman of the McCulloch Oil Corporation) then.dismantled and moved to the United States, London Bridge reopened in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. McCulloch and his business associate C.V. Wood had concluded that London Bridge was exactly the kind of thing that Lake Havasu needed to make it an attractive resort city and a tourist destination. The gamble paid off and land sales in Lake Havasu City soared. From a population of just a few hundred in the 1960s, the town blossomed to 10,000 by 1974. That year, the bridge drew almost two million visitors to the new city.


1975 Elizabeth Taylor got married for the 6th time. She re-married British actor Richard Burton at a remote location in Botswana. They divorced the following year.


1980 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made her memorably defiant speech "U-turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning" at her party's conference in Brighton.


1988 Igor Judge, a British QC, was sworn in as a High Court judge where he would be known as Mr Justice Judge.


1997 At the British Airways stand at the Conservative Party Conference, former prime minister Margaret Thatcher gave the airline a 'handbagging' by placing a white handkerchief over the model of an aircraft with the new style logo.


1999 Thousands gathered to watch the giant Millennium wheel become the latest landmark on the London skyline.


2010 PM David Cameron said defence spending would fall by 8% over four years. Harrier jump jets, the Navy's flagship HMS Ark Royal and planned Nimrod spy planes would be axed and 42,000 MoD and armed forces jobs cut by 2015. The RAF and navy would lose 5,000 jobs each, the Army 7,000 and the Ministry of Defence 25,000 civilian staff.


2013 The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease was hailed as an exciting and historic moment in medical research although 'More work is needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients.' Commenting on the research, Professor Roger Morris, from King's College London, said: 'This finding, I suspect, will be judged by history as a turning point in the search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer's Disease.'