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This Day in History - 12th September


1440 Eton College was founded by Henry VI. Prefects were warned to look out for "ill-kempt heads and unwashed faces."

1609 English explorer Henry Hudson sailed his ship 'Half Moon' into New York harbour and 150 miles further inland to Albany, along the waterway now called Hudson River.


1846 Poet Elizabeth Barrett eloped to Italy with poet Robert Browning to escape Elizabeth's domineering father who disapproved of marriage for any of his children. Mr. Barrett then disinherited Elizabeth, as he did for each of his children who married.


1852 The birth of Herbert Henry Asquith, British Liberal Prime Minister. It was Asquith who introduced old age pensions and Lloyd-George was his Chancellor of the Exchequer.


1878 Cleopatra's Needle, the obelisk of Thothmes II, was erected on London's Embankment.


1885 The Scottish football team of Arbroath beat Bon Accord (from Aberdeen) by 36 goals to nil in the first round of the Scottish Cup, making it a record breaking score for professional football. Thirteen goals were scored by centre-forward John Petrie.


1890 Salisbury, Rhodesia, was founded as a military fort by by Cecil Rhodes. They originally named the city Fort Salisbury after the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, then British prime minister.


1906 The opening of the Newport Transporter Bridge in south east Wales. Only eight such bridges remain in use worldwide and this is the oldest and largest of the three historic transporter bridges which remain in Britain. 


1908 The marriage of Winston Churchill to Clementine Hozier.


1936 Britain’s Fred Perry won the US Tennis Championships against Donald Budge, the first non-US player ever to win. Britain had to wait a further 76 years for a male singles champion and on 11th September 2012 Andy Murray won the US Open, beating Novak Djokovic.


1960 Ministry of Transport (MoT) tests on motor vehicles were introduced in the UK.


1970 The supersonic Concorde passenger jet landed at Heathrow Airport for the first time to a barrage of complaints from nearby residents about noise.


1972 Two British trawlers were sunk by Icelandic gunboats during the 'cod war'


1987 The BBC filmed the first 'Top of the Pops' to be sold in America.


1988 Roger Hargreaves, author and creator of the Mr. Men books died.


2000 Britain was brought to a standstill as fuel tax protesters, backed by tanker drivers, caused petrol shortages.


2005 England took the Ashes from Australia for the first time since 1987.


2012 After three years reviewing 450,000 documents, including those relating to former prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Merseyside police, the Hillsborough Independent Panel published its report. The report exposed the police campaign to blame Liverpool fans for the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster which saw the death of 96 fans. It led to a new criminal inquiry into the disaster and an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.