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This Day in History - 13th August


1704 French and Bavarian forces were routed by a combined British, German and Dutch army at the Battle of Blenheim, in Bavaria . The victors lost 6,000 soldiers compared with 21,000 French and Bavarian troops. Blenheim has gone down in history as one of the turning points of the War of the Spanish Succession.

1809 The birth, in Much Wenlock (Shropshire) of William Penny Brookes, English surgeon who was especially known for inspiring the modern Olympic Games, the Wenlock Olympian Games and for his promotion of physical education and personal betterment. 


1814 The Cape of Good Hope Province became a British colony when it was given over to the British by the Dutch for £6 million.


1888 John Logie Baird, Scottish television pioneer was born.


1899 The birth of Alfred Hitchcock, English film director of suspense and psychological thriller films.


1908 The tenor Enrico Caruso was fond of posing in his many motor cars but never learned to drive. On 13th August 1908, in London, his wife Ada Giachetti eloped with their chauffeur.


1910 The death of Florence Nightingale, English nurse who came to prominence for her pioneering work in nursing during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. She was dubbed 'The Lady with the Lamp' after her habit of making rounds at night. 


1913 The first production in the UK of stainless steel by Sheffield born Harry Brearley. Brearley's life had humble beginnings. He was the son of a steel melter and left school at the age of twelve to enter his first employment as a labourer in one of the city's steelworks.


1913 The birth of Fred Davis, English professional snooker and billiards player whose professional career spanned from 1929 to 1993.


1915 The 'Brides In The Bath' murderer George Joseph Smith, who drowned his brides in a zinc bath after ensuring their finances were in his favour, was hanged.


1964 The last hangings in Britain took place when two men,Gwynne Evans and Peter Allen, were hanged for the murder of John Alan West, a laundry van driver from Seaton, Cumbria. Evans was hanged at Manchester's Strangeways Prison at 8:00 a.m. and at exactly the same time, Peter Allen was hanged at Liverpool's Walton Prison.


1977 Members of the National Front clashed with anti-NF demonstrators in Lewisham, resulting in 214 arrests and at least 111 injuries.


1991 The Prince of Wales resigned as the patron of Scotland's National Museum over a competition to design a new building.


1991 Britain introduced the Dangerous Dog Act in which aggressive dogs must be muzzled and held on a leash in public.


1995 Alison Hargreaves, British mountaineer, and the first woman to make a solo summit of Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen, died descending K2 during a severe storm.


1997 Following worldwide press speculation, Diana, Princess of Wales issued a statement insisting she had no plans to marry Dodi Al Fayed.


2001 A Government announcement paved the way for more speed cameras, that would also be harder to evade.


2012 If Yorkshire was regarded as an independent country, it was calculated that it would have finished 12th out of the 204 competing countries in the medals table at the Olympics! The county won seven gold medals, two silver and three bronze.