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This Day in History - 14th November


1687 The death of Eleanor 'Nell' Gwyn, long-time mistress of King Charles II of England and mother of two of his illegitimate children.

1864 Franz Müller, a German tailor, who had murdered Thomas Briggs in the first murder committed on a British train (on 9th July) was publicly hanged at Newgate prison.

1896 The speed limit for horseless carriages in Britain was raised from 4 mph (2 mph in towns) to 14 mph. It was marked by the first London to Brighton Car Run, which only became a regular and official event from 1927, when it was sponsored by the Daily Sketch.

1911 George V and Queen Mary landed at Gibraltar, the first time a reigning British monarch had visited a British Commonwealth country.

1922 BBC radio was first broadcast from Alexandra Palace. The first programme was broadcast at 6 pm from 2LO London (later the BBC). A news bulletin, repeated again at 9 pm, and a weather report were the entire programme.

1936 The birth of Freddie Garrity, singer, frontman and the comical element in the 1960s pop band, Freddie and the Dreamers. The group disbanded in the late 1960s but he formed a new version of Freddie and the Dreamers and toured regularly for the next two decades until 2001, when he was diagnosed with emphysema. He died on 19th May 2006.

1940 449 German Luftwaffe bombers dropped 503 tons of bombs and 881 incendiaries onto the City of Coventry, killing over 500 civilians and destroying the medieval cathedral.

1941 The British aircraft carrier Ark Royal sank off Gibraltar after being hit by a torpedo from German U-boat, the U-81.

1948 Birth of Prince Charles (Charles Philip Arthur George), Prince of Wales and an enthusiastic and concerned environmentalist.

1952 Britain’s first music chart was published, in the New Musical Express, with Al Martino’s ‘Here in my Heart’ at No. 1.

1969 The BBC began colour television programmes.

1973 Bobby Moore made his 108th and final appearance for England.

1973 Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey.

1977 Firefighters held their first national strike, over a 30% pay demand. More than 10,000 troops were called in to cover emergencies.

1983 The first Cruise missiles arrived at Greenham Common, a US airbase.

2011 Coronation Street become the first prime time television show in the UK to feature product placement, when a Nationwide Building Society cash machine was shown in the episode, after ITV signed a deal with the company.

2013 A standards of living report by price comparison website, which examined every aspect of life in different parts of Britain, named Solihull, home to Land Rover's main production plant and former 'Good Life' actress Felicity Kendal as the best place to live in the UK.

2014 The 3,000th edition of the BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, which was first broadcast on 29th January 1942. The guest for the 3,000th show was 95 year old Eric 'Winkle' Brown, the Navy Fleet Air Arm’s most decorated pilot and the record holder for the most flight deck landings.

2014 Paedophile Angus Sinclair (aged 69), who says he may have attacked hundreds of victims, was jailed for life (and ordered to spend at least 37 years behind bars) for raping and murdering 17 year-olds Helen Scott and Christine Eadie in 1977. 

2014 The Care for the Wild charity estimated that badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire had cost the equivalent of £5,200 for each badger killed. Official figures show the cost of £3,350 for every animal killed, but the welfare charity said that this did not include the cost of policing.

2014 Parliamentary authorities defended their decision to ask a gardener to remove each leaf manually from trees outside the House of Commons. A Commons spokesman said: “If we waited for the leaves to fall off it would waste a lot of time raking them up. It is more time efficient.”