Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

This Day in History - 15th October


1666 Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary that Charles II had started wearing the first known waistcoat. The King was so overweight that he left the bottom button undone, a fashion custom followed to this day.

1864 The Church Times published ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, with music by Arthur Sullivan and words by the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould. It was written for a children’s festival.

1881 P.G. Wodehouse was born. He was famous for his Jeeves and Wooster novels.

1887 Preston North End beat Hyde 26-0 in an FA Cup tie, the highest goal score ever by an English club in a major competition, with James Ross the first player to score seven goals in a 1st Division match.

1888 A 'From Hell' letter was sent to George Lusk, then head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, claiming to be from the serial killer Jack the Ripper. It was delivered with a small box containing half of what doctors later determined was a human kidney, preserved in ethanol. One of his victim's kidneys had been removed by the killer, which gave the letter some authenticity. The letter ended with the words - 'Catch me when you can Mister Lusk.', but the Ripper was never caught.

1927 Britain's Public Morals Committee attacked the use of contraceptives, on the basis that they caused 'poor hereditary stock'.

1951 The first Liberal Party political broadcast was televised by the BBC.

1953 The British nuclear test Totem 1 was detonated at Emu Field in South Australia. The main purpose of the trial was to determine the limit on the amount of plutonium-240 which could be present in a bomb and thus aid the British government's weapons programme.

1956 The last RAF Lancaster bomber was retired from service.

1959 The birth of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and ex wife of Prince Andrew. She no longer holds the title HRH and if she remarries, any use of the title Duchess of York will be lost permanently too.

1961 The human rights organization Amnesty International was established in London.

1964 Harold Wilson won the election with a majority of just 4, making him the youngest Prime Minister at the time of the 20th century.

1969 The print unions finally allowed Rupert Murdoch's purchase of 'The Sun' newspaper.

1973 Britain and Iceland ended the 'Cod War' with agreement on fishing rights.

1987 The worst hurricane to hit Britain since records began devastated southern England and caused at least 17 deaths.

1994 Five people were killed and 13 injured in a head-on rail collision at Cowden in Kent after the driver ran a red signal.

1997 Following a new land speed record by Andy Green in Thrust SSC the previous month, Thrust SSC became the first land vehicle to exceed the speed of sound when it achieved 763 mph (Mach 1.020) at Black Rock Desert, Nevada. The record still stands.

2001 Home Secretary David Blunkett told MPs he was introducing an emergency anti-terrorism Bill.

2013 26 year old British racing driver Sean Edwards died (as the passenger) in a crash at the Queensland Raceway in Australia. He was the son of former F1 driver Guy Edwards, who pulled Niki Lauda out of his burning Ferrari after a crash at the Nurburgring in 1976.

2017 The round £1 coin, introduced in 1983, went out of circulation at midnight. Its replacement was 12 sided and had additional security features.