This Day in History - 19th July
1333Wars of Scottish Independence: The English won a decisive victory over the Scots at the Battle of Halidon Hill, near Berwick-upon-Tweed. In England the victory, the first for many years, brought a great boost to the morale of the nation. Bannockburn had finally been avenged.
1545The Mary Rose, the pride of Henry VIII's battle fleet, sank in the Solent with the loss of 700 lives.
1553Lady Jane Grey was replaced by Mary I as Queen of England after having the title for just nine days.
1832The British Medical Association was founded, as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association, by Sir Charles Hastings, at a meeting in the Board Room of the Worcester Infirmary.
1837Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 236 ft steamship, the Great Western, was launched at Bristol. She was the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull or screw propeller and was also the largest vessel in the world.
1918The end of World War I approached as the German army began retreating across the Marne River in France.
1919Following Peace Day celebrations marking the end of World War I, ex-servicemen, unhappy with unemployment and other grievances, rioted and burn down Luton Town Hall. During the riot people broke into Farmers Music Shop and dragged pianos into the streets for dancing and singing, including, ironically 'Keep the home fires burning'. The mayor at the time, Henry Impey was smuggled out of Luton never to return.
1941Winston Churchill introduced his 'V for Victory" campaign which rapidly spread through Europe. The BBC took the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, which matched the dot-dot-dot-dash Morse code for the letter V, and played it before news bulletins.
1969British rower John Fairfax arrived at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after becoming the first person to row across the Atlantic alone. He had left the Canary Islands on January 20th in a 24’ rowing boat and after 180 days and 4000 miles he had finished his journey. Three years later, with his girl friend, he rowed the 8000 miles from San Francisco to the Hayman Islands off the Queensland Coast.
1970The SS Great Britain was finally welcomed home, back to Great Western Dockyard in Bristol where she was built, exactly 127 years to the day after her launch in 1843.
1972 The Battle of Mirbat, arguably the finest moment in SAS history. The battle was fought in the Gulf state of Oman, with British troops supporting the Sultan of Oman. Just nine Special Forces soldiers overcame 300 Communist guerrillas, known as the Adoo.
1976British fishermen urged the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Crosland, to secure a 50-mile fishing zone around the UK.
1986English boxer Frank Bruno was beaten in a heavyweight world championship contender fight by American Tim Witherspoon.
1990MPs voted in favour of permanent televising of the House of Commons.
1999An academic study revealed that four million children in Britain were living in poverty.
2001Former Tory MP, Jeffrey Archer, was convicted of perjury and perverting the course of justice and sentenced to four years in prison.
2013Comic actor and writer Mel Smith died of a heart attack, aged 60. He was known for the sketch shows 'Alas Smith and Jones' and 'Not The Nine O'Clock News'. Smith formed a lasting partnership with co-performer Griff Rhys Jones with whom he set up the independent television company, Talkback Productions.