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This Day in History - 1st October


959 Edgar the Peaceable became king of all England. 'The Peaceable', was not necessarily a comment on the deeds of his life, for he was a strong leader, shown by his seizure of the Northumbrian and Mercian kingdoms from his older brother. His reign though, was a remarkably peaceable one, thanks to draconian laws that involved having one's tongue ripped out, at best, for stealing an apple. Edgar died on 8th July 975 at Winchester in Hampshire.

1207 The birth of King Henry III, the son and successor of King John. He reigned for 56 years, from 1216 until his death.


1553 The Coronation of Queen Mary I. She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. As the fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty, Mary is remembered for her restoration of Roman Catholicism and she had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian Persecutions.


1843 The News of the World, Britain's most popular Sunday newspaper, was first published. It was, at one time, the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, but amid a public backlash after allegations of phone hacking, News International announced the closure of the newspaper on 7th July 2011.


1868 The Midland Railway opened St. Pancras station in London. The first train arrived at 4:20am (the 10:05pm overnight mail train from Leeds). Designed by William Henry Barlow its arched engine shed (the Barlow train shed) was, at the time of opening, the largest single-span roof in the world.


1870 The first British halfpenny postage stamp, in lilac, was issued.


1906 The first hot-air balloon race was staged at Whitley, Yorkshire and was won by US Army Lieutenant Frank Lahm.


1935 Julie Andrews, English actress and singer was born.


1936 The BBC began regular TV broadcasts from Alexandra Palace, north London.


1943 World War II: The Italian city of Naples fell to Allied soldiers.


1946 Germany's Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolph Hess - captured in Scotland on 10th May 1941, after mysteriously parachuting from a plane during World War II - was sentenced to life imprisonment by the the International Military Tribunal.


1954 The UK Top 12 Pop Chart became a Top 20.


1957 A vaccine against the strain of influenza that had been sweeping around the world was made available to the British public.


1974 The first McDonalds restaurant opened in London.


1974 British boxer John Conteh became Light Heavyweight Champion of the World.


1993 RAC patrolman Mervyn Jacobs was called out to jump start a minesweeper. It was not a problem for him. He just ran a 50 foot lead from his van!


2012 Surrey police confirmed that the late Sir Jimmy Savile was questioned over allegations of child sex abuse in 2007. In the aftermath, towns and organisations distanced themselves from their associations with the former TV presenter, commemorative plaques were removed and Savile's triple gravestone was sent to a landfill site after being removed from a Scarborough cemetery.


2014 The vehicle tax disc, first introduced in 1921, ceased to exist in paper form from 1st October, with a new electronic system being put in its place.


2015 Smoking in 'enclosed cars' containing children under 18 was banned in England and Wales, with a fixed penalty fine of £50 issued to people who smoked or who failed to prevent another person from smoking.