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This Day in History - 20th June University of Oxford received its charter. Oxford is the second-oldest surviving university in the world (Bologna in Italy is the oldest) and the oldest in the English-speaking world.


1497 The consecration of St. Mary's Church, Fairford (Cotswolds), one of the finest 'wool churches' in England. India, the night of the infamous 'Black Hole of Calcutta', where more than 140 British soldiers and civilians were placed in a small prison cell - 18 feet by 14 feet - by the Nawab of Bengal. The following morning only 23 emerged alive. U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrived at Liverpool. She was the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, although most of the journey was made under sail. the death of William IV, Queen Victoria, aged 18, acceded to the throne. At the time of Victoria's death her reign of 63 years and 7 months was longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history. On 9th September 2015 Queen Elizabeth II overtook Queen Victoria as the longest serving monarch of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Buffalo Bill Cody staged a Royal Command performance of his famous Wild West Show, and four European kings boarded the original Deadwood coach driven by Cody.'s longest railway bridge over the River Tay opened. The first had collapsed in 1879 whilst the Edinburgh to Dundee train was crossing, killing over 90 people. Cookson, English novelist, was born. birth of Wendy Craig, BAFTA Award winning actress who is best known for her appearances in the sitcoms Butterflies. biggest exam shake up for over 10 years was announced with O Level and CSE exams to be replaced by new examinations, to be known as GCSEs. the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, the government ordered a temporary ban on the slaughter and movement of lambs in some parts of the country. Chancellor John Major proposed a new European currency which would circulate alongside existing national currencies. abandoned at the eleventh hour its plan to dump the disused Brent Spar rig in the Atlantic, provoking a furious reaction in the British government. Meanwhile, the environmental campaign group Greenpeace claimed victory in the high-profile battle. cricket umpire Harold 'Dickie' Bird received a standing ovation by players and spectators at Lords when he took the field to officiate in his final Test Match. Conservative minister Jonathan Aitken lost his libel action against The Guardian newspaper over allegations that wealthy Arabs paid for him to stay at the Ritz Hotel in Paris while he was a minister. were eliminated at the group stage of the Fifa World Cup for the first time since 1958. They were knocked out after just two matches, with Roy Hodgson's side beaten by Group D rivals Italy and Uruguay.