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This Day in History - 20th September


1066 The Battle of Fulford, Yorkshire. Harald III Hardrada of Norway defeated the Northern Saxon Earls Edwin and Morcar.

1258 The consecration of Salisbury Cathedral. The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom at 123m/404 ft. It also has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain, the world's oldest working clock (from AD 1386) and the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta.


1643 The First Battle of Newbury (English civil war). King Charles I's forces were beaten by a parliamentary army led by the Earl of Essex and Philip Stapleton.


1854 The Russian army was defeated by the British and French at the Battle of Alma, considered to be the first battle of the Crimean War. The first six Victoria Crosses to be awarded to the British Army for acts of bravery during the fighting were won at this battle.


1860 The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) visited the United States. It was the first tour of North America by an heir to the British throne. The four-month tour throughout Canada and the United States considerably boosted Edward's self-esteem, and had many diplomatic benefits for Great Britain.


1906 The Cunard Line's RMS Mauretania was launched at the Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne. At the time, she was the largest and fastest ship in the world. She captured the Blue Riband for the fastest transatlantic crossing during her 1907 inaugural season and held the speed record for twenty-two years.


1911 White Star Line's RMS Olympic collided with British warship HMS Hawke. Olympic was the lead ship of the White Star Line's trio of Olympic-class liners, that also consisted of the Titanic and Britannic. The fact that Olympic endured such a serious collision and stayed afloat, appeared to vindicate the design of the Olympic-class liners and reinforced their 'unsinkable' reputation.


1917 The first RSPCA animal clinic was opened, in Liverpool.


1930 Edward Elgar's Fifth Pomp and Circumstance March was performed for the first time.


1931 Devaluation set in when Britain came off the gold standard to prevent foreign speculation against the pound. It sparked off strikes, and in Scotland the crews of 15 navy ships nearly mutinied.


1932 Four branches of Methodism in England united to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain and Ireland. These were the Wesleyan Methodists, the Primitive Methodists, the United Methodist Free Churches and the United Methodists.


1964 The Beatles' first US tour ended with a charity concert in New York.


1967 The liner Queen Elizabeth II (QE2) was launched at Clydebank, Scotland by ...... Queen Elizabeth II. 


1978 Police launched a massive manhunt for the killers of 13 year paperboy Carl Bridgewater. He had been shot in the head at close range at an isolated farmhouse near Stourbridge in Staffordshire.


1997 Elton John started a six week run at No.1 in the UK singles chart with "Candle in the Wind '97'' as a tribute to Princess Diana. It became the best-selling single of all time.


2001 The Government was considering 'targeted support' for airlines after British Airways axed 7,000 jobs in the wake of the US terrorist attacks.


2004 Legendary former Nottingham Forest and Derby County boss Brian Clough died from stomach cancer at the age of 69.


2012 Apple's new mapping service for iPhone users was launched, with many errors. It relocated London - England to London - Ontario, Paddington station vanished and Dublin was gifted a previously undiscovered airport on a 35 acre working farm. Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, was nowhere to be found while the Welsh town of Pontypridd was transplanted six miles north-west and placed where Tonypandy should have been.


2013 The RAF's last Vickers VC10 jetliners completed their final mission after 47 years of service when they took off from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, at 10:00 BST


2014Dr. Michael Ramscar and a team of scientists suggested that the brains of older people only appear to slow down because they have so much information to compute, much like a full-up hard drive. “The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.”