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This Day in History - 23rd September


1338 The first naval battle of the Hundred Years' War between England and France took place On This Day. It was the first naval battle using artillery, as the English ship Christofer had three cannons and one hand gun.

1459 In the first major 'Wars of the Roses' battle, the Yorkists, in spite of being heavily outnumbered by 2 to 1, defeated the Lancastrians at the Battle of Blore Heath, Staffordshire.


1641 The Merchant Royal, a 17th century English merchant ship was lost at sea off Land's End. On board were at least 100,000 pounds of gold (nearly one billion pounds in today's money), 400 bars of Mexican silver and nearly 500,000 pieces of eight and other coins, making it one of the most valuable wrecks of all times. The wreck remains undiscovered.


1779 During the American Revolution, John Paul Jones on board the USS Bonhomme Richard beat British forces at the Battle of Flamborough Head (Yorkshire). It became one of the most celebrated naval actions of the American War of Independence.


1817 Spain signed a treaty with Britain to end slave trade.


1940 The George Cross and the George Medal for civilian acts of courage were instituted.


1951 Crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace for news of King George VI following an operation to remove part of his lung.


1952 The star of the silent movies, Charlie Chaplin, returned to his native England after 21 years in the US.


1955 Quizmaster Michael Miles first invited contestants to 'Open the box' in the long running show Take Your Pick.


1961 The Shadows debut album 'Shadows' started a four week run at No.1 on the UK charts.


1974 The world's first Ceefax teletext service was begun by the BBC.


1976 A fire on one of the Royal Navy's latest guided missile destroyers (HMS Glasgow) killed eight men.


1986 England and Yorkshire batsman Geoff Boycott was controversially sacked from Yorkshire Cricket Club after playing for the county side for 24 years.


1987 An Australian court lifted the ban on the publication of Peter Wright's autobiography, Spycatcher.


1987 Britain ended arms sales to Iran.


1996 London police raided several suspected IRA hideouts across the city, seizing around 10 tons of homemade explosives and killing one suspected IRA member.


2019 The collapse of the travel firm Thomas Cook triggered the biggest ever peacetime repatriation, codenamed Operation Matterhorn. 600,000 Thomas Cook customers were on holiday at the time, of which 150,000 were British.