This Day in History - 24th July
1567Mary Queen of Scots, imprisoned at Lochlevan Castle, was forced to abdicate her throne to her 1 year old son, James VI of Scotland - (James I of England).
1837Robert Cocking made a parachute jump from a hot air balloon 5,000 feet above Kennington Common. Unfortunately the cone-shaped parachute inverted and he became the first person to die in a parachute jump.
1851The window tax in Britain was abolished.
1867 The opening of the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. At the time it was the largest hotel and the largest brick structure in Europe. The building is designed around the theme of time, with four towers to represent the seasons, 12 floors for the months of the year, 52 chimneys to symbolise the weeks, and originally there were 365 bedrooms, one for each day of the year.
1883Captain Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the English channel (1875) drowned whilst attempting to swim the rapids at Niagara Falls. This memorial to him is erected in Dawley - Telford, close to his birthplace, now demolished)
1908Fifty six runners began the London Marathon from Windsor Castle as part of the London Olympic Games.
1926The first greyhound racing track in the UK was opened, at Belle Vue, in Manchester.
1936The GPO (General Post Office) introduced TIM - the automated speaking clock using the voice of Miss Ethel Cain - a telephonist at the GPO's Victoria telephone exchange in London.
1943World War II: The start of Operation Gomorrah saw British and Canadian aeroplanes bomb Hamburg by night, and the Americans bombed by day. By the end of the operation in November, 9,000 tons of explosives had killed more than 30,000 people and destroyed 280,000 buildings.
1966After a local and national campaign, the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles first performed, was re-opened. Prime Minister Harold Wilson performed the opening ceremony.
1980The death of Peter Sellers, British comedian and actor. He rose to fame on the BBC Radio comedy series The Goon Show and was the bumbling Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther film series.
1986'Live Aid' organiser Bob Geldof was made an honorary knight of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
1987Former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, Jeffrey Archer, was awarded record libel damages at the High Court. The Daily Star newspaper was ordered to pay the MP £500,000 damages, along with up to £700,000 costs, for a front-page story in November 1986 alleging that Mr. Archer had paid to have sex with a prostitute. (Note:- in July 2001, Archer was found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice at the 1987 trial and was sentenced to four years in prison.)
1996Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen's Christmas broadcast would no longer be a BBC exclusive.
2013It was announced that the Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen would feature on the next £10 note avoiding a long-term absence of women represented on banknotes. The author replaced Charles Darwin when the new notes went into circulation on 14th September 2017.