This Day in History - 24th June
1497 John Cabot, a Venetian navigator and explorer under the commission of Henry VII, reached America in his ship The Matthew, having set sail in May from Bristol. His precise landing-place is uncertain, with Cape Bonavista or St. John's in Newfoundland being the most likely sites.
1509Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen Consort of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury at a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey. The coronation was followed by a banquet in Westminster Hall.
1559The Elizabethan Prayer Book was first used.
1717The Grand Lodge of the English Freemasons was founded in London.
1825W.H. Smith, English news agent and bookseller, was born.
1850The birth of Horatio Herbert, Earl Kitchener, British field marshal, born in County Kerry. He achieved notable victories in foreign parts fighting for the Empire, and was Secretary of State for War at the outbreak of hostilities in 1914. He mounted a major recruitment campaign and appeared on posters to exhort, ‘Your country needs you!’
1878Formation of the St. John Ambulance - originally called the St. John Ambulance Association.
1902King Edward VII developed appendicitis, delaying his coronation until 9th August.
1916 The launch of 'Wolf Cubs' by Robert Baden-Powell, for boys aged 8 - 10. It was themed on Jungle Book, by Baden-Powell's friend and neighbour, Rudyard Kipling. In 1966 the name was changed from 'Wolf Cubs' to 'Cub Scouts'.
1921The world's largest airship, the R-38, built in the U.K. for the U.S. Navy, made its maiden flight at Bedford.
1968The country's rail network was thrown into disarray as the National Union of Railwaymen began its work-to-rule and ban on overtime.
1968Start of the first Open Wimbledon lawn tennis championships - open to both professional and amateur players.
1974The Labour Government admitted that Britain had exploded a nuclear device in the United States a few weeks previously. The announcement sparked a row amongst senior ministers about Britain's involvement in the arms race.
1981The Humber Bridge was opened to traffic. It connected Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and would be the world's longest single-span suspension bridge for the next 17 years.
1993Northern Ireland Minister Michael Mates resigned over his links with fugitive tycoon Asil Nadir, Chief Executive Officer of the Polly Peck company.
2005The Glastonbury Festival eventually got under way after suffering serious disruption when storms tore across its site at Pilton, Somerset. Heavy rain flooded parts of the site, with dozens of tents lost under water, while lightning strikes affected the stages and knocked out power lines.