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This Day in History - 24th September


1564 The birth, in Gillingham, of William Adams, the English navigator who travelled to Japan and is believed to be the first Englishman ever to reach the country. Adams was the inspiration for the character of John Blackthorne in James Clavell's best selling novel Shōgun.

1645 The Battle of Rowton Heath took place some 2 miles to the south-east of Chester. The Parliamentarian victory over a Royalist army, commanded in person by King Charles, prevented Charles from relieving the Siege of Chester. 


1776 The oldest of the British classic horse races, the St Leger, was run for the first time at Doncaster Racecourse.


1842 Bramwell Bronte, brother of the Bronte sisters, died of drugs and drink. He was the model for the drunkard Hindley Earnshaw in Wuthering Weights.


1853 Liverpools' Northern Daily Times became England's first provincial daily newspaper.


1916 A local policeman rounded up and took into custody the crew of the German Zeppelin LZ-76 that had been forced down near Colchester.


1931 The birth of Anthony Newley, actor, singer and songwriter. He won the 1963 Grammy Award for Song of the Year for 'What Kind of Fool Am I?' He also wrote songs that others made hits including the title song for the James Bond film 'Goldfinger'.


1942 The birth of Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers. In 1963 he reached the UK No.1 with his record 'You'll Never Walk Alone', now the anthem of Liverpool Football Club. We saw him perform at Great Yarmouth in 2009. Ah ..... nostalgia!


1957 BBC Television for schools began.


1967 The two 'Queens' of the Cunard Line, the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth, passed each other in the Atlantic for the last time.


1971 Over 100 Russian diplomats were expelled from Britain for spying, following revelations made by a Soviet defector.


1975 The world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, was successfully scaled for the first time via its southwest face by British climbers Dougal Haston and Doug Scott.


1976 The Rhodesian Government agreed to introduce black majority rule to the country within two years. Prime Minister Ian Smith was not happy with the conditions.


1991 In Beirut, the British hostage Jackie Mann was freed by the Shi'ite Muslim Revolutionary Justice Organisation after spending more than two years in captivity. He had been kidnapped in May 1989.


1992 David Mellor resigned as heritage minister, blaming his departure on a constant barrage of hostile stories in the tabloid press.


2009 The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure was discovered buried in a field in Staffordshire. Terry Herbert, who found it on farmland using a metal detector, said that it was a metal detectorist's dream. Experts said that the collection of 1,500 gold and silver pieces, which may date to the 7th Century, was unparalleled in size and worth "a seven-figure sum".


2014 Radical preacher Abu Qatada, the subject of a near decade-long battle by the UK government to be deported to the Middle East to face terrorism charges, was acquitted in a Jordanian court.


2019 The Supreme Court concluded, unanimously, that Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue (suspend) Parliament for 5 weeks prior to Britain leaving the EU was unlawful. On that basis, the court ruled that " ..... Parliament would remain in session as if it had never stopped".