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This Day in History - 25th September


1066 England's King Harold II defeated the King of Norway (Harald Hardrada), at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire. After a horrific battle, Hardrada and most of the Norwegians were killed.


1687 Sir Isaac Newton published his theories on gravitation. Newton was born at Woolsthorpe Manor near Grantham and was buried in Westminster Abbey.


1818 The first blood transfusion using human blood took place at Guy's Hospital in London.


1852 Birth of Field Marshal Sir John French. From 1914-15 he was the supreme commander of the British Expeditionary Force in France; after that, of the Home Forces.


1885 It snowed in London - the earliest recorded winter fall despite reports that on 12th June 1791 snow was sighted over the capital.


1897 The start of Britain’s first motorized (as opposed to horse-drawn) bus service, in Bradford.


1929 Comedian Ronnie Barker was born. TV programmes included - Porridge, Open all Hours and The Two Ronnies.


1944 World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdrew from Arnhem in the Netherlands, thus ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden. It was the largest airborne operation up to that time.


1956 A Transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated. It consisted of 4,500 miles of cable, laid in waters up to 2.5 miles deep between Gallanach Bay, near Oban and Clarenville, Newfoundland and initially carried 36 telephone channels.


1967 Britain, France and West Germany signed an agreement to co-operate on an 'airbus' airliner, intended to rival American production.


1977 In Britain, independent airline owner Freddie Laker took on the main commercial airlines with his first 'Skytrain' service between London and New York.


1996 The last of the 'Magdalene Asylums' closed in Waterford, Ireland. The asylums, for 'fallen women' and others believed to be of poor moral character, such as prostitutes, operated for much of the 19th and well into the 20th century.


1997 The British Thrust SCC car, driven by RAF pilot Andy Green, set a new world record land speed record of 714.44 mph at Black Rock Desert in Nevada. On October 15th in the same year, Thrust SSC became the first land vehicle to exceed the speed of sound when it achieved 763 mph (Mach 1.020), also at Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Thrust SSC remains the world’s first and only supersonic car.


2010 Ed Miliband won the Labour leadership after narrowly beating brother David in a dramatic run-off vote ahead of the party's conference.


2012 In what was claimed to be a world first, the Tullibardine whisky distillery in Perthshire signed a deal to turn by-products from their distillery into butanol to power cars.