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This Day in History - 28th August


1640 The Scots, under Sir Alexander Leslie, defeated royalist English forces under Lord Conway at the battle of Newburn near Newcastle. Newcastle was then occupied by the Scots in the English-Scottish wars.

1833 The House of Commons approved the Abolition Act, introduced earlier by Thomas Buxton, abolishing slavery throughout most of the British Empire.


1906 The birth of Sir John Betjeman, poet, broadcaster, a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture. Starting his career as a journalist, he ended it as one of the most popular British Poets Laureate to date and a much-loved figure on British television.


1914 The Battle of Heligoland Bight, the first major naval battle of World War 1, was fought. The Germans lost four ships and 1,000 sailors. British casualties numbered 33.


1933 For the first time, a BBC-broadcasted appeal was used by the police in tracking down a wanted man (murder suspect Stanley Hobday).


1972 Prince William of Gloucester was killed when his light aircraft crashed and burst into flames.


1973 Princess Anne visited Russia, to ride for Britain in an equestrian event, thus becoming the first member of the Royal Family to visit the country.


1981 For the third time in 10 days, a world record in the mile run was set. Sebastian Coe, who broke Steve Ovett's record on August 19th and lost it to Ovett on August 26th , broke it again - by a full second - in Brussels, Belgium. Coe's new record time was 3:47.33.


1986 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was at the re-opening of the Grand Hotel in Brighton in which she and Conservative Party members had been staying in 1983 when it was bombed by the IRA.


1994 Thousands of shops throughout England and Wales opened legally for the first time on a Sunday, following a change in the Sunday trading laws.


1996 The divorce of Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Princess Diana was finalized in a decree absolute issued in London's High Court. Under the terms of the divorce settlement, Diana was stripped of her 'Royal Highness' title.


2003 An electricity blackout cut off power to around 500,000 people living in the south east England and brought 60% of London's underground rail network to a halt.


2004 British athlete Kelly Holmes secured a place in Olympic history by winning the 1500m gold in Athens. The runner won the 800m earlier and thus became the first Olympic Briton in 84 years to achieve the middle-distance double.


2013 Leeds businessman Lee Beaumont who became tired of 'cold calls' offering to help him reclaim payment protection insurance (PPI), or install solar panels set up his home phone as a premium rate 0871 number. Companies who phone him now spend 10p per minute on calls, from which he receives 7p. The number of 'cold calls' to his 0871 number fell by 66% in one month.


2016 The last remaining 22 branches of BHS closed, bringing an end to 88 years of British retail history. The department store’s collapse in April led to the loss of 11,000 jobs, affected 22,000 pensions, sparked a lengthy parliamentary inquiry, and left its high-profile former owners potentially facing a criminal investigation.