This Day in History - 2nd January
1727The birth of British general James Wolfe, known for his training reforms but remembered chiefly for his victory over the French in Canada. His service in Flanders and in Scotland, where he took part in the suppression of the Jacobite Rebellion, brought him to the attention of his superiors. Wolfe's part in the taking of Quebec in 1759 led to his death in battle but earned him posthumous fame and he became an icon of Britain's victory in the Seven Years War and subsequent territorial expansion.
1757Robert Clive (also known as Clive of India) captured Calcutta. It had been seized by the Nawab of Bengal, who imprisoned 146 British in the infamous ‘black hole’. Only 23 survived. Clive established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal and also the wealth that followed, for the British crown. Together with Warren Hastings (the first Governor-General of India) he was one of the key figures in the creation of British India.
1769The Royal Academy, founded through a personal act of King George III on 10th December 1768, was opened On This Day in Piccadilly, London, with English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds as president. Its purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.
1788Named after King George II, Georgia becomes the fourth state of the U.S.A.
1868The birth of Arthur Gore, English tennis player. He competed at Wimbledon on every occasion from 1888 to 1927, winning the men’s singles championship in 1901 and 1908, and becoming the oldest winner in 1909. He also won two gold medals at the London Olympics in 1908, winning the men's indoor singles and the men's indoor doubles, with Herbert Barrett.
1905Sir Michael Tippett, English composer, was born. His most famous work 'A Child of Our Time' was inspired by events in 1938 when a Jewish refugee teenager in Paris murdered a German diplomat. The attack was a catalyst for the Nazis' attacks against Jews in Germany. During the war Tippett tried, and failed, to get exemption as a conscientious objector, and was imprisoned.
1938David Bailey, English photographer, was born. Along with photographers Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy, he captured and helped create the 'Swinging London' of the 1960s.
1969Australian Rupert Murdoch beat off a rival bid to win control of the News of the World, his first Fleet Street newspaper.
1971Sixty six spectators were crushed to death and more than 200 others injured at the Ibrox football ground in Glasgow at the end of a Rangers v Celtic derby. The official inquiry into the disaster concluded that someone, possibly a child being carried on his father's shoulders, fell whilst exiting the ground, causing a massive chain reaction pile up of people. It was the second major loss of life at the Ibrox, the previous one being in 1902 when 25 people died and 517 were injured when a Stand collapsed after heavy rain. A statue of John Greig, who spent his career with Rangers, as a player, manager and director commemorates those killed in the 1971 tragedy.
1974Museums and Galleries began charging admission for the first time.
1980Steel workers staged their first national strike for more than fifty years.
1982Erica Rowe became the first sports 'streaker' when she ran across the Twickenham ground at the England v Australia rugby match waving her bra in the air. She was arrested, with policemen covering her 40" breasts with their woefully undersized helmets.
1987The publishers of Enid Blyton's Noddy books bowed to pressure groups and agreed to expunge racism by changing the golliwog characters to gnomes.
2013Thieves in Manchester dug a 100ft (30m) long 4ft high tunnel directly under a cash machine, using machinery to cut through concrete. They escaped with only £6,000 because the machine had not been re-filled after the New Year bank holiday. A similar plot was foiled in the same area in 2007, and police believe it may have been carried out by the same gang.