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This Day in History - 30th December


1460 The Wars of the Roses: The defeat and death of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and claimant to the English throne, at the Battle of Wakefield.

1850 The birth of John Milne, British geologist and mining engineer. He invented the horizontal seismograph that enabled him to detect different types of earthquake waves, and estimate their velocities. Along with two other British scientists he founded the Seismological Society of Japan.


1851 The artist JMW Turner, who died on 19th December was buried, at his own request, in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, next to Sir Joshua Reynolds, the English portrait artist.


1865 Author Rudyard Kipling was born, in India, but was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. His best known fictional works are Jungle Book and Just So Stories. He celebrated British imperialism with tales and poems of British soldiers in India and in 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.


1879 The first performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera, 'The Pirates of Penzance', at the Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton, Devon.


1887 A petition, signed by more than 1 million women in Britain, was sent to Queen Victoria calling for public houses to be closed on Sundays.


1919 Lincoln's Inn, one of four 'Inns of Court' in London to which barristers belong and where they are called to the Bar, admitted its first female students.


1932 The completion of the electrification of the London to Brighton railway line.


1937 Gordon Banks, English goal keeper, was born, in Sheffield. The International Federation of Football History & Statistics named Banks the second best goalkeeper of the 20th century, after the Russian Lev Yashin. On 22nd October 1972 Banks lost the sight in his right eye in a motoring accident and announced his retirement in August 1973. He was a member of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup. His consistent performances in goal led to the re-wording of a common English phrase to 'As safe as the Banks of England.'


1942 The birth of Guy Edwards, former racing driver. He is most renowned for being one of the drivers who saved Niki Lauda from his burning car during the 1976 German Grand Prix. Edwards was later awarded a Queen's Gallantry Medal for his bravery.


1946 Football league players threatened to strike over the proposed maximum wage of £11 a week.


1954 British athlete Chris Chataway became the first winner of the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award.


1956 The last passenger train service ran on the Liverpool Overhead Railway. It had been in operation for 63 years.


1986 According to new plans by the government, more than 200 canaries would be 'phased out' of Britain's mining pits. New electronic devices would replace canaries as detectors of harmful gasses, because they were said to be cheaper in the long run and more effective.


2013 Forestry Commission figures showed that more than five million trees had been felled in Scotland since Alex Salmond came to power in 2007, to make way for wind farm developments, with fewer than 1.6 million planted to replace them. Findings showed that there were almost as many wind turbines north of the Border as in all the rest of the UK. You cannot appreciate their enormity until you see the sections being transported by road! 


2014 Tommie Rose, a 15year old schoolboy, who made £14,000 from his school tuck-shop to pay future university fees for a business studies degree was threatened with suspension, as his shop breached the school's healthy-eating guidelines.