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This Day in History - 30th September


1630 John Billington, one of the original pilgrims who sailed to the New World on the Mayflower, became the first man executed in the English colonies. He was hanged for having shot another man during a quarrel.

1772 The death of James Brindley, British canal builder and one of the most notable engineers of the 18th century. The Trent and Mersey Canal was the first part of Brindley's ambitious project to use canals to link the four great rivers of England: the Mersey, Trent, Severn and Thames (the "Grand Cross" scheme).

1788 Lord Raglan, British field-marshal was born. He lost his arm in battle, thus giving his name to a design of sleeve.

1840 The foundation stone for Nelson's Column was laid in Trafalgar Square.

1888 Jack the Ripper murdered two more women - Liz Stride, found behind 40 Berner Street, and Kate Eddowes in Mitre Square, both in London's East End. Unlike murderers of lesser fame, there is no waxwork figure of Jack the Ripper at Madame Tussauds' Chamber of Horrors, in accordance with their policy of not modelling persons whose likeness is unknown. He is instead depicted as a shadow.

1933 The birth, in Oldham, Lancashire of Barbara Knox, best known for playing Rita Tanner (née Littlewood, previously Fairclough and Sullivan) in the television soap opera Coronation Street . She has been a 'regular' since 1972 and In 1989 she won the TV Times award for best actress following her involvement in the dramatic Alan Bradley storyline.

1936 Pinewood Film Studios opened near Iver, in Buckinghamshire, to provide Britain with a film studio to compete with America's Hollywood Studios in California.

1938 The League of Nations unanimously outlawed 'the intentional bombings of civilian populations'.

1939 Identity cards were issued in Britain.

1944 Calais was reoccupied by the Allies.

1945 The Bourne End rail crash, in Hertfordshire killed 43 when an overnight sleeping-car express train from Scotland to London Euston derailed due to a driver's error when he took a turn at nearly 60 mph when the maximum speed was 15 mph. The engine and the first six carriages overturned and fell down an embankment into a field, only the last three coaches remained on the rails.

1951 Big crowds attended the final ceremonies which marked the official end of the Festival of Britain.

1967 The BBC Light Programme, Third Programme and Home Service were replaced with BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 Respectively. BBC Radio 1 was also launched, with Tony Blackburn, a former Radio Caroline DJ, presenting the first show.

1971 The British Government named Oleg Lyalin as the Soviet defector who, the previous week had exposed dozens of Russians alleged to be spying in the UK.

1987 Keith Best, MP, was sentenced to four months in prison for trying to obtain British Telecom shares by deception.

1988 A court in Gibraltar declared that the killing of three unarmed IRA suspects by British soldiers was lawful.

2014 In the first official study of money spent on 'illegal' activities it was found that Britons spend more on drugs and prostitutes than on beer and wine. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) said that spending on illegal drugs and prostitution was worth an estimated £12.3bn to the UK economy in 2013.