This Day in History - 3rd July
1767Pitcairn Island was discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret. The islands are best known as home of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers, an event retold in numerous books and films. Pitcairn measures about 2 miles across and is the least populated jurisdiction in the world with only 48 inhabitants, from four main families of Bounty descendents.
1920The first RAF air display took place at Hendon, near London.
1928A policeman's helmet and a bunch of roses were among the pictures shown on John Logie Baird's first colour television test transmission at Baird Studios, in London.
1938LNER locomotive No.4468 'Mallard' achieved the world speed record for steam traction. A maximum speed 126 mph was reached between Grantham and Peterborough. Mallard was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and was in service until 1963, when she was retired, having covered almost one and a half million miles and is now at the National Railway Museum in York.
1940World War II: British warships attacked three battleships of the French fleet - Dunkerque, Provence and Bretagne. Fearing that the French ships would fall into Nazi hands, the British Force attempted to coerce the French battleship squadron to join the British cause, surrender their ships in British ports or scuttle their ships. The French Navy refused, as complying with the demand would have violated the Armistice signed with Germany. The British warships opened fire and 1200 French sailors perished, 977 on the Bretagne alone.
1952The SS United States set sail on her maiden voyage to Southampton. During the voyage, the ship took the coveted Blue Riband away from the RMS Queen Mary, until that date the fastest passenger liner to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
1954The end of food rationing in Britain - almost 9 years after the end of World War II. Smithfield Meat Market in London opened at midnight instead of 6am to cope with the demand for beef.
1966Demonstrators in London were arrested after their protest against the Vietnam War turned violent.
1969Brian Jones, a founding member of the British rock group Rolling Stones, drowned in his swimming pool after taking a drug overdose.
1970112 people died when a British Dan-Air charter, flying a Comet 4 turbojet from Manchester crashed into the sea near Barcelona. There were no survivors and the remains of the wreckage provided no clues as to the cause of the crash.
1974Don Revie was appointed manager of the England football team.
1984Derek Underwood (Kent's left arm spin bowler) scored his first cricket century, after 22 years of playing in first-class cricket.
1986The government abandoned its water privatisation plans
1996It was announced that the Stone of Scone, the symbol of Scottish nationalism, stolen by Edward I of England in 1296, was to be returned to Scotland from Westminster Abbey where it has been used in the coronation of 30 British monarchs.
2000In his first speech as Mayor of London Ken Livingstone announced that he would stand up to the Government if they were not acting in the capital's best interests.
2014A 4m x 4m beach hut at Mudeford Spit near Christchurch in Dorset went on the market for £225,000. The hut has no bathroom, mains electricity or running water and only glimpses of the sea that "can be caught from inside, but the view directly in front of the hut is of (very nice) sand dunes and grass."