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This Day in History - 3rd September


1189 Following the death of his father Henry II, Richard the Lionheart was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.

1650 English Parliamentarian forces led by Oliver Cromwell defeated an army loyal to King Charles II of England at the Battle of Dunbar. Cromwell described the victory as 'one of the most signal mercies God hath done for England and His people.' As a result of the destruction of the Scottish army, he was able to march unopposed to Edinburgh and quickly occupied the Scottish capital.


1658 Richard Cromwell (the third son of Oliver Cromwell) became Lord Protector of England but served just under 9 months, leading to his nickname of 'Tumbledown Dick' by Royalists.


1783 Britain finally recognised the United States of America by signing the Treaty of Paris which officially ended the American War of Independence.


1878 Over 640 died when the crowded paddle steamer Princess Alice collided with the Bywell Castle in the River Thames. It was the greatest loss of life in any Thames shipping disaster.


1916 Captain Leefe Robinson became the first pilot to shoot down a Zeppelin airship - during a German air raid on London in World War I. The airship caught fire after being attacked and crashed at Cuffley in Hertfordshire. Robinson was later awarded the Victoria Cross.


1935 Sir Malcolm Campbell reaches a speed of 304.331 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, becoming the first person to drive an automobile at over 300 mph.


1939 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, in a radio broadcast, announced that Britain and France had declared war on Germany. He formed an all-party War Cabinet with Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty.


1939 In Britain, the formation of the Citizens' Advice Bureau - established to help people understand and comply with new rules and regulations that were introduced at the start of World War II.


1943 The Allies landed at Salerno, on mainland Italy, and the Italian government surrendered. It was four years to the day after war had been declared on Germany.


1954 The National Trust purchased Fair Isle in northern Scotland, famous for its bird sanctuary and knitted sweaters.


1966 British soldiers Captain John Ridgway and Sergeant Chay Blyth become the first Britons to row across the Atlantic. They completed a 91-day row across the Atlantic in the English Rose III, when they rowed into Inishmore on the Isle of Aran.


1988 The first fines for not filling and returning poll tax registration forms were issued in Scotland.


1995 Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Hill Norton, backed claims that the British Government was covering up evidence of a UFO sighting in the south of England in 1990.


1999 Charges were dropped against nine photographers and a motorcyclist in connection with the 1997 crash that killed Princess Diana, Dodi Al Fayed and their driver.


2010 The death of Cyril Smith, MP for Rochdale from 26th October 1972 – 9th April 1992. After his death, numerous allegations of child sexual abuse emerged (including many made during his lifetime), leading the police to believe that Smith was a serial sex offender.


2014 More than 50,000 illegal immigrants told to leave the country have been granted a "de-facto amnesty" after Home Office officials admitted they have no idea where they are. 'Immigration enforcement officers are not even looking for the individuals because of limited resources.'