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This Day in History - 5th November


1605 Guy Fawkes, born here in York was arrested when around 30 barrels of gunpowder, camouflaged with coal, were discovered in the cellar under Parliament. Robert Catesby’s small band of Catholic zealots who planned to blow up James I and Parliament were only arrested after Fawkes revealed their names when tortured on the rack. Conspirators met at the Old Lion Inn, Dunchurch, Warwickshire and plaque on 5th November to await news of the destruction of Westminster.

1854 Nineteen Victoria Crosses were won in the defeat of the Russians at the Battle of Inkerman.

1909 Woolworths opened its first British store, in Liverpool. Almost 100 years later, (at the end of the first week in January 2009) the last remaining stores closed for the last time.

1912 The appointment of a British Board of Film Censors. They decided on only two classifications - 'Universal' and 'Not Suitable for Children'.

1913 Vivien Leigh, British actress who won an Oscar for 'Gone With the Wind' was born.

1914 World War I: Britain and France declared war on Turkey.

1927 Britain’s first automatic traffic lights were installed at Princess Square road junction in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands.

1932 Gillespie Road London Underground station, which also served Arsenal Football Club’s Highbury ground, had its name changed to Arsenal after representations by the club.

1935 Lester Piggott, champion jockey, was born. Aged 18, he rode his first Derby winner. Piggott had 4,493 career wins, including nine Epsom Derby victories and is one is one of the most well-known English flat racing jockeys of all time. In 1987 he was convicted of tax fraud, jailed for three years and was stripped of his OBE that had been awarded in 1975.

1950 Korean War: British and Australian forces from the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade successfully halted the advancing Chinese 117th Division during the Battle of Pakchon in North Korea.

1967 At least 40 people were killed and 80 hurt after a train derailed near Hither Green, south-east London. Survivors included Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees who died on 20th May 2012, at the age of 62, from liver and kidney failure.

1971 Princess Anne was voted ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ by the British Sportswriters' Association.

1979 The trial began in Dublin, of the two men accused of the murder of Lord Mountbatten.

1991 Millionaire publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell was found dead at sea, several hours after mysteriously disappearing from his yacht off the Canary Islands.

2006 Following the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by a coalition of countries including Britain and America, Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq was sentenced to death in the al-Dujail trial for his role in the massacre of 148 Shi'as in 1982. His execution was carried out on 30th December 2006.

2013 The village of Wool, in the Purbeck district of Dorset, reported that at least 160 sheep had been stolen from nearby fields, sometime between 1st and 3rd November.