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This Day in History - 6th October


1536 William Tyndale, English religious reformer and translator of the Bible's New Testament, was strangled and burned at the stake, for heresy.

1769 English explorer Captain James Cook, aboard the Endeavour, discovered New Zealand. 


1829 Locomotive trials began at Rainhill near Liverpool to find an engine for use on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. 


1854 The Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured in a series of fires and an explosion. The initial fire started in a mill and large quantities of oil in the premises added fuel to the fire. The explosion, which could be heard 10 miles away, was thought to be the result of storing 2800 tons of sulphur and 128 tons of nitrate of soda in one of the warehouses.


1891 William Henry Smith, (WHSmith) English newsagent, bookseller and statesman died.


1892 Alfred Tennyson, England's 'Poet Laureate', died.


1895 Conductor Sir Henry Wood instituted the Promenade Concerts; known worldwide as 'The Proms', at the Queen's Hall in London.


1910 The birth of Barbara Castle who rose to become one of the most important Labour Party politicians of the twentieth century. She is, to date, the only woman to have held the office of First Secretary of State.


1939 Adolf Hitler denied any intention to wage war against Britain and France in an address to Reichstag.


1953 Naval and military forces were sent to British Guiana in response to what the UK Government said was a threat to the administration of the British colony.


1968 The first three places in the US Grand Prix were taken by British drivers: Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill and John Surtees.


1978 Ann Dadds became London Underground's first woman Tube driver.


1985 Metropolitan police officer, PC Keith Blakelock, was hacked to death by up to 40 rioters on the Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham, North London against a backdrop of unrest between the police and local black communities. Blakelock and nine other constables were awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for bravery and Sergeant David Pengelly, who fought to save Blakelock and another officer who came under attack, received the George Medal. The murder remains unresolved but investigations continue.


1997 British astronaut, Michael Foale, returned safely to earth aboard the space shuttle 'Atlantis' after four and a half months on 'MIR', the Russian space station. The touchdown was Atlantis’ final mission before she was taken out of service for another 'Orbiter Modification Down Period'. Atlantis did not fly again until May 2000 when she made her first trip to the International Space Station.


2013 Expenses documents showed that former cabinet minister Liam Fox successfully claimed 3p of taxpayers' money for a car journey of about 100 metres. The ex-defence secretary made another 15 claims of under £1 for car travel approved in 2012-13.