On This Day In History

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Never one to let a good idea go to waste1, I would like to reintroduce to
h2g2 'On This Day In
, slightly tweaked into a new,
shiny format. The lovely Italix had the presence of
mind to drop a number of pages where people could
leave their fun-filled facts. Why not pop over and
drop a suggestion. It may well find its way onto the

19th June

  • 240 BC

    Greek philosopher Eratosthenes estimated the
    circumference of the Earth. He had been told that on
    Midsummer’s Day (June 21st) the sun reflected in
    a deep well in the town of Syene in Southern
    Egypt2. This means that the
    sun is directly overhead the town on this day.
    Eratosthenes lived in Alexandria, 5000 stadia north of
    Syene (The stadia is the unit of distance used by the
    Greeks and represented the size of a sports arena).
    The philosopher was able to determine that the angle
    the sun made at noon on Midsummer's Day was
    1/50th of a circle, or 7.2o. From this he
    estimated the circumference to be 250,000 stadia.

  • 1556

    Birth date of King James VI of Scotland (1567 -
    1625). Following the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, he
    was crowned James I of England (1603 - 1625).
    James authorised the 'King James Version' (KJV) of the

  • 1865

    General Gordon Granger landed on Galveston Island,
    Texas and proclaimed the sovereignty of the United
    States over the state and the freedom of all who had
    been slaves3. It was made a Texas state holiday
    in 1979 and is now celebrated in many communities
    across the US.
    Jimi X

  • 1978

    Birthday of the tubby cat, Garfield. This year is his
    25th birthday, and the kitten has come a long way in
    that time. Although the comics remain as successful as
    ever, Garfield has also starred on the small screen,
    and is soon to become a movie star.

Researcher's Born On This Day

20th June

  • 1837

    The first postage stamp was issued in Britain, the
    Penny Black. It featured the face of the monarch Queen
    Victoria. The stamp has grown to become one of the
    most coveted stamps for philatelists worldwide.

  • 1909

    Birth date of Errol Flynn. The grandfather of action
    heroes, Flynn played many famous roles, including
    Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

  • 1939

    Test flight of 1st rocket plane using liquid

  • 1977

    Oil enters the Trans-Alaska pipeline for the first
    time at Prudhoe Bay in the North Slope, Northern
    Alaska. It exits the pipe 38 days later at Valdez, the
    most northern port in the US which is ice-free. The
    pipeline covers 800 miles.

Researcher's Born On This Day

21st June

  • 1633

    Galileo Galilei proposed the heliocentric solar system
    in 1613 through a book on sunspots. Understandably,
    the Church was not too impressed by this theory, and
    decreed it to be heresy. On this day, Galileo was
    summoned to appear before the Roman Inquisition. He
    was made to swear on the Bible that he ... abjured,
    cursed, and detested the error and heresy that the Sun
    is fixed and the Earth moves
    . He stated that he
    would no longer support the idea in any manner. As a
    result, he was placed under house arrest and forced to
    recite the seven penitential psalms weekly for 3

  • 1732

    Birth date of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, the
    1st first lady of America

  • 1887

    Britain celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Queen

  • 1905

    Birth date of Jean-Paul Sartre. Born in Paris, France,
    Sartre wrote a number of novels and plays. He was also
    an existentialist philosopher and literary critic. He
    was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1964,
    but he declined the award in protest of the values of
    bourgeois society.

Researcher's Born On This Day

22nd June

  • 1858

    Birth date of Giacomo Puccini in Lucco, Italy.
    Puccini's best works include La Boheme, Madame
    Butterfly and his unfinished Turandot, from which
    Nessun Dorma is taken.

  • 1874

    Death of Howard Staunton. The Englishman defeated
    Pierre St. Amant in 1843 to become a self-proclaimed
    world chess champion, an achievement no other Brit has
    managed. He gave his name to a simplified design of
    chess pieces. Most sets today are based closely on the
    Staunton design.

  • 1978

    Discovery of Charon, Pluto's moon, by astronomer James
    Christy. The discovery was extremely lucky, as the
    moon was about to enter a plane which would have
    rendered it almost impossible to recognise.

Researcher's Born On This Day

23rd June

  • 1775

    The first boat regatta was held on the River Thames,

  • 1912

    Birthday of Alan Turing. Mathematician, breaker of the
    German Enigma Code, and inventor of the computer
    you're looking at.

  • 1949

    The first 12 women graduate from Harvard Medical
    School. They were admitted in 1945 due to a decrease
    in male admission owing to the War.

  • 1989

    The premiere of Batman. Starring Jack
    Nicholson, Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger.

24th June

  • 1314

    Robert the Bruce won the Battle of Bannockburn -
    possibly the most famous battle in Scottish history.
    The story goes that he was inspired to persevere by
    watching a spider spinning its web.

    Alex Wilcock

  • 1901

    Picasso's art received its first public viewing in

    Who's this?

  • 1999

    Greg Dyke was appointed as Director-General of the
    Alex Wilcock

  • 2000

    George Speight came with a new set of demands despite
    agreeing to sign the Maunikau Accords of Fiji.

Researcher's Born On This Day

25th June

  • 1218

    A leader of the Crusades, Templar Simon de Montfort

    Alex Wilcock

  • 1876

    George Armstrong Custer fell at the Battle of Little
    Bighorn. Custer came 34 out of a class of 34 at West
    Point and was court marshalled in 1867 for disobeying
    orders and abandoning 2 men to the mercy of native
    Americans. Called 'Squaw Killer' by the Natives after
    the massacre of 103 Cheyenne, he had a crew-cut before
    the battle in which 211 of his men died, perhaps
    precognascent of his own death.

  • 1903

    Birth date of Eric Arthur Blair, or George Orwell as
    he is better known. Born in India, he went on to write
    a number of classic books, including 1984 and Animal

On This Day
in History Archive

Fashion Cat

19.06.03 Front Page

Back Issue Page

at least not to mind too much after being told that I
am merely resurrecting a fabulous idea that Abi and Peta had over three
years ago!
2This town is now known as Aswan, near a
dam on the River Nile.
3This was two and a half years
after slavery had ended in other parts of the

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