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None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‘He who prides himself on giving what he thinks the public wants is often creating a fictitious demand for lower standards which he himself will then satisfy' Sir John Reith, first Director General of the BBC, 1924


Films – see appendix 1 below

TV and radio broadcasting – see appendix 2 below

TV Shows – see appendix 3  below

Actors, film directors and film stars – see appendix 3.5 below

Radio shows – see appendix 4 below

Writers and poets – see appendix 5 below

Newspapers, Comics and Journals – see appendix 6 below


21/4/2016, The artist Prince, full name Prince Rogers Nelson, born 7/6/1958, died.

1/2/2016, Murray Louis, American dancer and choreographer died (born 1926).

10/1/2016, David Bowie, born in 1947 as David Jones in Brixton, London, died of cancer two days after his 69th birthday.

25/1/2015, The Greek operatic singer Demis Roussos, born 14/6/1946, died. He sold 60 million albums, and was also known for his excess weight, 23 stone at its peak. Because of his weight be began to wear kaftans for his stage performances, reverting to trousers when he began a weight loss programme in 1980.

2/5/2012, In New York, a pastel version of Edward Munch’s The Scream sold for US$ 120 million at auction, a record sum for a work of art.

13/3/2012, The Encyclopaedia Britannica discontinued its print edition, now being online-only, after 244 years.

17/1/2007, Protests in the UK and India after, on the Big Brother Reality Show, Jade Goody was allegedly racist to Shilpa Shetty.

15/7/2006, Twitter was launched.

12/9/2003, Johnny Cash, US musician, died (born 1932).

12/5/2000, In London, the Tate Modern art gallery opened.

15/5/1998, Frank Sinatra died.

21/10/1997, Elton John’sCandle in the Wind’, a tribute to Diana Princess of Wales, sold 31.8 million copies, the best seller ever.

15/7/1997, Gianni Versace, clothes designer, was shot dead at the age of 50. The chief suspect was Andrew Cunanan, a gay serial killer; the FBI beleived Versace was shot in revenge for infecting other men with HIV. Cunanan was found dead on a houseboat at Miami Beach, having committed suicide when the police arrived. However there were rumours of a mafia money-laundering connection, and that Cunanan had been killed to hide the true killer’s identity.

12/6/1997, The new Globe Theatre, London, opened.

8/4/1993, Marian Anderson, US musician, died.

12/8/1992, US composer John Cage died, aged 79.

28/4/1992, The French composer Olivier Messiaen died aged 83. Also this day the English painter Francis Bacon died in Madrid, aged 82.

15/2/1992, US composer William Schuman died, aged 81.

24/3/1991, Madonna was awarded an Oscar in Los Angeles.

20/9/1989, Musical ‘Miss Saigon’ premiered in London.

14/2/1989. (1) The first of 24 satellites for the Global Positioning System were placed in orbit.

(2) Skyphone, the world’s first satellite telephone service, was launched on a British Airways flight from London to New York.

3/2/1989, British Telecom banned ‘chatlines’, because some people got addicted to them and ran up huge bills which they couldn’t pay.  One 12-year-old ran up a bill of £6,000. The Internet had yet to arrive.

23/1/1989. Death of Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. He was aged 78, and had lived as a recluse since his wife, Gala, died in 1982. Art collectors were troubled by revelations that Dali had signed blank canvasses for others  to paint.

11/12/1988. An Ariane rocket carrying an Astra 1A satellite to bring 16 TV channels to Britain was launched from French Guyana.

17/11/1988, The Netherlands became the second country to connect to the Internet, after the USA.

26/5/1988, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats opened in Moscow with a British and American cast.

17/4/1988, Louise Nevelson, sculptor born in Kiev, Russia, in 23/9/1900, died in New York.

18/3/1988, Percy Thrower, horticulturalist, died.

17/3/1988, Grimes, Canadian musician, was born.

5/2/1988, 3.8 million plastic noses were sold for the first ever Comic Relief Red Nose Day. £15 million was raised.

11/12/1987, At Christies auction house, London, Charlie Chaplin’s cane and bowler sold for £82,500, and his boots for £38,500.

22/2/1987, Andy Warhol, American pop artist famous for his pictures of soup cans, died. He was born on 6/8/1926 to Czechoslovak immigrants in Pittsburgh.

31/8/1986. UK sculptor Henry Moore, born 1898, died aged 88.

5/3/1986, Andrew Jenks, US filmmaker, was born.

20/2/1986, Francisco Paolo Mignone, composer, died aged 88.

26/12/1985, Harold P Warren, US film director, died (born 1928).

9/9/1985. The Welsh clothes designer, Laura Ashley, died, aged 60, after 9 days in a coma.

8/4/1985, Rupert Murdoch bought Twentieth Century Fox.

28/3/1985, Marc Chagall, French painter (born 7/7/1887 to poor Jewish parents in Vitebsk, Russia), died in St Paul de Vence. He had moved to Berlin in 1922, and then to Paris in 1932. In 1941 he fled to the US to escape the advancing Nazis, returning to France after World War Two ended.

15/3/1985, On the Internet, the first .com name was registered,, by the Symbolics Corporation. However .edu names still predominated.

1/1/1985, The first mobile phone call was made, by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.

30/4/1983, George Balanchine, Russian dance director, died aged 79.

8/3/1983, Sir William Walton, English composer, died on the island of Ischia.

4/2/1983, Karen Carpenter, singer with The Carpenters, died of complications from anorexia nervosa, aged 32.

11/5/1981, Bob Marley, reggae musician, died of cancer aged 36.

8/12/1980. John Lennon, born 9/10/1940 in Liverpool during an air raid, was shot dead in New York by Mark David Chapman. See 26/5/1969.

21/11/1980. A Bill was presented in the UK Parliament separating the UK post from the telephone services.

30/11/1979, Zeppo Marx, the agent of the Marx brothers, died in London.

15/8/1979, Peter Shukoff, US comedian and musician, was born.

1/3/1978, Charlie Chaplin’s coffin was stolen from a cemetery in Switzerland.

25/12/1977, Charlie Chaplin died in Switzerland, aged 88.

13/9/1977, Leopold Stokowski, organist and conductor, died in Nether Wallop, Hampshire.

11/9/1977, Atari, Inc. released its Video Computer System in North America.

20/8/1977. Julius, or Groucho Marx, US comedian of the famous Marx Brothers, died in Los Angeles.

2/2/1977, The Pompidou Centre of art and culture opened in Paris.

4/12/1976. Death of the composer Benjamin Britten, aged 63.

23/2/1976, The painter L S (Lawrence Stephen) Lowry, noted for his matchstick people, died in Glossop, Derbyshire.

9/8/1975. Death of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovitch.

26/5/1975, The stuntman Evel Knievel suffered severe spinal injuries whilst attempting to jump 13 buses in his car.

4/3/1975, Queen Elizabeth II knighted the actor Charlie Chaplin.

19/2/1975, Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola died in Florence aged 71.

19/1/1975, Thomas Hart Benton, US painter, died in Kansas City, Missouri..

24/12/1974. The Beatles’ legal partnership was formally dissolved.

12/6/1974. The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, opened.

24/5/1974, Duke Ellington, jazz musician, died of lung cancer aged 75.

6/4/1974, Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Waterloo.

4/9/1973. The Rolling Stones played in London for the first time in 2 ½ years, and then attended a party at Buckingham Palace which Mick Jagger described as ‘very dull’.

1/9/1973, Ram Kapoor, Indian actor, was born in New Delhi.

8/4/1973. The Spanish painter Pablo Picasso died of a heart attack, aged 91. He was famous for his Cubist style.

29/11/1972, Carl W. Stalling, US composer, died aged 81.

10/10/1972, Sir John Betjeman, born 28/8/1906, was appointed Poet Laureate.

8/8/1972, The musical Jesus Christ Superstar premiered at the Palace Theatre, London.

19/12/1971, Intelsat IV (F3) was launched; it entered commercial service over the Atlantic Ocean on February 18, 1972.

6/4/1971. Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born composer, died in New York City aged 88.

24/3/1971, Arne Jacobsen, Danish architect, died aged 69.

10/1/1971. Coco Chanel, French fashion designer and one of the most influential couturiers of the twentieth century, died aged 87.

18/9/1970, Rock musician Jimi Hendrix died of a drugs overdose.

8/5/1970. The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be, was released.

9/4/1970, The Beatles pop group disbanded.

6/12/1969. A free concert given by the Rolling Stones, at Altamont, California, ended in tragedy when Hell’s Angels stabbed a man to death.

25/11/1969, John Lennon returned his MBE to Buckingham Palace, in protest at British involvement in the Biafra civil war in Nigeria.

31/8/1969, Bob Dylan starred in a pop festival on the Isle of Wight, drawing in 150,000 fans.

17/8/1969, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, architect, died.

5/7/1969, Sir Walter Gropius, architect, founder of the Bauhaus school of design, died.

12/6/1969, Alexander Deyneka: Ukrainian artist (born 1899), died.

24/5/1969. The Black and White Minstrel Show at London’s Victoria Palace closed after 4,354 performances over seven years. It was the longest running musical show in Britain.

16/4/1969. Desmond Dekker became the first Jamaican artist to top the UK charts with The Israelites.

15/4/1969, The Woodstock music festival began in Bethel, New York.

2/4/1969, Jim Morrison, of pop group ‘The Doors’ was arrested in the USA.

20/3/1969. The Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.

12/3/1969, Beatle Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Registry Office, London.

7/2/1969, Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine was released.

30/1/1969. The Beatles performed together for the last time.

30/8/1968, The single Hey Jude was released by The Beatles.

25/6/1968. Comedian Tony Hancock killed himself in a hotel bathroom in Sydney, Australia.

24/5/1968, The Rolling Stones hit, Jumpin’ Jack Flash was released.

23/2/1968, Tom Jones released his song Delilah.

5/12/1967. The Beatles opened their Apple store on Baker Street.

1/11/1967, Rolling Stone Magazine started publication, the first Rock’n’roll periodical in the USA.

27/8/1967, Brian Epstein, who managed The Beatles rise to rock stardom, died in a swimming pool accident.

29/5/1967, Geronimo Baqueiro Foster, composer, died aged 69.

17/2/1967, The Beatles’ hit, Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever single was released.

1/6/1966. Folk music fans at the Albert Hall booed Bob Dylan for performing with an electric guitar.

28/2/1966, The Cavern Club, where The Beatles first played, went into liquidation.

9/2/1966, Sophie Tucker, last of the ‘red hot mamas’, died.

1/2/1966, The silent film comedian Buster Keaton died.

26/10/1965. The Beatles went to Buckingham Palace to be presented with their MBE’s.

27/8/1965. The Swiss architect Le Corbusier died.

12/6/1965. The Beatles were made MBEs in the Queen’s birthday honours.  A number of other holders of the medal returned theirs in disgust.

2/3/1965, The Sound of Music went on release in the USA. It was an instant hit.

10/8/1964. An emergency casualty station had to be set up in Brighton to deal with a constant stream of hysterical girls overcome during a performance of the Rolling Stones.

16/7/1964, The Rolling Stones had their first UK No.1 hit  with It’s All Over Now.

3/6/1964, The Rolling Stones began their first US tour.

17/5/1964, Bob Dylan made his first major London appearance, at the Royal Albert Hall.

17/4/1964, The Rolling Stones released their first LP.

15/3/1964, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton married in Montreal.

1/2/1964. EMI’s managing director announced that The Beatles were making over £500,000 a month.

11/10/1963, Jean Cocteau, French artist (born 1889) died.

23/8/1963, The Beatles single She Loves You was released.

3/8/1963. The Beatles played in The Cavern, Liverpool, for the last time.

26/12/1962. The Beatles, an obscure group from Liverpool, just made no.17 in the charts with their single Love Me Do.

9/8/1962, The National Theatre was established in London, with Sir Lawrence Olivier as director.

5/8/1962. Marilyn Monroe, US film actress, died in Los Angeles aged 36, of a barbiturates overdose.

21/7/1962. The Rolling Stones made their first appearance at the Marquee Club in London.

9/5/1962, The Beatles signed a recording contract with EMI’s Parlophone label.

21/1/1962 The Beatles and Cliff Richard were making the charts.

13/12/1961, Grandma Moses, US painter, died aged 101.

9/11/1961, Jill Dando, British journalist and BBC television presenter, was born in Weston-super-Mare (murdered 1999).

2/11/1961, James Thurber, author, died in New York.

11/10/1961, Chico Marx, the piano-playing member of the Marx Brothers comedy team, died.

14/7/1961, Boy George was born.

12/8/1960. The first US communications satellite, Echo 1, was launched.

14/8/1960, Sarah Brightman, English singer, was born in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire.

30/5/1960, Boris Pasternak, Russian author of Dr Zhivago, Nobel Prize winner in 1958 (which he declined), died near Moscow.

12/4/1960, The musician Ray Charles won Best Male Vocalist Grammy award.

1959, The Barbie Doll was introduced at the annual Toy Fair in New York.

21/8/1959. Death of the sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein.

28/5/1959, The Mermaid Theatre opened in the City of London.

3/2/1959, Buddy Holly, US musician, was killed in an air crash in Iowa.

22/1/1959, Two thirds of British homes now had a television. The Rank Organisation, on 17/9/1959, said cinema attendance in Britain fell from 1.396 million in 1950 to 1.101 million in 1956 and was still in decline.

21/1/1959, Cecil B de Mille, Hollywood film producer, died.

8/8/1958. Columbia Records signed up a 17-year-old singer called Cliff Richard.

7/6/1958, Prince, American singer, was born.

30/1/1958, Yves St Laurent held his first Paris fashion show, aged 22. He was apprenticed to Christian Dior at 18 and when Dior died in 1959 he became head designer of the Dior fashion house.

20/12/1957. At the height of his career, Elvis Presley received his call-up papers.

2/11/1957, Elvis Presley set a record with 8 simultaneous UK top 30 entries.

24/10/1957, Christian Dior, French fashion designer and creator of ‘New Look’, died.

20/9/1957 Jean Sibelius,composer, died.

13/9/1957. The Mousetrap became Britain’s longest running play, reaching its 1,998th performance.

7/8/1957, Oliver Hardy, of Laurel and Hardy fame, died of a stroke, aged 65. Laurel was then aged 67.

19/3/1957, Elvis Presley paid the US$ 1,000 deposit on a mansion called Graceland, being sold by Mrs Ruth Brown-Moore.

16/3/1957, Constantin Brancusi, sculptor, died in Paris.

13/1/1957, Elvis Presley recorded All Shook Up in a Hollywood studio.

6/4/1956, Paramount Pictures signed Elvis for a three-film, five-year contract worth $450,000.

10/2/1956, Elvis Presley walked into a recording studio and made his first record, Heartbreak Hotel.

29/10/1955, Dmitri Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1, originally completed in 1948, was premiered by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra.

3/11/1954, Henri Matisse, painter, died in Nice aged 84.

5/10/1954, Bob Geldof, rock musician and charity fundraiser, was born in Dublin.

19/5/1954, Charles Ives, US composer died (born 1874).

15/2/1954, Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, was born.

9/11/1953. The Welsh poet Dylan Marlais Thomas, born in Swansea on 27/10/1914, died in New York City aged 39 after falling into an alcoholic coma. He had drunk 18 stiff whiskies. His major work, Under Milk Wood, was broadcast on radio in 1954.

15/10/1953 Youth culture was yet to arrive, as was the word ‘teenager’. Top of the pop charts were Mantovani, Doris Day, and Dean Martin.

2/10/1953. The photograph of William Pettit, wanted for murder, was shown on the BBC by request from the police. It was the first time TV was used in Britain to help find a wanted man.

21/7/1953, The first meeting of the Press Council, in London.

28/3/1953, James Francis Thorpe, athlete, died.

5/3/1953. Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer, died.

14/11/1952, Charts for pop singles were published in Britain for the first time, in New Musical Express.

27/8/1952, Harvey Corbett, US architect, died in New York city.,

21/1/1952, Billy Ocean, musician, was born.

28/7/1951, Walt Disney’s cartoon Alice in Wonderland was released.

9/4/1951, The first trials pf Pay-per-View TV in Chicago, Illinois. Viewers paid US$3 to download three films.

31/1/1951, Phil Collins, rock musician, was born.

2/11/1950. George Bernard Shaw, born 26/7/1856 in Dublin, died aged 94, in Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire, UK.  A failed novelist, he was 36 when his first play, Widower’s Houses, was performed.

16/10/1950, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, CS Lewis, was first published.

8/9/1949, Richard Strauss, composer, died.

31/12/1948, Donna Summer, US singer, was born.

24/8/1947, The Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama was launched. It was an antidote to the prevailing austerity.

25/3/1947. Elton John, British musician, was born in Pinner, London, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight.

14/1/1947, The newly-renovated Covent Garden Opera House in London opened, with a performance of Bizet’s Carmen.

8/1/1947. David Bowie, British musician and rock star, was born in London as David Jones.

20/9/1946. The first Cannes Film Festival opened.

9/8/1946, The Arts Council of Great Britain was incorporated.

14/6/1946. Demis Roussos, Greek operatic singer, was born; see 25/1/2015.

26/9/1945. Bela Bartok, composer, died.

10/1/1945, Rod Stewart, British rock singer, was born in London.

25/12/1944, Kenny Everett, radio and TV comedian, was born.

13/9/1944. William Heath Robinson, the English artist famous for his drawings of excessively complicated machinery cobbled together, died.

1/2/1944. In New York, the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian died, aged 71.

23/1/1944. Death of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.

1/1/1944, Sir Edwin Lutyens, English architect, designer of The Cenotaph in London and planner of New Delhi, died in London.

28/4/1943, Sergei Rachmaninov, Russian composer, died in Beverley Hills, California.

25/2/1943, George Harrison, of the pop group ‘The Beatles’ was born in Liverpool.

24/11/1942, Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian, was born.

22/9/1942, Ralph Adams Cram, US architect, died

18/6/1942, Paul McCartney of The Beatles pop group was born in Liverpool.

5/11/1941, Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel, was born in New York.

18/6/1941, Delia Smith was born.

21/1/1941, Placido Domingo, Spanish operatic tenor, was born in Madrid.

9/10/1940. John Lennon, songwriter and musician in The Beatles pop group, was born in Liverpool.  He was the son of a ship’s steward.

7/7/1940, Ringo Starr, drummer in the Beatles pop group, was born Liverpool as Richard Starkey.

29/6/1940, Paul Klee, artist, died in Switzerland.

8/6/1940, Nancy Sinatra, daughter of singer Frank Sinatra, was born.

13/7/1939. Frank Sinatra made his first record, ‘From the Bottom of my Heart’ with the Harry James band.

21/4/1939, Edna Savage, UK singer, was born (died 31/12/2000).

10/4/1939, Glen Miller recorded Little Brown Jug.

2/4/1939, Marvin Gaye, soul singer, was born.

19/2/1939, Batman was first drawn by Bob Kane for a ‘Detective Comic’ to be issued in May 1939.

17/3/1938. Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev born in Irkutsk, Siberia.

11/7/1937, The US composer George Gershwin died, aged 38.

8/1/1937, Shirley Bassey, British singer and entertainer, was born in Cardiff, Wales.

30/9/1936, Pinewood Film Studios opened.

1/8/1936. The French designer Yves St Laurent was born in Oran, Algeria.

20/5/1935, Mickey Rose, US actor, was born (died 2013).

28/9/1934, Brigitte Bardot, actress, female role model, was born in Paris.

10/6/1934, British composer Frederick Delius died in France.

25/5/1934. The composer Gustav Holst, who wrote The Planets, died aged 59. He was buried in Chichester Cathedral.

24/4/1934, Laurens Hammond filed a patent for an "electrical musical instrument" known today as the Hammond organ.

23/2/1934. Sir Edward Elgar, English composer, (born 2/6/1857), died of pneumonia in Worcester. On 10/11/1910 he conducted the first performance of his violin concerto, played by Fritz Kreisler, at the Queen’s Hall, London Applause was described as worthy of the Battle of Trafalgar.

18/2/1934, Yoko Ono, the widow of Jon Lennon, was born.

1/1/1934. Britain now had over 2 million telephone subscribers, with 275,000 more joining every year.

23/7/1933. Richard Rogers, architect who designed the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Lloyds Building in London, was born.

1/5/1933, The Britain to India telephone service began.

23/4/1932, The new Shakespeare Memorial Theatre opened in Stratford on Avon.

6/3/1932, John Philip Sousa, composer, died.

3/10/1931. Death of the Danish composer Carl Nielsen.

6/1/1931, The New Sadlers Wells Theatre in London was opened.

1/6/1930, Birth of TV actor Edward Woodward, best known for The Equaliser.

30/4/1930. A telephone link opened between Britain and Australia.

2/12/1929. Britain got its first 22 public phone boxes.

8/11/1929, The Museum of Modern Art in New York opened.

2/11/1929, The first News Theatre Cinema opened in New York, the Embassy.

12/10/1929, Magnus Magnusson, British writer and TV presenter, was born in Reykjavik, Iceland.

18/2/1929, The First Academy Awards, known as Oscars from 1931, were announced.

3/2/1929, Val Doonican, singer, was born.

1/1/1929. In the UK, there were now 3.6 telephones per 100 people.

11/12/1928, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author, was born.

26/8/1928, Actress Barbara Stanwyck and vaudeville comedian Frank Fay were married in St. Louis.

27/4/1928. The Piccadilly Theatre, London, opened.

6/10/1927. The first full length talking picture, The Jazz Singer, opened in New York. The soundtrack was almost entirely music. The biggest problem with sound movies was synchronising speech with mouth movements.

26/3/1927. The Gaumont British Film Corporation was founded.

7/1/1927. The transatlantic telephone service between London and New York began. The charge was £15 for three minutes.

6/12/1926. The impressionist painter Claude Monet died as a recluse in Coventry, aged 86.

31/10/1926. The USA magician and escapologist Harry Houdini died, aged 52. He was born as Ehrich Weisz in Hungary and adopted his later name from the conjuror Robert Houdin whose autobiography he read as a young boy. .Determined to match Houdin’s achievements and to haul his family out of poverty, Houdini ran away to New York to begin a life in magic and entertainment which would enthral thousands. He escaped from handcuffs in an underwater nailed packing crate, and later exposed many psychic frauds. Whilst giving a lecture on spiritualism in Montreal, Houdini was asked if he could withstand a blow to the abdomen. Before he had a chance to prepare himself, Houdini was struck three times by a student. Despite this he managed to perform again, but died of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital a few days later.

10/6/1926, Spanish architect Gaudi y Cornet died. His most famous building is the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.

6/3/1926. Fire destroyed the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford on Avon. Only a blackened shell was left.

21/12/1925. Battleship Potemkin, a film by Sergei Eisenstein, opened in the USSR.

14/11/1925, The first Surrealist art exhibition opened in Paris.

17/7/1925, Lovis Corinth, German painter, died.

23/5/1925, British publishing magnate Sir Edward Hulton died after falling off his penny-farthing bicycle.

11/5/1925. Direct telephone communication between London and Rome began for the first time.

21/1/1925, Benny Hill, English comedian, was born in Southampton.

29/11/1924, The composer Puccini died in Brussels.

11/6/1924, Théodore Dubois, French composer, died aged 86.

16/4/1924. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film corporation was formed by merger.

14/4/1924, Louis Sullivan, US architect, died in Chicago.

4/3/1924, Happy Birthday to You, a song written by two US teachers, the sisters Patty and Mildred Hill, first appeared in print in a book by Robert H Coleman.

7/1/1924. Direct communication by transatlantic cable and land wire was opened by the Western Union Telegraph Company between London and Chicago.

9/12/1923, Meggie Albanesi, British actress, died aged 24.

26/11/1922. Birth of the American cartoonist Charles Schultz. At an arts instruction school in St Paul, Minnesota, Schultz asked fellow student Charlie Brown if he could use his name . He also used Brown’s moon-face looks to create the friendly loser-kid in the comic strip Peanuts, which featured in some 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries, translated into 21 languages. Schultz died in Santa Rosa, California, in 2000.

16/12/1921French composer and organist Camille Saint-Saens died aged 86.

9/9/1921, Charlie Chaplin arrived at Waterloo Station, London, on the boat train from Southampton, to a rapturous welcome. He was staying at the Ritz Hotel, socially a million miles from his childhood days in Lambeth.

2/8/1921. Death of the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, whose funeral in Naples was attended by 50,000 people.

27/3/1920, Death of Samuel Colman, US landscape painter (born 4/3/1832).

17/12/1919. Pierre Auguste Renoir died. He was born on 26/2/1841.

16/5/1919. Waldzin Valentino Liberace was born in Wisconsin. His father wanted him to be an undertaker.

20/3/1919. Wireless telephone communication established between Ireland and Canada.

3/12/1919, Pierre Auguste Renoir, French Impressionist painter, died near Cannes, aged 78.

25/3/1918, Claude Debussy, French composer, died of cancer in London aged 55.

18/11/1917, Pedro Infante, Mexican actor and singer, was born.

17/11/1917, Death of the sculptor Auguste Rodin, aged 77.

27/9/1917, The painter Edgar Degas died, aged 83 (born 19/7/1834, in Paris).

20/3/1917. Dame Vera Lynn was born.

1/3/1917, Robert Lowell, US poet, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

25/6/1916, Thomas C Eakins, US artist, died (born 25/7/1844).

5/6/1915, French sculptor and draughtsman Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was killed in action in World War One, aged 23.

12/12/1913. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa which had been stolen from the Louvre three years earlier was found in a bedroom of a small hotel in Florence. An Italian, Vicenzo Peruggia, was arrested.

22/11/1913, Benjamin Britten, English composer, was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

5/9/1912, Composer John Cage was born

27/8/1912. Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first went into print as a magazine serial.

14/7/1912. Woody Guthrie, US folk singer, was born in Oklahoma.

1/7/1912, The first Royal Command Performance took place at the Palace Theatre, London, watched by King George V and Queen Mary.

29/10/1911. (1) Joseph Pulitzer, US newspaper publisher who instituted an annual journalism prize, died.

(2) First stone of the Drury Lane Theatre laid.

22/8/1911, The Mona Lisa was stolen from The Louvre, Paris.

18/5/1911. The composer Gustav Mahler died of heart disease in Austria, aged 51.

29/9/1910, US artist Winslow Homer died at his studio in Maine..

24/2/1909. Colour films were shown to the public for the first time, in Brighton.

21/6/1908, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer, died at Lyubensk.

23/1/1908, A 7,000 mile telegraph line from Britain to India began operations.

7/1/1908, Sir Frederick Gibberd, town planner who designed Harlow New Town, was born (died 1984).  He also designed Didcot power station (1968), the Intercontinental Hotel at Hyde Park Corner, London (1975), Liverpool’s Catholic cathedral (1967), and the Regent’s Park Mosque (1977).

4/9/1907. Edward Greig, Norwegian composer, died in Bergen.

22/1/1907, In London, a strike by music hall artists disrupted theatre performances.

22/10/1906, The painter Paul Cezanne died in Aix en Provence, France (born 19/1/1839).

7/8/1906, Gerhard Frommel, composer, was born.

6/8/1906, Vic Dickenson, US trombonist, was born (died 1984).

8/7/1906, Philip Johnson, architect, was born in Cleveland, Ohio.

23/5/1906, The Norwegian poet Henry Ibsen died.

6/4/1906, The Poet Laureate, John Betjeman, was born in London.

13/10/1905, Sir Henry Irving, the first British actor to receive a knighthood, gave his final performance in Bradford, Yorkshire, before collapsing and dying in the arms of his dresser at the Midland Hotel.

29/4/1905, Rudolf Schwartz, Viennese conductor who survived the Nazi concentration camps to become conductor of the BBC Symphony orchestra, was born.

15/2/1905, Harold Arlen, musician, was born in New York.

2/2/1905, The Russian writer Maxim Gorky was released from prison.

21/1/1905, Christian Dior, French designer, was born in Granville.

1/11/1904, George Bernard Shaw’s play John Bull’s Other Island had its premier.

5/7/1904, The composer Edward Elgar was knighted.

9/6/1904, First concert by the London Symphony Hall.

26/5/1904, George Formby, Lancashire comedian who played the ukulele and was famous for his song Cleaning Windows, was born.

11/5/1904. Spanish painter Salvador Dali was born in Figueras, Upper Catalonia.

1/5/1904. The Czech composer Antonin Dvorak died.

9/1/1904, George Balanchine, ballet choreographer, was born (died 1983).

17/7/1903, James Whistler, painter, died aged 70.

8/5/1903. Death of the French Impressionist painter Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin, on the Marquesas Islands, Polynesia, aged 54. He was born in Paris in 1848 and spent a short time with Vincent Van Gogh. He died of syphilis. Gauguin had given up a successful career on the Paris stock exchange at 35 to pursue painting, at which he was self-taught.

29/3/1903, A regular news service began between New York and London began, using Marconi’s wireless.

21/5/1902, Marcel Lajos Breuer, architect, was born (died 1981)

11/4/1902, Fred Gaisberg, of the Gramophone Company, made the first recordings of Caruso.

29/3/1902, Sir William Walton, English composer, was born in Oldham, Lancashire, to musical parents.

5/12/1901. Walt Disney was born.

9/9/1901. The bespectacled short painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died in Malrome from a paralytic stroke, aged 36.

24/6/1901, The first Picasso exhibition opened in Paris.

23/5/1901, Edward Rubbra, composer, was born (died 1986)

12/3/1901, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, opened.

20/2/1901, Louis Isadore Kahn, architect, was born (died 1974).

27/1/1901. The Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan aged 87. His works included La Traviata and Il Travatore.

22/6/1900, In London, the Wallace Collection was opened to the Public.

20/1/1900, John Ruskin, writer and art critic, died near Coniston, Lake District, aged 80.

29/9/1899, Billy Butlin, holiday camp owner, was born in South Africa.

13/8/1899. Birth of film director Alfred Hitchcock.  He was born in Leytonstone, London, the son of a greengrocer.

3/6/1899. Johann Strauss the Younger, Austrian composer, violinist, and conductor, who wrote The Blue Danube waltz, died in Vienna.

2/6/1899, Lotte Reiniger, film animator, was born.

16/3/1899, The London erotic illustrator Aubrey Beardsley died aged 26.

30/7/1898, Henry Moore, British sculptor, was born in Castleford, Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner.

9/1/1898, Gracie Fields, singer and music hall star, was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, as Gracie Stansfield.

21/7/1897. The Tate Gallery in London was officially opened, on the site of Millbank Prison.

3/4/1897, Johannes Brahms, German composer, died at his home in Vienna, aged 64.

3/10/1896, Queen Victoria became the first British monarch to be captured on moving film, at Balmoral.

12/1/1896, Tommy Handley, British comedian, was born in Liverpool.

6/10/1895 Sir Henry Wood’s promenade concerts began at Queen’s Hall, London.

14/2/1895, Oscar Wilde’s final play, The Importance of Being Earnest, opened in London.

8/12/1894, James Thurber, author, was born in Columbus, Ohio.

9/2/1894, Adolphe Saxe, the Belgian musical instrument maker who invented the Saxophone, died in Paris.

6/11/1893. The composer Peter Illich Tchaikovsky, born.7/5/1840, died of cholera, after drinking infected water.

18/1/1892, Oliver Hardy, comedian in the Laurel and Hardy duo, was born in Atlanta, Georgia.

23/4/1891, Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer, was born in Sontsovka in the Ukraine.

18/3/1891, The London-Paris telephone link opened.  The first call was between the Prince of Wales and President Carnot. The link opened to the public on 1/4/1891.

14/3/1891. The submarine Monarch laid the first telephone cable across the English Channel.

13/2/1891, Grant Wood, US painter, was born in Iowa.

11/1/1891, Baron Georges-Eugene Haussman, architect who designed the broad straight boulevards of Paris, died in poverty.

2/10/1890, Julius Groucho Marx was born (died 1977).

29/7/1890. Vincent Van Gogh, born 30/3/1853, died after prolonged insanity. He went to the spot where he had painted Cornfield with flight of birds and shot himself in the chest, on 27/7/1890, dying 2 days later.

16/4/1889. Birth of the comedian Sir Charles Chaplin in Kennington, London (died 1977). He was the son of two music hall entertainers.

15/4/1889, Thomas Hart Benton, US painter, was born in Neosho, Missouri.

23/12/1888. (1) The film magnate J Arthur Rank was born. Born in Hull, England, he was born into a Yorkshire flour milling family. He entered the film business in his mid 30s, seeing it as a way to propagate his Methodist faith. He failed to secure distribution for a religious film called The Turn of the Tide and so began his own production, distribution, and exhibition of films in 1933. By the 1940s the Rank Organisation owned half the film studios in Britain and over 1,000 cinemas, including the well-known Odeon chain. However Rank failed to establish Britain as a rival to Hollywood. The Rank Organisation survives but withy films as a secondary interest behind hotels, real estate, ballrooms, bingo, and, most profitable of all, copying machines.

(2) The artist Vincent Van Gogh cut off his left ear lobe.

23/11/1888, Harpo Marx, one of the Marx Brothers comedy team, was born in New York City.

11/5/1888, Irving Berlin, US songwriter, was born as Israel Baline in Tyumen, Russia.

1887, L L Zamenhof devised ‘Esperanto’.

18/11/1887, Frank Dobson, English sculptor, was born.

15/11/1887, Georgia O’Keefe, artist, was born in Wisconsin.

1/11/1887, The artist L S (Laurence Stephen) Lowry was born in Rusholme, Manchester.

28/2/1887, Alexander Borodin, Russian composer, died in St Petersburg.

24/2/1887, The telephone link between Paris and Brussels was inaugurated, the first such link between national capitals.

31/7/1886. Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer, died aged 74, in Bayreuth, Bavaria.

27/3/1886, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, architect, was born in Aachen, Germany.

12/5/1884, Bohemian composer Bedrich Smetana died in an asylum for the insane.

19/8/1883, ‘Coco’ Chanel, French fashion designer, was born near Issoire as Gabrielle Chanel.

15/7/1883, Tom Thumb, the American circus midget who finally attained a height of 40 inches, died.

30/4/1883, Edouard Manet, artist, died.

18/2/1883, The funeral of the composer Wagner was held at Bayreuth.

23/1/1883, The French artist Gustave Dore (born 6/1/1832 in Strasbourg|) died in Paris.

9/4/1882, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English painter and poet, died.

25/10/1881, Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter who created Cubism, was born in Malaga, Andalusia.

28/3/1881, Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer, died of chronic alcoholism aged 42.

25/3/1881, Bela Bartok, Hungarian composer, was born.

10/11/1880, The British sculptor James Epstein was born (of Russian-Polish descent) in New York City.

9/11/1880, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, British architect, was born.

5/10/1880, Jacques Offenbach, composer, died in Paris.

18/12/1879, Paul Klee, artist, was born.

29/4/1879. Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor, born.

31/12/1877, The painter Gustave Coubert died, aged 59.

17/8/1876. Wagner’s opera Gotterdammerung premiered at Bayreuth.

19/2/1876, Constantin Brancusi, sculptor, was born in Romania.

18/2/1876. A direct telegraph link was set up between Britain and New Zealand.

3/6/1875. Georges Bizet, French composer of the opera Carmen, died in Bougival near Paris.

7/3/1875, Maurice Ravel, French composer, was born in Ciboure in the Basque Country.

21/9/1874, Gustav Holst, English composer, who wrote The Planets, was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, as Gustavus Theodore von Holst, of Swedish origin.

6/4/1874, Harry Houdini, American magician and escapologist, was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, as Ehrich Weiss. He was the son of a rabbi from Budapest.

1/10/1873, Sir Edwin Landseer, painter, died in London.

1/4/1873. Sergei Rachmaninov, last of the great Russian romantic composers, was born in Oneg, Nijni Novgorod. He later settled in the USA.

25/2/1873, Enrico Caruso, Italian operatic tenor, was born in Naples.

8/1/1873, Harvey Corbett, US architect, was born in San Francisco,

23/11/1872. Australia was connected by undersea cable to the rest of the world. The cable ran from Darwin in the north to Java, and also into southern Australia.

31/5/1872, The illustrator and cartoonist Heath Robinson was born. He was famous for his drawings of absurdly complicated machinery performing simple tasks.

22/5/1872. In Germany, the foundation stone of the Bayreuth Theatre was laid. It was built specially for the performance of Wagner’s works.

3/6/1871. London gained direct communication with Shanghai via an undersea cable laid via San Francisco.

25/3/1871, The American sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, was born near Bear Lake, Idaho.

1/10/1969, Austria issued the world’s first official post card.

29/3/1869, Sir Edward Lutyens, British architect, was born in London.

8/3/1869. The French composer Berlioz died in Paris.

25/5/1868, Rene Weil (Romain Coolus), French dramatist, was born in Rennes.

18/4/1867, John Smirke, who designed the façade of the British Museum, died.

31/1/1867. The four great bronze lions at the base of Nelson’s Column were completed by painter Sir Edward Landseer and positioned in Trafalgar Square.

14/1/1867, The painter Jean Auguste Ingres died aged 86 in Paris.

13/11/1866, Rossini, Italian composer, died in Passy, France, aged 76.

27/7/1866. The first successful transatlantic cable was laid by the Great Eastern, which arrived this day at Hearts Content, Newfoundland. Attempts had been made to do this since 1856.

8/12/1865, Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer, was born in Hameenlinna, the son of a surgeon.

2/8/1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) was published.

6/7/1865, Emile Jacques Dalcroze, inventor of eurhythmics dancing, was born.

8/6/1865, Sir Joseph Paxton, ornamental gardener and architect who designed the Crystal Palace for the 1851 Great Exhibition, died.

11/6/1864, Richard Strauss, composer, was born in Munich, Germany.

13/1/1864, Stephen Foster, musician, died in New York (born 4/7/1926)

12/12/1863, Edward Munch, Norwegian artist who painted The Scream, was born.

7/12/1863, Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer, was born.

13/8/1863, The painter Eugene Delacroix died in Paris.

12/7/1863, Charles Cottet, French painter, was born at Puy.

22/8/1862. Composer Claude Debussy was born in St Germain en Laye, France.

15/5/1862, The third Royal Opera House opened at Covent Garden, London.

29/1/1862, Frederick Delius, English composer, born in Bradford, Yorkshire.

18/12/1860, Edward MacDowell, US composer, was born in New York City.

7/7/1860, Gustav Mahler, composer, was born in Kalischt, Bohemia.

20/10/1860, Walter Cope, US architect, was born in Pennsylvania.

7/9/1860, Grandma Moses, US painter, was born in Greenwich, New York State.

23/6/1860. On St John’s Eve, Mussorgsky completed St John’s Night on a Bare Mountain. After his death Rimsky Korsakov edited it and removed St John’s from the title.

15/12/1859, Ludwig Zimenof, Polish linguist who created the artificial language Esperanto, was born in Bialystock.

24/11/1859. Charles Darwin, born 12/2/1809, published The Origin of the Species.

12/11/1859, French acrobat Jules Leotard performed the first circus trapeze act at the Cirque Napoleon, Paris, wearing the famous costume named after him.

4/10/1859, Death of German publisher Karl Baedeker, whose travel guides became famous.

19/5/1859, Dame Nellie Melba, Australian singer, was born.

22/12/1858, The composer Puccini was born in Lucca, Italy.

5/8/1858, The first transatlantic cable was completed, by Sir Charles Tilston Bright (1832 – 1888), and opened by Queen Victoria and President Buchanan. See 7/9/1866.

30/1/1858, The Halle Opera in Manchester, England, gave its first public concert.

16/9/1857, The tune Jingle Bells by James Pierpoint was copyrighted under its original title One Horse Open Sleigh. In 1965 it became the first song to be broadcast from space.

2/6/1857, Sir Edward Elgar, British composer, was born in Broadheath, near Worcester, the son of a music seller and organist.

27/10/1856, Kenyon Cox, US painter, was born in Ohio.

3/9/1856, Louis Sullivan, US architect, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

29/7/1856, Robert Schumann, German composer, died in an asylum near Bonn.

5/3/1856, London’s Covent Garden Opera House was destroyed by fire.

6/11/1854, John Philip Sousa, composer, inventor of the sousaphone (a sort of large tuba), was born.

30/3/1853. The artist Vincemt Van Gogh was born in the Dutch village of Groot-Zundert, the son of a Lutheran pastor.

30/9/1852, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Irish composer, was born.

14/9/1852, Lord Pugin, co-designer of the Houses of Parliament with Sir Charles Barry, died at Ramsgate.

19/12/1851. The painter Joseph Turner died in his house in Chelsea, London, under the assumed name of Booth.

13/11/1851. A telegraphic service between London and Paris was started.

11/3/1851, Verdi’s opera Rigoletto was first performed, in Venice.

1/2/1851, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, died.

19/11/1850, Alfred Lord Tennyson was appointed Poet Laureate, a post he held until his death in 1892.

28/8/1850. The Channel telegraph was laid between Dover and Cap Gris Nez.

23/4/1850, Sir William Wordsworth, Poet Laureate from 1843, died of pleurisy at Rydal Mount, Grasmere, aged 80.

17/10/1849. Frederic Chopin, born 1/3/1810 near Warsaw, Poland, died aged 39 of tuberculosis in Paris.

25/9/1849, Johann Strauss the Elder died, aged 45, of scarlet fever.

23/6/1848. Adolfe Sax, born on 6/11/1814 in Dinant, Belgium, was awarded a patent for the saxophone.

7/6/1848, Paul Gauguin, French painter, was born in Paris.  He was the son of a journalist.

4/11/1847. The composer Felix Mendelssohn died in Leipzig of a stroke, aged 38.

16/9/1847, Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford on Avon was purchased by the specially-formed Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. This was one of the first buildings acquired purely for preservation.

17/3/1846, Kate Greenaway, British artist, was born.

19/10/1845. Wagner’s opera ‘Tannhauser’ was first performed at Dresden.  Wagner’s music inspired either wonder or loathing, and he was also highly anti-Semitic.

30/5/1846, Peter Carl Faberge, Russian jeweller whose fabulous Easter Eggs were popular with the tsars, was born.

25/7/1844, Thomas C Eakins, US artist, was born (died 25/6/1916).

16/7/1844, Charles Dickens’ sixth book, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, was published in entirety.

3/5/1844, Richard D’Oyly Carte, who produced the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, was born.

18/3/1844, Rimsky Korsakoov, Russian composer, was born in Novgorod.

15/6/1843. Edward Grieg, Norwegian composer, was born in Bergen.  He was of Scottish descent.

8/9/1841, Anton Dvorak, Czech composer, was born near Prague.

25/2/1841, Pierre Auguste Renoir, French impressionist painter, was born in Limoges, the son of a tailor.

14/11/1840, Claude Monet, French Impressionist painter, was born in Paris.

12/11/1840, Auguste Rodin, French sculptor, was born in Paris.

7/5/1840, Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer, was born in Votkinsk, the son of a government mines inspector.

21/3/1839, Modest Moussorgsky, Russian composer, was born in Karevo (now called Pskov).

19/1/1839, Paul Cezanne, French artist, was born in Aix en Provence, France.

9/4/1838. The National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, London, opened.

4/1/1838, Charles Sherwood Stratton was born. He later became famous as Tom Thumb, a midget exhibited by Phineas Barnum.

31/3/1837 The painter John Constable. Died, aged 60.

20/1/1837, Sir Robert Soane, architect, died in London. He designed the Bank of England building on Threadneedle Street.

26/6/1836, Rouget de Lisle, composer of La Marseillaise in 1792, died.

24/2/1836, US artist Winslow Homer was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

26/6/1835, Baron Antoine Gros, French painter, drowned himself in the River Seine at Meudon, aged 64.

13/5/1835, John Nash, architect of Regents Park and Brighton Pavilion, died on the Isle of Wight. He had been commissioned by King George IV to redevelop parts of London, such as Trafalgar Square and Regent Street.

12/11/1834. Alexander Borodin, Russian composer, was born in St Petersburg.

19/7/1834, Edward Degas, painter, was born in Paris.

28/8/1833, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, English painter, was born.

7/5/1833, Johannes Brahms, German composer, was born in Hamburg, the son of a poor orchestral musician.

6/1/1833, Gustav Dore, French artist, was born.

23/1/1832. Edouard Manet, French painter, was born in Paris.

6/1/1832, Gustave Dore, French artist, was born.

10/11/1830, Jacob Epstein, British sculptor, was born.

1829, The accordion was invented by Damian, in Vienna.

19/11/1828. Franz Schubert, born 31/1/1797, died of typhus, aged 31.

16/4/1828, Francisco de Goya, Spanish painter and etcher, died in France aged 82.

20/3/1828, The Norwegian poet Henry Ibsen was born in Skien, Norway.

8/2/1828. Jules Verne, French writer and early author of science fiction, was born in Nantes, Brittany.

26/3/1827. Composer Ludwig van Beethoven died in Bonn, aged 57. His last words were reputedly “I shall hear in Heaven”. His funeral was on 29/3/1827, in Vienna; thousands attended it.

22/4/1827, Thomas Rowlandson, English watercolour painter (born 1756) died in London.

25/10/1825, Johann Strauss junior, composer, was born in Vienna, Austria.

2/3/1824, Bedrich Smetana, Czech composer, was born in Litomysl, Bohemia.

7/5/1823, Despite his deafness, Beethoven conducted the first performance of his Ninth Symphony.

1821, The designer, Louis Vuitton, was born in Jura, eastern France, to a farming family. At age 13 he walked to Paris and became apprentice to a master trunk maker.

30/3/1820, Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty, was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

20/6/1819, Jacques Offenbach, composer, was born in Cologne, Germany.

11/4/1819, Sir Charles Halle, German musician who founded the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, was born.

21/6/1818, Sir Richard Wallace, art collector and philanthropist, was born.

6/11/1814, Adolphe Sax, Belgian musician and instrument-maker who invented the Saxophone and Saxhorn, was born.

10/10/1813. The Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi was born in Le Roncole, near Busseto, the son of an innkeeper.

22/5/1813. Richard Wagner, German operatic composer, was born in Leipzig.

7/2/1812, The author Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Portsmouth, the son of a clerk in the navy pay office.

22/10/1811. Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist, was born in the village of Raiding near Odenburg.

18/7/1811, William Thackeray, poet, was born in Calcutta, India; his father was an official of the East India Company.

13/7/1811, Sir George Gilbert Scott, architect who designed the Albert Memorial and St Pancras Station, was born.

8/6/1810, Robert Schumann, German composer, was born.

5/7/1810, American showman Phineas T Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut.

1/3/1810, Frederic Chopin, Polish composer and pianist, was born in Zelazowa Wola, near Warsaw, the son of a Frenchman.

31/5/1809. Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, died in Vienna.

28/3/1809, George Richmond, British artist, was born.

3/2/1809, Felix Mendelssohn, German composer, was born in Hamburg, son of a banker.

22/12/1808, Beethoven’s 5th and 6th symphonies received their premiere in Vienna.

22/10/1806, Thomas Sheraton, furniture designer and cabinet maker, died.

20/11/1805, Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, premiered at the Theater an der Wein, in Vienna.

14/3/1804, Johann Strauss the Elder, Austrian composer, was born in Vienna, son of an innkeeper.

11/12/1803, Hector Berlioz, French composer, was born in La Cote St Andre, near Grenoble, son of a doctor.

3/3/1802. Beethoven’s opera “Moonlight Sonata” is published.

7/3/1802. Sculptor and animal painter Sir Edward Landseer was born in London, the son of an engraver. He designed the bronze lions at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

3/11/1801, Karl Baedeker, guide book publisher, was born.

31/8/1801. Sir Joseph Paxton, architect of the Crystal palace, was born at Milton Bryant near Woburn, Bedfordshire.

26/4/1798, The painter Eugene Delacroix was born near Paris.

31/1/1797, Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, was born near Vienna. He was the son of a schoolteacher.

23/5/1795, Birth of the architect Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament in London

3/1/1795, Josiah Wedgwood, English potter and creator of blue jasper ware, died in Staffordshire.

29/2/1792, Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer, was born in Pesano, on the Adriatic coast. He was the son of an itinerant horn player.

23/2/1792, Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter, died in London.

5/12/1791, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, died of typhus in Vienna and was buried in the common ground of St Mark’s churchyard.

2/8/1788. The painter Thomas Gainsborough, born 14/5/1727, died.

10/7/1788. Mozart completed his Jupiter Symphony. Born on 27/1/1756, Mozart died on 5/12/1791 from typhus and was buried in a pauper’s grave with several other paupers.

10/8/1787. Mozart completed his famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

27/7/1787, The Theatre Royal, Margate, was founded.

3/4/1783, Washington Irving, author of Rip Van Winkle, was born.

6/2/1783. English landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown died. Kew Gardens and Blenheim Palace are examples of his work.

27/10/1782. Birth of the Italian composer and violinist Niccolo Paganini, in Genoa.

18/12/1779, Joseph Grimaldi, English clown who invented the white face make up for clowns, was born.

20/1/1779, David Garrick, English actor and theatre manager, died. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

3/8/1778. La Scala opera house  in Milan opened, the work of Guiseppe Piermarini.

5/3/1778, Thomas Arne, English composer, died in London.

22/1/1778, Lord Byron, English romantic poet, was born in London.

11/6/1776. John Constable, landscape painter, was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk, the son of a landowner and miller.

16/12/1775. Jane Austen, author, was born at Steventon in Hampshire, the seventh child of eight born to a rector.

23/4/1775, The painter Joseph Mallory William Turner was born at Covent Garden, London. He was the son of a barber.

16/12/1770, Beethoven, German composer, was born in Bonn, the son of an undistinguished tenor.

7/4/1770. William Wordsworth, poet, was born, at Cockermouth, Cumberland. He was the son of an attorney.

10/12/1768. The Royal Academy of Arts, London, was founded.  Joshua Reynolds was the first President.

20/4/1768. The painter Canaletto died in Venice. Born there in 1697, Canaletto painted many scenes of Venice before moving to England in 1746 to paint the country houses there.

30/5/1766, The oldest theatre still in use in Britain, the ‘Royal;’ in Bristol, was opened.

27/10/1764 The painter and engraver William Hogarth died in London, aged 67.  He was buried in Chiswick churchyard. He also pushed for legislation to protect the intellectual property of artists, the so-called ‘Hogarth Act’ of 1753.

21/4/1760, Britain’s first art exhibition opened. The Annual Exhibition of United Artists was held at the premises of the Society of Arts on The Strand, London.

14/4/1759. George Frederick Handel, German composer, died, aged 74, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was born in Halle, Saxony, on 23/2/1685. He settled in England and became court composer to George II.

23/7/1757. The composer Scarlatti died, aged 71.

27/1/1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, was born in Salzburg, the son of a musician.

10/9/1753. Birth of the architect Sir John Soane. He was born at Goring, near Reading, the son of a mason, and in 1788 he became architect and surveyor to the Bank of England. The new exterior he created for the Bank was regarded as his most famous work. In 1806 he became Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy; he was knighted in 1831. His home at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which he designed, was the setting for his art and antiques collection. He lived there alone after his wife died in 1815; it is now the John Soane Museum. He also designed the Dulwich College Picture Gallery in south London.

28/7/1750. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach died, almost blind, of apoplexy. He was born on 21/3/1685 in Eisenach, Germany. He fathered 20 children, and also composed 300 cantatas, two oratorios, the St John and St Matthew Passions, and Mass in B Minor.

30/3/1746, Francisco de Goya, Spanish painter, was born in Fuendetodos, near Saragosa, son of a master gilder.

13/4/1742, The performance of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin marked the climax of his popularity.

28/7/1741, Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer, notably of The Four Seasons, died in Vienna.

17/1/1738, The German architect, Matthaus Poppelman, died aged 74.

18/12/1737, Antonio Stradivari, famous Italian violin maker, died in Cremona, Lombardy.

7/12/1732. The Covent Garden Theatre, London, opened

31/3/1732, Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, was born in Rohrau, son of a wheelwright.

26/4/1731, Daniel Defoe, English author who wrote Robinson Crusoe, died.

27/1/1731, Bartolommeo Cristofori, Italian harpsichord maker, who designed the first piano in 1710, died in Florence.

12/7/1730, Josiah Wedgewood, potter, was born at Burslem, Staffordshire.

14/5/1727. Artist Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was the son of a cloth merchant.

26/3/1726. Sir John Vanbrugh, English playwright and architect of Blenheim Palace, Castle Howard, and many other stately homes, died of quinsy.

16/7/1723, Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter, was born at Plympton Earls, Devon.

25/2/1723. Sir Christopher Wren, architect, born 20/10/1632 in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, died aged 91, in London. His works included St Paul’s Cathedral (see 22/6/1675) and Chelsea Hospital. He was buried in the crypt of St Pauls Cathedral.

2/3/1717. First ballet performed in England, The Loves of Mars and Venus , at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.

19/2/1717, David Garrick, English actor and theatre manager, was born in Hereford, son of an army captain.

8/3/1714, C P E Bach, composer, born.

12/3/1710, Thomas Arne, composer of Rule Britannia, was born in London, the son of an upholsterer.

10/11/1697, The painter William Hogarth was born at Smithfield, London, the son of a teacher.

18/10/1697. Birth of the painter Canaletto. He was born in Venice, as Giovanni Antonio Canal, and was trained by his father who was a scene painter. As a youth Canaletto went to Rome to study under the classical painter Pannini. He returned to Venice to become the most famous painter of Venetian views of the 18th century. His patron was Joseph Smith who served as English consul in Venice; as a result Canaletto’s work became popular with English travellers and he cane to England in 1746, staying there for most of the next 10 years. He painted his four views of Warwick castle, the two largest of which are (2001) in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

16/4/1696, Giovanni Batista Tiepolo, Venetian painter, was born.

21/11/1695, Henry Purcell, English composer, died in London from tuberculosis.

21/3/1685, Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer, was born in Eisenach, Thuringia.

23/2/1685, George Frederick Handel, German composer, was born in Halle, the son of a barber-surgeon.

15/12/1683, Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler, died at Winchester aged 90.

28/11/1680, The Italian sculptor Giovanni Bernini died.

4/3/1678. Birth of the Venetian composer and violinist Antonio Lucio Vivaldi.

15/12/1675. Jan Vermeer died.

15/3/1673, The painter Salvator Rosa died in Rome, aged 57.

4/10/1669. The Dutch painter Rembrandt died in solitude and poverty, aged 63, in Amsterdam, having survived both his wife and his mistress. He gradually went bankrupt after his wealthy wife died in 1642, although in his 30s he earned large sums of money from painting portraits of the elite in Amsterdam. He left a legacy of 600 paintings, 1500 drawings and 350 etchings.

9/4/1667, The world’s first art exhibition opened at the Palais Royale in Paris, organised by the Academie de Peinture et de Sculpture. It closed on 23/4/1667.

7/5/1663, The first Drury Lane theatre, London, opened.

1/1/1660, Samuel Pepys began his Diary.  This was discontinued on 31/5/1669.

2/5/1655, Bartolommeo Cristofori, Italian who invented the first piano, was born in Padua.

21/6/1652. The architect, Inigo Jones, died. He had designed the Queen’s House at Greenwich and the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall. He also laid out Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Covent Garden.

16/4/1646, Birth of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, French court architect to King Louis XIV who designed the Hall of Mirrors and the Orangery at Versailles.

13/4/1644. Demolition of the Globe Theatre on the South Bank, London.

9/12/1641, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Flemish court painter to Charles I from 1632, died in his studio in Blackfriars, London, aged 42, and was buried in Old St Pauls.

30/5/1640, Peter Paul Reubens, Flemish Baroque painter, died in Antwerp.

1634, Villagers at Oberammagau vowed to put on an annual Passion Play of they were spared the Black Death.

23/2/1633, Samuel Pepys, diarist, born in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, London. He was the son of a tailor.

31/10/1632, Jan Vermeer, Dutch painter, was born in Delft, the son of an art dealer.

20/10/1632, Christopher Wren, English astronomer and architect, designer of St Paul’s Cathedral, was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, the son of a dean.

12/3/1628, John Bull, composer and organist, died.

8/4/1614. The Greek-born Spanish painter  Domenikos Theotokopoulos, or El Greco died in Toledo.

29/6/1613. The Globe Theatre in London burnt down after a cannon was fired during a Shakespeare play and set fire to the roof. 

18/7/1610, The Italian painter Caravaggio died, A man with a violent temper, he had killed a man in 1606 and had to flee Rome for Naples, He heard that he was to be pardoned by the Pope and died on his way back to Rome.

15/7/1606. Rembrandt, or Harmenszoon Van Rijn, the Dutch painter, was born at Leyden.  He was the son of a prosperous miller.

6/6/1599, Diego Velasquez, Spanish painter, was born in Seville.

22/3/1599, Sir Anthony van Dyck, Flemish artist and court painter to Charles I of England, was born in Antwerp, son of a cloth manufacturer.

31/5/1594, Tintoretto, his real name being Jacopo Robusti, one of the great Italian painters, died in Venice, aged 76.

2/2/1594, The composer Palestrina died in Rome (born ca. 1525).

3/9/1592, Robert Greene, dramatist, died.

28/6/1577, Peter Van Rubens, Flemish painter, was born in Siegen, Westphalia, the son of a lawyer.

27/8/1576. Titian (Tiziano Vecelli) died, of bubonic plague, in Venice. His age was uncertain, but was believed to be over 90.

15/7/1573, The architect Inigo Jones was born in London.  He was the son of a clothmaker.

23/11/1572, The painter Bronzino died in Florence, aged 69.

6/4/1528. Albrecht Durer, German artist and engraver, died in Nuremberg, aged 57.

6/4/1520. The painter Raphael died on his 37th birthday.  He was born in Urbino, Italy, on 6/4/1483.

30/11/1518, Andrea Palladio, Italian architect, was born.

29/9/1518, Tintoretto, Venetian painter, was born as Jabobi Robusti, the son of a dyer.

1513, Macchiavelli wrote ‘The Prince’.

1/11/1512. Michaelangelo unveiled his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

25/10/1510, Giorgione, painter, died.

17/5/1510. Death of the Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli, aged 65, whose work included The Birth of Venus.

13/9/1506, Andrea Mantegna, Italian painter, died in Mantua.

8/9/1504. Michelangelo, 29, unveiled his statue of David in Florence. The 13 foot high marble statue had taken him three years to carve.

1499, Oxford University instituted a Degree in Music.

28/3/1483, Raphael, Italian painter, was born in Urbino as Raffaello Sanzio or Santi.

6/3/1475, Michelangelo, Italian painter and sculptor, was born in Capresse, Tiuscany, as Michelagniolo di Lodovico Buonarroti.

1472, First printed sheet music, in Bologna, Italy.

21/5/1471. Albrecht Durer, German artist and engraver, was born in Nuremberg. He was the son of a goldsmith.

8/10/1469, Fra Filippo Lippi, painter, died.

13/12/1466, Donatello, sculptor, died.

26/4/1452. Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, engineer, scientist, and inventor, was born into The Renaissance.

16/4/1446, Filippo Brunelleschi, the Florentine architect and sculptor who designed the city’s cathedral, died.

9/6/1441, Dutch painter Jan van Eyck, equerry to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, died.

13/8/1422, William Caxton, England’s first printer, was born.

8/1/1337. The painter Giotto died, aged 70.

50 AD, Earliest version of the oboe in use, in Rome.


Appendix 1 - Films

2/10/1990. Ghost was one of the films on release.

13/8/1990. Die Hard II was one of the film on release.

2/12/1984, Films on included Ghostbusters and Gremlins.

8/6/1977. Films on release included Blazing Saddles.

30/3/1975. Films on release included Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

29/11/1974. In the cinema the new sensurround film Earthquake made its debut.

12/4/1974. Films on release included Last Tango in Paris and The Exorcist.

4/1/1974. The James Bond film Live and let Die was released in South Africa.

16/10/1972. Films included Steven Spielberg’s Duel.

17/12/1971, The James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, was released in the US and Denmark

22/2/1969. Films on release included 2001: A Space Odyssey.

7/10/1968. Films on release included 2001: A Space Odyssey.

6/5/30/10/1967. Captain Scarlet merchandise hit the shops.

1968, The films 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes were showing.

15/6/1967. Films included The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy.

27/1/1963. Films on release included Cape Fear.

22/9/1964, The James Bond film Goldfinger premiered in Leicester  Square, London.

18/11/1962. The first James Bond film, Dr No, was released.

4/3/1950, Walt Disney’s Cinderella was released.

9/1/1951, The first film to receive the new X rating opened in London. Entitled Life Begins Tomorrow, it received the rating for a scene dealing with artificial insemination.

13/8/1942, The Walt Disney film Bambi premiered at Radio City Music Hall, New York.

31/10/1941, The Walt Disney film Dumbo was released today.

16/8/1925, Charlie Chaplin’s film Gold Rush was premiered in America.

1/11/1925, The Buster Keaton film Go West opened.

23/9/1912. Mack Sonnett released the first Keystone Cops film.

1907, Britain’s first film-only picture theatre, the Balham Palace, opened in SW London .



Appendix 2 – TV and radio broadcasting

Start of TV broadcasting. TV broadcasting started, unsuprisingly, in the most technologically-advanced countries; the USA in 1928, Germany and the UK in 1929, France in 1931  Likewise, the last nations to acquire the square-eyed box were some of the least technologically-developed; Fiji in 1991, Botswana in 1992, Eritrea in 1993, The Gambia in 1995, and Malawi in 1996.  At that point, only Bhutan remained as the last TV-free bastion; it too fell in 1999.  TV therefore conquered the world in about one human lifespan, 1928 to 1999.  Note that this map is based on the year mass TV broadcasting began in any one country, and reception may not have reached the entire territory until later. 

For technical innovations in broadcasting see science and technology

31/1/2016, Terry Wogan, radio and TV presenter, died aged 77. He was born on 3/8/1938 in Ireland and became a British citizen in 2005.

2/6/1999, After decades of resisting external technological influences such as television, the King of Bhutan allowed TV broadcasts in the Kingdom for the first time, to coincide with his silver jubilee.

26/4/1999, BBC TV presenter Jill Dando was shot dead on the doorstep of her Fulham house in London.

5/2/1989, Rupert Murdoch launched Sky TV.

1983, By the time a child in the US reached 18, it was estimated they had watched over 17,000 hours of TV, equivalent to 710 continuous days and nights of TV. In that time they had seen 360,000 adverts and witnessed 15,000 murders.

1/11/1982. Channel 4 began transmitting. It aimed to cater to minority audiences.

2/11/1981, CB or Citizen’s Band Radio became legal in Britain.

20/3/1980. The pirate radio station Radio Caroline, on the ship Mi Amigo, ran aground and sank after 16 years of broadcasting.

28/2/1980, The BBC announced that as an economy measure it would scrap five of its orchestras.

1/3/1975, Colour TV broadcasting began in Australia.

21/10/1974, Liverpool City radio went on air.

8/10/1973. Britain’s first legal commercial radio station, LBC (London Broadcasting Company) Radio in London, began transmission.

16/6/1971, The BBC’s first chief, Lord Reith, died.

18/2/1971. Rupert Murdoch took control of London Weekend Television.

15/11/1969. The first colour TV advert went on British television – for Birds Eye peas.

2/9/1969. ITV began broadcasting in colour.

19/9/1968, The TV Times, a weekly magazine for British independent TV, was first published.

8/11/1967. The first local radio station in the UK, Radio Leicester, went on the air.  It was opened by the Postmaster-General, Edward Short.

30/9/1967. BBC Radio was reorganised. BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, and 4 began broadcasting, with Tony Blackburn introducing The Breakfast Show. His first record was Flowers In The Rain by The Move.

15/8/1967. The Marine Broadcasting Act came into force in the UK, outlawing pop pirate radio stations.

1/7/1967. BBC 2 began colour broadcasting in Britain. Wimbledon was covered in colour for the first time.

2/5/1965. The British satellite, Early Bird, began transmitting TV programmes to 300 million viewers in 24 countries.

1964, The Tokyo Olympics became the first major sprting event to be broadcast globally via satellite. By 1969 the entire Earth was covered by satellite TV transmissions.

23/11/1964, The first British commercial radio station, Radio Manx, began broadcasting.

21/4/1964. BBC2 began transmission.

28/3/1964. Radio Caroline, Britain’s first private radio broadcasting station, began broadcasting from The Channel outside British waters.

13/11/1962.. Kenneth Adam, Director of BBC TV, announced that a second channel would be launched in 1964. The new channel would show very little repeated programmes and not have much American material.

10/7/1962. Telstar I, the world’s first television telecommunications satellite, was launched in America. The following day it transmitted a special television inaugural programme to mark the first communications satellite.

1960, European TV broadcasters agreed on a common standard of 625-line pictures. A few countries differed; the UK used the post-war 425-line system, and France had already gone for a 819 line standard. Japan followed the US 525-line standard.

11/7/1960. The communications satellite TELSTAR became operational. Britain could now receive US television shows,

26/12/1959. Bulgarian National Television was founded. Colour broadcasting began in 1970.

9/1/1957. TV detector vans were first used by the UK Post Office to track down licence dodgers.

11/12/1956, In Britain, the start of TV broadcasting was moved forward from 7pm to 6pm.

3/11/1956, The Elmley Moor ITV transmitter in Yorkshire was switched on.

10/10/1955, Experimental colour TV broadcasts were made from by the BBC from Alexandra Palace, London.

20/9/1955. The Radio Times was first published.

4/8/1954, The Independent Television Authority was set up.

31/7/1954, The Independent Television Act was passed, allowing for independent TV franchises in the UK.

5/7/1954, The BBC began daily news broadcasts

6/6/1954. The Eurovision television link-up was inaugurated.

25/3/1954, UK Parliament approved the idea of independent TV broadcasting.

11/1/1954, George Cowling from the Met office became the first weatherman to be seen on TV. Previous forecasts had been sound only.

13/11/1953, In Britain, plans for a new commercial TV channel to rival the BBC were announced.

1/5/1953, The BBC began broadcasts from Northern Ireland, from a transmitter near Belfast.

31/12/1951, Television came to north-west England with the opening of a transmitter near Manchester. Scotland would get TV in 1953. TV was only available in the London area until a Midlands transmitter opened in 1950. Now television threatened the popularity of radio and cinema.

12/2/1950, The European Broadcasting Union was formed.

27/8/1950, The BBC transmitted its first pictures from abroad, a two-hour programme from Calais..

3/11/1949, The BBC bought the Rank Studios in Shepherds Bush for programme making.

29/7/1949, The BBC issued its first televised weather forecast.

29/9/1946, BBC Radio’s Third Programme, later to become Radio Three, began broadcasting.

29/7/1945, The BBC Light Programme began broadcasting.

12/10/1944. Angela Rippon, British TV presenter, was born in Plymouth.

8/3/1943, Michael Grade, BBC chief, was born.

5/1/1942, Jan Leeming, BBC presenter, was born.

1/7/1941. The first TV commercial was shown; on WNBT in New York, USA.  It was for the Bulova clock and Watch company.

22/6/1940. Esther Rantzen, TV presenter, was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.

30/4/1939, The World Fair in New York opened. It was opened by President Franklin D Roosevelt, who became the first US President to appear on TV, as NBC began their TV news service this day.

7/4/1939. David Frost, TV presenter, was born in Tenterden, Kent.

29/3/1938, The BBC began foreign language broadcasts in German.

3/1/1938. The BBC began its first foreign language service, in Arabic.

2/11/1936. The first daily high definition TV broadcasts in Britain were transmitted from the BBC’s aerial at Alexandra Palace, London. Only around 280 homes had TV sets, which were on sale at the Olympia Exhibition for £110.

11/6/1936. Leslie Mitchell became the BBC’s first television announcer.

24/1/1935. Bamber Gasgoigne, UK TV presenter, was born in London.

19/12/1932, The British Broadcasting Corporation inaugurated its Empire shortwave broadcasting service to the entire British Empire, based from its Daventry transmitters, see 25/12/1932.

22/8/1932, The first regular BBC broadcast began, from Alexandra Palace, Wood Green, north London. Programmes were broadcast on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays for just 30 minutes, from 11.00pm to 11.30pm. The same masts were used for radio broadcasts so TV broadcasts could not begin until radio had finished.

15/3/1932, The BBC made its first broadcast from its new HQ at Portland Place, near Oxford Circus.

12/11/1931. The Abbey Road BBC recording studios were opened by Sir Edward Elgar, who conducted his Pomp and Circumstance marches with the London Symphony Orchestra.

29/12/1930. Radio Luxembourg began broadcasting.

11/4/1930. The Daily Express became the first paper to publish TV programmes.

30/9/1929, The first experimental TV broadcast was made by the BBC.

14/8/1928. The world’s first scheduled television programmes were broadcast by WRNY in New York.

3/7/1928. The first TV sets went on sale in the USA, at $75 each. John Logie Baird made the first colour TV transmission, from the Baird Studios, London.

1/1/1927. The British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, came into being. It had formerly been the British Broadcasting Company.

16/10/1925, Britain began regular broadcasts to Continental Europe, on a weekly basis.

5/2/1924. The BBC ‘pips’ or time signals, were heard for the first time. They were set by a clock at Greenwich.

31/12/1923. The chimes of Big Ben were broadcast by the BBC for the first time.

23/12/1923, The BBC began regular radio broadcasts for entertainment, as opposed to information.

25/11/1923. The first transatlantic wireless broadcast from the UK to the USA was made.

28/9/1923. The Radio Times was first published.

27/7/1923,The BBC radio transmission station at Daventry opened.

14/11/1922. The British Broadcasting Corporation began daily news broadcasts from 2LO in The Strand, London. This had formerly been Marconi’s London broadcasting station. At 6pm the news was read by Arthur Burrows, once at normal speed and once at slow speed. See 14/2/1922, 18/10/1922 and 26/3/1923.

18/10/1922. The BBC, the British Broadcasting Company, was officially formed, at Marconi House, The Strand, London (2LO). See 14/11/1922.

2/11/1920, The first regular radio programme began, KDKA, in Pittsburgh.

23/2/1920, The first regular broadcasting service in Britain began, from Chelmsford.

25/5/1913, The broadcaster Richard Dimbleby was born.

13/8/1888. Birth of television pioneer John Logie Baird in Helensburgh, Firth of Clyde, Scotland.


Appendix 3 – TV Shows

30/7/2006, Top of the Pops was broadcast for the last time.

2003, The BBC series Tomorrow’s World was axed (first broadcast 1965).

8/8/1999, ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ was first screened; contestants could win up to US$1,000,000.

14/5/1998, The US sitcom Seinfeld was first broadcast.

20/4/1992, The comedian Benny Hill died.

12/6/1989. Live TV broadcasts from the House of Commons began, after MPs voted 293 to 69 in favour. Live radio broadcasts began on 9/6/1975.

1988, The soap series Neighbours began on BBC TV

4/4/1988. The Midlands-based TV soap opera ‘Crossroads’ ended on episode 4,510. The first episode was broadcast in November 1964.

18/3/1985. Australian Seven Network TV launched a new soap, Neighbours.

19/2/1985, The BBC began broadcasting Eastenders. 13 million people watched the first episode, in which the pensioner Reg Cox died in his Albert Square home.

16/9/1984, Miami Vice was first broadcast on NBC TV.

28/5/1984, Eric Morecambe, comedian on the Morecambe and Wise show, died in Cheltenham.

17/1/1983. The start of Breakfast TV on BBC with Frank Bough and Selina Scott.

1/11/1982. The TV show Countdown was launched.

27/9/1979. BBC’s Question Time was broadcast for the first time, with Robin Day in the chair.  He stayed with the show for 10 years.

18/2/1979, The BBC screened the first episode of The Antiques Roadshow, hosted by Bruce Parker, Arthur Negus and Angela Rippon.

2/4/1978, The first episode of Dallas was broadcast in the USA.

8/2/1978, BBC showed the first episode of the school drama Grange Hill.

28/3/1977, British Breakfast TV began as an experiment on Yorkshire TV, hosted by Bob Warman.

27/11/1975. Devolution was discussed on the TV programme Newsday. TV programmes ceased at 12.25 am with What did you learn at School Today? on ITV.

19/9/1975. The first episode of Fawlty Towers was broadcast by the BBC.

5/12/1974, The last episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus was broadcast by the BBC.

29/11/1974. Ironside  was on TV.

30/9/1974. The TV show Some mothers do ‘ave ‘em was showing.

21/6/1974. TV showed The Wombles.

19/6/1974. The Pink Panther Show entertained the young on TV, whilst later on, grown ups had The Two Ronnies. The Best of Les Dawson provided relief after seven hours of World Cup Grandstand.

4/1/1974. On TV, whilst Holiday ’74 compared the rival delights of Blackpool and Benidorm, Dad’s Army also entertained viewers.

4/9/1973. BBC2 was still broadcasting for less than 7 hours a day, including the antique –lover’s show Collector’s World. ITV began at 11.15 am with Galloping Gourmet. Other programmes of the day included A TUC Special, Crossroads, and the sitcom Up The Workers. Emmerdale Farm was also on, and schedules closed at 12.15 am after The Evangelists.

27/11/1972, In the first episode of the fourth season of Sesame Street, the character of "The Count" (officially Count von Count) was introduced. True to his name, the friendly children's show puppet vampire (performed by Jerry Nelson) helped children count.

16/10/1972. BBC1’s daytime TV included Pebble Mill At One and The Magic Roundabout as well as Blue Peter. Soaps included Crossroads, filmed in a Birmingham warehouse. Z Cars and Mastermind were also on the TV schedules. ITV was offering Opportunity Knocks and Coronation Street.

11/9/1972. The BBC quiz Mastermind was first broadcast.

15/11/1971. TV viewers were entertained by Steptoe and Son.

18/10/1971. TV shows Blue Peter and The Magic Roundabout entertained the children.

19/6/1971. Opportunity Knocks was the UK’s most popular TV programme.

19/8/1970. Coronation Street showed its 1,000th episode.

2/7/1970. The BBC ran a late night programme called Decimal shops: preparing for decimal money.

5/10/1969, Monty Python was first screened.

22/2/1969. On TV a wheelchair bound detective called Ironside battled San Francisco’s crooks.

5/2/1969. On BBC1 All Gas and Gaiters was a comedy about a young Church of England priest, Derek Nimmo.

4/12/1968. On TV Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men still entertained children 16 years after their initial appearance. The weak willed pair still lived in fear of the gardener and were mercilessly bullied by Weed.

12/11/1968. On TV Z Cars patrolled Merseyside whilst Trumpton kept watch at the Fire Station.

17/5/1968.. TV viewers could watch The Saint, Danger Man, or The Avengers.

11/1/1968. Children were entertained on TV by The Magic Roundabout and Blue Peter.

23/11/1967. TV shows included a debate on The Roman Catholic Church has no place in the 20th Century and The Man from UNCLE.

30/10/1967. TV showed Bewitched, Dr Finlays Casebook, The Saint, and Z Cars.

15/10/1967. TV viewers saw Steptoe and Son, whilst Patrick McGoohan was unable to accept his lot in North Wales as The Prisoner. Ironside the wheelchair bound detective propelled himself around the streets of San Francisco.

3/7/1967, In Britain, ITV launched News at Ten.

29/6/1967. The Magic Roundabout continued on TV, as did The Man from UNCLE as he battled with the evil THRUSH organisation.

25/6/1967, The first worldwide TV show was broadcast; via satellite link it reached 26 countries. The programme, Our World, had an estimated audience of 400 million. It concluded with a live Beatles performance of All You Need is Love.

15/6/1967.. The Guardian TV critic complained that ‘with the basically green and white Wimbledon being followed by Late Night Line Up with everyone wearing basically black and white’ people paying nearly £2 a week to rent the colour sets should be getting ‘the occasional dazzle’. Whickers World and Till Death do us Part formed part of the TV schedules.

14/6/1967. On TV, ‘Games without Frontiers was on. It’s a Knockout and The Likely Lads was also on.

23/9/1966. On TV Emergency Ward Ten was on as Patrick Mc Goohan’s Danger Man was about to give way to The Prisoner.

8/9/1966. Star Trek was first broadcast.

16/7/1966. Doctor Who continued to entertain on TV, and scare kids into hiding behind the sofa so the Daleks wouldn’t get them.

6/6/1966, On British TV the first episode of Til Death Us Do Part was showing, with Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett.

21/4/1966, The opening of the UK Parliament was televised for the first time.

19/2/1966. TV shows included Bewitched and Dixon of Dock Green. Thunderbirds was on at 6pm, and The Morecambe and Wise Show at 9.20 pm.

1965, The BBC series Tomorrow’s World was forst broadcast (axed 2003).

28/12/1965. On TV, Phil Silvers starred in Sergeant Bilko.

30/9/1965, The first episode of Thunderbirds was broadcast in the UK.

30/7/1965, Coronation Street was the top TV show

2/11/1964. First showing of the TV serial Crossroads.

22/8/1964, BBC2 first broadcast Match of the Day; Arsenal played Liverpool at their Anfield ground, watched by a TV audience of 20,000 in black and white. Over 40,000 actually attended the ground. In 2014 BBC1’s Match of the Day had a TV audience of 3.6 million. In 1964 each of the Football League Clubs made £136 from the TV programme; in 2014 each Club made £3 million from the show.

21/4/1964. BBC2 began transmission. The first programme was Play School.

17/1/1964, The top UK TV programme was Steptoe and Son.

1/1/1964. The first Top of the Pops was broadcast, with Jimmy Savile as its presenter.

23/11/1963. The BBC screened the first episode of Dr Who. The doctor was played by William Hartnell.

22/1/1963. TV showed The Flintstones at the prime slot of 7pm. TV closed down around midnight.

21/9/1962, The British TV quiz programme University Challenge conducted by Bamber Gascoigne was first transmitted.

9/9/1962. TV showed another episode of Steptoe and Son, and The Morecambe and Wise Show.

11/5/1962. TV showed Emergency Ward Ten.

21/1/1962  On TV, new, were Steptoe and Son and Z Cars.

7/1/1961, The first episode of The Avengers was broadcast.

9/12/1960. Coronation Street first televised. The series was expected to last just 13 weeks.

11/9/1960, The first episode of Danger Man, starring Patrick McGoohan, was broadcast on UK TV.

10/9/1960, The first English Football league match to be televised was broadcast today.  Blackpool played Bolton Wanderers.

28/10/1958. In Britain, the State Opening of Parliament was televised for the first time.

27/10/1958. The first edition of the BBC programme Blue Peter was broadcast.

11/10/1958. The BBC sports programme Grandstand was first transmitted.  It was the idea of Paul Fox.

25/12/1957. The Queen made her first Christmas Day broadcast on British TV.

3/3/1957, The UK competed in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time. The British entry, All, sung by Hull-born Patricia Bredin, came seventh out of ten in Frankfurt Am Main, Germnay.

22/10/1957. The children’s TV show, Captain Pugwash, was first broadcast.

5/11/1956. The weekly British TV programme What the Papers Say was first transmitted.

24/5/1956   The first Eurovision song contest was held. Europe was just recovering from the Second World War but the Cold War was in full swing. There was a need to unite the countries of western Europe. An Italian radio manager had an idea for a European music festival similar to the popular Italian San Remo Festival. The first Eurovision song contest was held in Switzerland with seven countries participating, each with two songs/performances. These were West Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Belgium, the same countries that took the initiative to form the European Union. Switzerland won the first contest with the song ‘Refrain’. Since then 37 different countries have participated, 800 different singers have performed 900 new songs, and the show attracted 100 million viewers in 2002.

28/1/1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on TV, on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show.  He sang Shake Rattle and Roll.

17/2/1956, The first episode of The Adventures of Robin Hood was broadcast, with Richard Greene playing the hero. The famous signature tune entered the top 20, and the series ran to 143 episodes.

22/9/1955. With the start of commercial television in Britain came the first TV advertisement. It was for Gibbs SR toothpaste. Programmes from the two commercial programme makers, Associated Rediffusion and the Associated Broadcasting Company, included the annual Guildhall banquet, Britain’s first-ever cash prize quiz show, a variety show and a boxing match from Shoreditch. Popular ITV shows included Sunday Night at the London Palladium and Coronation Street. By ITV’s annual advertising revenue increased from an initial £2 million in 1956 to £100 million in 1960. The BBC competed by having Grace Archer, a leading character in their radio drama The Archers, killed off in a fire.

7/7/1955, Dixon of Dock Green began on BBC TV with Jack Warner as George Dixon. It was to run for 21 years and 367 episodes.

11/11/1953. The BBC programme Panorama was first transmitted, headed by Patrick Murphy.

8/12/1952, Queen Elizabeth II gave permission for next year’s Coronation (1/6/1953) to be televised.

1/1/1952, In Britain, the single TV channel, BBC, broadcast for just a few hours a day. Programmes ran from 3pm to 6pm, including Children’s Hour. There was then a 2-hour break, the so-called Toddler Truce, to enable mothers to get their small children to bed. Programmes then ran for 2 hours or so from 8pm. News coverage was patchy and sports coverage and light entertainment virtually absent.

15/10/1951, Britain’s first party political broadcast on the BBC, by Lord Samuel for the Liberal Party.

29/9/1950, The first ever episode of Come Dancing aired on TV.

11/7/1950. The BBC transmitted its first children’s programme, Andy Pandy.

11/7/1949. The first film made specifically for television, ‘A Dinner date With Death’ was shot at Marylebone Studios between 11 and 14 July 1949.

26/4/1947. The English FA Cup Final, between Charlton Athletic and Burnley, televised in its entirety for the first time.

20/10/1946. Muffin the Mule, a wooden puppet, first appeared on BBC TV.

19/1/1942. Michael Crawford, British comedy actor, was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, as Michael Dumble-Smith.

27/10/1939, John Cleese, English comedy actor, was born in Weston Super Mare.

3/8/1938, Terry Wogan, TV broadcaster, was born in Limerick, Ireland.

30/4/1938, In Britain, the FA Cup Final was televised for the first time.

25/11/1937, The first British quiz programme, an inter-regional spelling competition, was broadcast.

21/6/1937, Lawn tennis at Wimbledon was televised for the first time.

21/11/1936. The first gardening programme was broadcast by the BBC. It was called “In your garden with Mr Middleton.

15/5/1935, The world’s first TV quiz programme was broadcast, in Canada.

3/6/1931, In Britain the Derby horserace was televised for the first time. Only a limited number of wealthy people had TV sets, and a few other enthusiasts had built their own receivers in garden sheds.

11/9/1928, In New York the world’s first television drama was broadcast. It was a 40 minute two-character play called The Queen’s Messenger.

2/8/1925, Alan Whicker, widely-travelled TV reporter, was born in Cairo, Egypt.


Appendix 3.5 – Actors, film directors and film stars

23/3/2011, Elizabeth Taylor, UK born Hollywood actress, died aged 79 (born 1932).

4/10/2010, Death of Norman Wisdom, British comedian, aged 95.

23/5/2000. Sir John Gielgud, British actor, died at the age of 96.

8/5/1999, British film star Dirk Bogarde died, aged 78.

6/5/1992. Marlene Dietrich, German actress, died in Paris aged 90. She was born on 27/12/1901 in Berlin, and left Germany for the USA in 1930. Her role in the film The Blue Angel brought her to fame. She became a US citizen in 1937, rejecting attempts by Hitler to bring her talents back to Germany. She played a major role in entertaining the wartime Allied troops. In 1960, on only her second post-war visit to Germany, she encountered hostility from pro-Nazi sympathisers. She subsequently remained hostile to the ideas of returning to Germany again, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and chose the city as her final resting place.

18/5/1991, Muriel Box, British writer, film director and feminist, died aged  85.

17/5/1991, Daniel Curtis Lee, American actor, was born.

6/10/1989, Sophia Thomalla, German television actress, was born.

6/3/1989, Harry Andrews, actor, died aged 77.

13/4/1988, Allison Williams, US actress, was born.

15/5/1987, Rita Hayworth, US actress, died of Alzheimer’s Disease.

1/3/1988, Katija Pevec, English actress, was born.

30/3/1985, Harold Peary, actor, died of a heart attack aged 76.

29/4/1980. The British film director Alfred Hitchcock died, aged 80.

11/6/1979. The actor John Wayne died,aged 72.

8/6/1979, British actor Michael Wilding died.

31/1/1974, Sam Goldwyn, Polish-born US film producer, died aged 91.

29/3/1972, J Arthur Rank, British film entrepreneur, created a peer in 1957, died.

25/2/1971, Sean Astin, US actor, was born in Santa Monica, California.

1/1/1971, Kalabhavan Mani, Indian actor and singer, was born in Chalakudy, Kerala

6/6/1967, Paul Giamatti, US actor, was born.

23/2/1965, Stan Laurel, English-born American film comedian along with Oliver Hardy, died aged 74.

28/9/1964. Harpo Marx, the silent one who chased girls and played the harp, died aged 75.

7/3/1958, Rick Mayall, actor in The Young Ones, was born.

26/12/1957, Death of French film pioneer Charles Pathe.

21/3/1957, Sabrina Le Beauf, US actress, was born.

14/1/1957, Humphrey Bogart, American film actor and 1951 Oscar winner, died of throat cancer.

30/9/1955, TV actor James Dean was killed when his Porsche careered off the road near Los Angeles.

2/4/1954, Ron Palillo, actor, was born (d. 2012).

21/10/1949, Jacques Copeau, French actor, died in Beaune.

22/6/1949, Meryl Streep, actress, was born.

14/7/1946, Sue Lawley, TV presenter, was born.

2/2/1946, Farrah Fawcett, US actress, was born.

26/3/1944, Diana Ross, US actress, was born.

27/5/1943, Cilla Black, singer and presenter of the TV show Blind Date, was born.

8/8/1937, Actor Dustin Hoffman was born.

20/9/1934, Sophia Loren, actress, was born.

14/4/1932, Anthony Perkins, the actor who starred in Hitchcock’s film, Pyscho, was born.

25/8/1930, Sean Connery, British film actor who played the leading role in seven James Bond movies, was born in Edinburgh as Thomas Connery.

30/3/1930, Rolf Harris, Australian entertainer and cartoonist, was born.

25/9/1929, Ronnie Barker, English comedy actor, was born in Bedford, UK.

7/4/1927, The comedian A Dolan was televised in Whippany, New Jersey, making him the first televised comedian.

31/10/1926, Jimmy Savile, British radio and TV presenter, was born in Leeds, Yorkshire.

2/12/1925, Julie Harris, actress, was born in Grosse Point, Michigan (died 2013)

8/9/1925, Peter Sellers, comic TV actor, was born.

16/4/1921. Peter Ustinov, actor, was born.

28/3/1921. Dirk Bogarde, English film actor, was born in Hampstead, London.

4/2/1920, Norman Wisdom, British comedian, was born as Norman Wisden.

6/8/1917, Robert Mitchum, Hollywood actor, was born in Connecticut, USA.

12/7/1915, Taijde Khan, stage name Yul Bryner, famous actor, was born this day.

20/1/1914, Roy Plomley, who created ‘Desert Island Discs’, was born. He began his career as a copywriter for an advertising agency then became an actor. He then became an announcer for a French commercial radio station. He was awarded the OBE in 1975.

30/11/1913. Charlie Chaplin made his film debut in Mack Sennett’s short film Making a Living.

3/3/1913, Harold Stone, US actor, was born (died 2005).

26/5/1907, John Wayne, actor, was born.

18/9/1905. Greta Garbo, the Swedish shop-girl who became a famous film star, was born.

16/5/1905, Bob Hope, US comedian, was born.

7/7/1904, James Cagney, film director, was born in New York.

1/4/1904, Sid Field, English actor was born (died 1950).

18/1/1904, Cary Grant, American film actor, was born in Bristol, England, as Alexander Archibald Leach.

29/5/1903, Bob Hope, comedian, was born.

27/12/1901. Marlene Dietrich, German actress, was born.

5/4/1900, Spencer Tracy, US actress, was born.

5/7/1899, Jean Cocteau, film director, poet, artist, novelist, was born in Maisons-Lafitte, France.

13/8/1898. Alfred Hitchcock, film director, born in Leytonstone.

1/2/1893, In New Jersey, USA, Thomas Edison opened the world’s first film studio.

16/6/1890. Stan Laurel, of the Laurel and Hardy duo, was born as Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Ulverston, Lancashire (now Cumbria). Oliver Hardy was born in America on 18/1/1892.

29/8/1882, Samuel Goldwyn was born.


Appendix 4 – Radio shows

24/1/1997. The Archers celebrated its 12,000th episode. The Radio 4 series drew an average of 4.5 million listeners each week.

30/5/1985. The death of Roy Plomley, who created the long running radio series Desert Island Discs in 1941.

3/4/1978. Regular BBC radio broadcasts of British Parliamentary proceedings began.

9/6/1975. Live radio broadcasting from the House of Commons began. On 12/6/1989, TV broadcasts from the House of Commons began.

27/7/1967. Robin Scott, the man in charge of the brand new Radio One, announced that should pop music prove to be a passing fad, he would devote the station’s output to ‘sweet music’.

7/6/1950 The BBC radio serial The Archers was first broadcast; it was created by Godfrey Basely.

1/11/1947. Sports Report, the BBC radio Saturday afternoon programme, went on the air.

13/1/1947, In Britain, top radio shows included Woman’s Hour, Dick Barton, and Radio Forfeits.

4/10/1946, From Our Own Correspondent was first broadcast on UK radio.

1/8/1945. Family Favourites record request programme began on the BBC.

3/4/1943, Saturday Night Theatre was first broadcast on UK radio.

29/1/1942, The first broadcast of the  BBC radio programme ‘Desert Island Discs’, devised and presented by Roy Plomley. Roy Plomley presented the programme until 11/5/1985; he died 17 days later on 28/5/1965. The first ‘castaway’ was the comedian, Vic Oliver.

1939, The term ‘soap opera’ was coined to describe the radio drama that, from the 1930s, had been sponsored by the washing powder manufacturers; ongoing dramas affecting ordinary families, which proved to be addictive to listeners. The first such radio ‘soap opera’ was Betty and Bob and One Man’s Family, broadcast on NBC in the USA in 1932

1/9/1939. The BBC Home Service, later to become Radio 4, began broadcasting.

7/10/1938, BBC Radio began its first soap opera, the English Family Robinson.

25/10/1936 A radio station in Berlin played the first request programme, called ‘You ask – We play’.

25/12/1932. King George V made the first Christmas Day broadcast to the Empire, see 19/12/1932.

6/11/1929, The Week in Westminster was first broadcast on UK radio.

21/10/1929, The BBC began transmitting regional services.

2/1/1928, Daily Service was first broadcast on radio in the UK.

7/7/1927. Christopher Stone became the first disc jockey on British radio when he presented his record round up from Savoy Hill.

14/5/1927. The BBC broadcast its first cricket commentary, from the Essex vs. New Zealand match at Leyton, east London.

2/4/1927, The Oxford and Cambridge boat race was first broadcast.

22/1/1927. The BBC broadcast its first football match; between Arsenal and Sheffield United.  The result was a draw, 1-1.

11/10/1926. Children’s Hour started on BBC Radio.

26/1/1926, The Shipping Forecast was first broadcast on radio.

24/1/1926, The Week’s Good Cause was first broadcast on radio.

4/4/1924, The BBC broadcast its first radio programmes for schools.

16/1/1924, The BBC broadcast the first play written specifically for radio, Danger, by Richard Hughes.

2/5/1923, The BBC radio programme ‘Woman’s Hour’ began.


Appendix 5 – Writers and poets

3/8/2008, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, writer, died, aged 90.

18/3/2008, Sir Arthur C Clarke, science fiction writer, died aged 90.

6/4/2005, US novelist Saul Bellow died, aged 89.

24/5/2000. The funeral of novelist Dame Barbara Cartland.

30/6/1997, The first book in the award-winning Harry Potter series by J K Rowling was published.

25/11/1993, The English author and composer Anthony Burgess died, aged 76.

6/4/1992, Isaac Asimov, science fiction writer, born 2/1/1920, died.

15/9/1989, US writer Robert Penn Warren, born 24/4/1905 in Guthrie, Kentucky, died in Stratton, Vermont.

19/4/1989, Daphne du Maurier, writer, died.

23/9/1987, The book, Spycatcher, memoirs of former British intelligence officer Peter Wright, was to be published in Australia despite opposition by Britain’s MI5.

19/12/1984. Ted Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate in succession to Sir John Betjeman.

24/2/1983, Tennessee Williams, US playwright (born 26/3/1911) died in New York City.

19/5/1984, Sir John Betjeman, Poet Laureate since 1972, died aged 78.

10/3/1981, Death of Sir Maurice Oldfield, the British intelligence chief thought to be the model for ‘M’ in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.

12/1/1976, Dame Agatha Christie, English crime story writer and creator of the Belgian detective character Hercule Poirot, died.  She was born in Torquay on 15/9/1890.

14/2/1975, PG Wodehouse, author, died.

2/9/1973, J R R Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, died at Bournemouth.

28/9/1970, John Dos Passos, US writer, died in |Baltimore, Maryland..

7/7/1970, Sir Allen Lane, publisher and founder of Penguin paperback books in 1936, died.

7/6/1970, E M Forster, novelist, died.

11/3/1969. The author John Wyndham died.

20/12/1968. John Steinbeck, American author who wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, Nobel Prize Winner in 1962, died in New York City.

28/11/1968. Enid Blyton, creator of Noddy and Big Ears, died. She was born on 11/8/1897 in East Dulwich. In the mid 1930s she began writing her stories, which featured Noddy, the Famous Five, and the Secret Seven.

22/7/1967, The US poet Carl Sandburg died in North Carolina.

31/7/1965, J K Rowling, British author of the Harry Potter series, was born.

4/1/1965. The poet and playwright T S Eliot died. He was born on 26/9/1888 in Saint Loius, Missouri. After studying at Harvard University he went to Paris in 1910 to teach French literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne. Later, after the start of World War One, he went to Merton College, Oxford, to read Greek Philosophy. In 1915 he married Vivien Haigh-Wood and in 1919 became a British citizen. His first volume of poetry, Prufrock and other Observations, was published in 1917 followed by Poems in 1919. In 1922 The Waste Land, regarded as his greatest poem, reflected the discontent that followed the trauma of the Great War. In 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

9/12/1964, English poet Dame Edith Sitwell died, aged 77.

12/8/1964, Ian Fleming, British author and creator of James Bond, died aged 56.

7/6/1962, William Faulkner, US writer (born 25/9/1897 in New Albany, Mississippi) died in Oxford, Mississippi.

2/6/1962, Vita Sackville-West, British novelist, died.

2/7/1961, The author Ernest Hemingway, born 21/7/1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, committed suicide.

12/8/1955, Thomas Mann, German novelist, died aged 80.

2/8/1955, The US poet Wallace Stevens died in Hartford, Connecticut.

9/11/1953. The Welsh poet Dylan Marlais Thomas, born in Swansea on 27/10/1914, died in New York City aged 39

19/2/1951, French writer Andre Gide died.

19/3/1950, Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan books, died aged 75.

13/2/1950, Rafael Sabatini, Italian novelist, died aged 74.

11/2/1950, Author Kurt Vonnegut was published for the first time, as his story "Report on the Barnhouse Effect" appeared in Collier's magazine.

21/1/1950. George Orwell died (born 1903). This was the pen name of British author Eric Arthur Blair. His best known works include Animal Farm and 1984.

6/6/1949, George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty Four was published. Suffering from tuberculosis, Orwell completed the book between periods of hospitalisation in a remote house in The Hebrides.

13/8/1946. Author H G Wells; born on 21/9/1866, died in London, aged 76.

27/7/1946, The US writer Gertrude Stein (born 3/2/1874 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania), died in Paris, France.

28/12/1945, Theodore Dreiser, US author (born 27/8/1871 in Terre Haute, Indiana), died in Hollywood, California.

31/7/1944. The pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of ‘The Little Prince’, was reported missing.

22/12/1943. The author Beatrix Potter died aged 77.

21/12/1940. F Scott Fitzgerald, US author, died.

11/2/1940, Death of John Buchan, author of The Thirty Nine Steps, also Governor-General of Canada, died and was cremated in Montreal. His ashes were returned to England and buried in Elsfield, Oxfordshire.

28/1/1939, W B (William Butler) Yeats, Irish poet, playwright, and Nobel Prize winner in 1923, died in the south of France.

1/6/1938, Khawar Rizvi, poet, was born in the Punjab, British India.

14/6/1936, G K Chesterton, British poet and novelist, died.

18/1/1936, Rudyard Kipling, English novelist who won the Nobel Prize in 1907, died.

30/7/1935. Penguin paperbacks went on sale in Britain. The first such book on sale was a biography of Shelley.

23/5/1935, Laase Stromstedt, Swedish author, was born (died 2009).

6/7/1932, Kenneth Grahame, author who wrote Wind in the Willows, died (born 8/3/1859).

21/1/1932, Lytton Strachey, founder member of the Bloomsbury Group, an influential writers and intellectual group, died.

7/7/1930, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British author created the crime detective character Sherlock Holmes, died, aged 71.

13/10/1929, Walasse Ting, Chinese-American poet, was born in Shanghai. He died in 2010.

11/1/1928. Thomas Hardy, English poet and novelist, author of Tess of the D’Ubervilles, died in Dorset aged 87.

14/10/1926. In Britain, A A. Milne published Winnie the Pooh, a children’s book.

3/6/1924, German novelist Franz Kafka died in a sanatorium at Kierling, near Vienna, after a seven year battle with tuberculosis.

2/1/1920. Isaac Asimov was born.

11/12/1918, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist, was born in Rostov.

27/3/1918, Henry Brooks Adams, historian, novelist and philosopher, died (born 16/2/1838).

16/12/1917, Arthur C Clarke, British science-fiction writer, was born.

22/11/1916, Jack London, author and campaigner for social justice (born 12/1/1876 in San Francisco) died destitute of a drugs overdose.

13/9/1916,  Roald Dahl, author of children’s books, was born in Llandaff, Glamorganshire.

10/7/1915, Saul Bellow, US author, was born in Lachine, Quebec.

23/4/1915, Rupert Brooke, British poet, died at Lemnos.

27/10/1914, Dylan Marlais Thomas, Welsh poet, was born in Swansea, the son of a schoolmaster.

7/11/1913. Birth of the French novelist and playwright Albert Camus. He was born in Algeria and studied philosophy. He worked as an actor, teacher, and journalist; and was active in the French Resistance in World War II. But he found fame as an existentialist writer; for example his nihilist novel The Outsider, 1942, contained the line “Mother died today. Or perhaps it was yesterday. I don’t know”. He was awarded the Nobel prize for literature I 1957, and died in 1960.

29/3/1913, R. S. Thomas, Welsh poet, was born  in Cardiff (died 2000).

14/5/1912, August Strindberg, playwright, died in Stockholm, Sweden..

20/4/1912, Bram Stoker, Dublin-born creator of Dracula in 1897, died aged 65 in London.

26/3/1911, Tennessee Williams, US playwright (born 26/3/1911) died in New York City.

7/11/1910, Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, died.

5/6/1910, Death of American short-story writer O. Henry (real name William Sydney Porter).

28/5/1908, Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, was born in London.

10/12/1907. Rudyard Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, the first time it had been awarded to an English writer.

15/11/1907, Moncure Conway, author, died in Paris (born 17/3/1832 in Virginia, USA).

21/2/1907, W H Auden, English poet, was born.

20/6/1906, Catherine Cookson, British writer, was born.

13/4/1906, Samuel Beckett, Irish playwright, was born.

9/2/1906, Paul Laurence Dunbar, poet and novelist (born 27/6/1872 in Dayton, Ohio) died of tuberculosis. Son of a former slave, his poetry did much to describe the everyday lives of Black Americans.

21/6/1905, Jean Paul-Sartre, French dramatist and novelist, was born in Paris.

24/3/1905. Jules Verne, French science fiction writer, died in Amiens aged 77.

2/10/1904, Graham Greene, novelist, was born (died 1991).

2/7/1904, The Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov, born 17/1/1860 in Taganrog, died in Germany whilst being treated for tuberculosis.

2/3/1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel, author of children’s books, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.

1/11/1903, Theodor Mommsen, writer, died aged 87.

25/6/1903. Birth of the author George Orwell, in Motihari, Bengal, India.  He was born as Eric Arthur Blair.

1902, Beatrix Potter’s first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, was published.

25/10/1902, Frank Norris, US novelist, died.

21/9/1902, Sir Allen Lane, English publisher who founded Penguin books and brought about the paperback revolution, was born.

20/9/1902, Stevie Smith, poet and novelist, was born (died 1971)

9/7/1901, Barbara Cartland, British writer of romantic novels, was born.

24/3/1901, Charlotte M Yonge, novelist, died, aged 78.

3/2/1901, Rosamund Lehmann, novelist, was born (died 1900).

30/11/1900. The Irish writer Oscar Wilde (born Dublin 1854) died in poverty in Paris under the pseudonym Sebastian Medmoth. Wilde’s stage and literary career ended in 1895 when the Marquess of Queensbury, angered by Wilde’s friendship with his son, accused Wilde of sodomy. Wilde sued for libel but lost the case and was at once prosecuted for homosexuality. He served two years in gaol 1895-97 before fleeing to France and poverty.

29/6/1900, Antoine de Saint Exupery, author of The Little Prince, was born.

17/1/1899, Nevil Shute, English novelist, was born in Ealing, London.

14/1/1898. Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, died in Guildford, Surrey.

11/8/1897, Enid Blyton, author of children’s books, was born in Dulwich.

26/5/1897, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was first published.

24/9/1896, F Scott Fitzgerald, US author, was born.

14/1/1896, John Dos Passos, US writer, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

3/12/1894. Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote Treasure Island, died.

26/7/1894, Aldous Huxley, novelist, was born.

6/10/1892. Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet laureate from 1850, died at Aldworth, Surrey. He was born on 6/8/1809.

31/8/1892, George Curtis, US writer (born 24/2/1824) died at Staten Island.

3/1/1892. Author J.R.R.Tolkein, creator of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, was born in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa. He died in Bournemouth in 1973.

15/9/1890, Agatha Christie, crime writer, was born in Torquay, Devon, as Agatha Mary Clarissa.  She died on 12/1/1976.

10/2/1890, Boris Pasternak, Russian writer, author of Dr Zhivago, was born in Moscow.

23/11/1889, Quintin Crauford, British author, died in Paris.

26/9/1888. The poet T S Eliot was born – see 4/1/1965.

30/1/1888, Edward Lear, English author and artist, who wrote the Book of Nonsense, died in San Remo, Italy.

15/5/1886, Emily Dickinson, US poet, died in Amherst, Massachusetts.

11/9/1885, DH Lawrence, author of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, was born.

22/5/1885, Victor Hugo, French poet and novelist, author of Les Miserables, died in Paris aged 83.

3/7/1883, Franz Kafka, Czech poet and playwright, was born.

1/6/1882, John Drinkwater, poet and dramatist, was born.

27/4/1882, Ralph Waldo Emerson, US poet and essayist, died aged 78 in Concord..

24/3/1882, H W Longfellow, real name Henry Wadsworth, American poet, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

18/1/1882, A A Milne English writer of children’s books and creator of Winnie the Pooh, was born in St John’s Wood, London.

5/2/1881, Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist, died at 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, London.

28/1/1881. Fyodor Dostoyevsky died (born in Moscow, 30/10/1821, son of a surgeon) . His funeral cortege on 31/1/1881 was followed by 30,000 people. He wrote, amongst others, The Idiot, Crime and Punishment, and The Brothers Karamazov.

13/7/1880, Antal Csengery, Hungarian historical writer (born 2/6/1822) died in Budapest.

2/10/1879, The US poet Wallace Stevens was born in Reading, Pennsylvania.

1/1/1879, E M Forster, English novelist, was born.

6/1/1878, The US poet Carl Sandburg was born ij Galesburg, Illinois.

17/4/1876, Ian Hay, British author, was born.

1/9/1875. Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, was born in Chicago. He never visited Africa where his stories were set.

4/8/1875. Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish writer famous for his fairy stories, died aged 70.

29/5/1874. G K Chesterton, English writer, born.

16/1/1874, Robert William Service, Canadian poet, was born.

9/6/1870, Charles Dickens, author, born 7/2/1812 at Landport, Portsmouth, died at Godshill, near Rochester, Kent, of a brain haemorrhage the previous evening.

2/12/1867. The English author Charles Dickens drew large crowds in New York to his readings of his novels there.

4/8/1867, John Galsworthy, English novelist, was born.

27/5/1867, Enoch Arnold Bennett, British novelist, was born.

21/9/1866, The author H G Wells was born at Bromley, Kent.  He was the son of a professional cricketer.

28/7/1866, Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of children’s books, and creator of Peter Rabbit, was born in South Kensington, London.

30/12/1865, Rudyard Kipling, story and verse writer, was born in Bombay.

13/6/1865, The Irish writer William Butler Yeats was born.

9/6/1864, Charles Dickens was involved in a train crash at Staplehurst in Kent. He had to return to the wreckage to salvage the manuscript for a part of the story Our Mutual Friend.

19/5/1864, Nathaniel Hawthorne, US novelist (born 4/7/1804 in Salem, Massachusetts), died at Plymouth, New Hampshire.

24/12/1863  William Thackeray, poet, died in London.

29/8/1862, Maurice Maeterlink, Belgian poet and playwright, was born.

6/5/1862, Henry Thoreau, writer, died of tuberculosis.

22/12/1860, Marian Evans, who wrote under the pen name George Eliot, died (born 22/11/1819).

17/1/1860,  Anton Chekhov, Russian author, was born at Taganrog, son of a shopkeeper.

22/5/1859. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was born to Irish parents in Edinburgh.

2/5/1859, Jerome K Jerome, author, was born at Walsall.

20/4/1859, Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities was published.

25/4/1856, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, or Lewis Carroll, met the young Alice Liddell, who was the inspiration for his Alice books.

7/8/1854, Charles Dickens’ tenth book, Hard Times, was published in entirety.

12/9/1853, Charles Dickens’ ninth book, Bleak House, was published in entirety.

31/3/1855, Charlotte Bronte, oldest of the three literary sisters, died during pregnancy.

21/2/1852, Nikolia Gogol, Russian story writer and novelist, died in Moscow.

14/11/1850, Charles Dickens’ eighth book, David Copperfield, was published in entirety.

13/11/1850, The writer Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, at 8 Howard Place.  His father and grandfather were lighthouse builders.

18/8/1850, Honore de Balzac, French writer, died in Paris.

7/10/1849, Edgar Allen Poe, US fiction writer, died aged 40, in Baltimore, Maryland.

28/5/1849, Anne Bronte, English novelist, died in Scarborough, Yorkshire, aged 29.

22/1/1849, August Strindberg, playwright, was born in Stockholm, Sweden.

19/12/1848. Emily Bronte, English novelist who wrote Wuthering Heights, born 30/7/1818, died from tuberculosis.

8/11/1847. Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, was born in Dublin.

12/4/1848, Charles Dickens’ seventh book, Dombey and Son, was published in entirety.

16/10/1847, Jane Eyre was first published.

12/9/1846, Marriage of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Moulton Barrett.

3/5/1845, Thomas Hood, poet, died.

23/10/1844, Robert Bridges, poet laureate, was born.

13/12/1843. Some 6,000 copies of Charles Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ were sold on the first day of publication.

6/4/1843. William Wordsworth was appointed poet laureate, the day before his 73rd birthday.

15/12/1841, Charles Dickens’ fourth and fifth books, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge, were published in entirety.

20/3/1841, Edgar Allen Poe published a new literary genre, the detective story. The Murders in the Rue Morgue challenged readers to deduce who the villain was before the final page.

2/6/1840, Thomas Hardy, novelist, was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, the son of a stonemason.

13/5/1840, Alphonse Daudet, French novelist, born.

23/10/1839, Charles Dickens’ third book, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, was published in entirety.

12/6/1839, Wordsworth received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University.

9/11/1838, Charles Dickens’ second book, The Adventures of Oliver Twist, was published in entirety.

16/2/1838, Henry Brooks Adams, historian, novelist and philosopher, was born in Boston, Massachusetts (died 27/3/1918).

17/11/1837, Charles Dickens’ first book, The Pickwick Papers, was published in entirety.

10/2/1837, Alexander Pushkin, Russian writer, was killed in a duel.

14/8/1836, Sir Walter Besant, English novelist, was born.

30/11/1835, Mark Twain was born.

22/3/1832. Johann van Goethe, German poet and writer, author of Faust, died aged 82.

27/1/1832, Lewis Carroll, English mathematician and children’s book author, notably Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, was born at the vicarage at Daresbury, near Warrington. His name was originally Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, first son of a family of 12 children.

10/12/1830, Emily Dickinson, US poet, was born in Amherst, Massachusetts.

2/1/1830, Henry Kingsley, English novelist, was born.

28/8/1828, Count Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer, was born of aristocratic descent in Tula Province.

12/8/1827, William Blake, British poet, died.

5/2/1824, Charles Dickens, then aged 12, was sent out to work labelling shoe polish bottles.

8/7/1822. Percy Bysshe Shelley died. He drowned in a storm whilst sailing off the coast of Italy..

30/10/1821, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist, was born.

23/2/1821, John Keats, English poet, died of tuberculosis in Rome, aged only 25.

17/1/1820, The novelist Anne Bronte (known as Acton Bell) was born, the youngest of three sisters, at Thornton, Yorkshire.

22/11/1819, The novelist George Elliot was born as Marian Evans, near Nuneaton.

1/8/1819, Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, was born.

8/2/1819 John Ruskin, English writer and art critic, was born in Dulwich, London, the son of a wine dealer.

30/7/1818. Novelist Emily Bronte was born at Thornton, Yorkshire. On of the three famous sisters, she wrote Wuthering Heights under the name of Ellis Bell in 1846.

27/12/1817, Henry Thoreau, writer, was born in Concord, Massachusetts.

18/7/1817. Jane Austen, novelist,  died.

25/4/1816, Byron, poet, sailed from Dover to self-imposed exile in Italy.

21/4/1816, Charlotte Bronte, eldest of the three literary sisters, was born in Thornton, daughter of a Yorkshire clergyman.

24/4/1815, Anthony Trollope, British writer, was born.

12/5/1812, The eccentric poet and artist Edward Lear was born at Highgate, London.

14/6/1811, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was born.

25/3/1811, The poet Shelley was sent down from Oxford for publishing The Necessity of Atheism.

31/3/1809, Nikolai Gogol, Russian author, was born in Sorochinsty, Poltava.

19/1/1809, Edgar Allen Poe, American writer of macabre stories, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, of theatrical parents.

6/8/1809, Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet, was born.

12/10/1805, The Theatre Royal, Bath, was founded.

2/4/1805, Hans Christian Anderson, Danish fairy tale writer, was born in Odense, son of a shoemaker.

25/5/1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson, US poet and essayist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

26/2/1802, Victor Hugo, French poet and novelist, was born in Besancon, the son of a professional soldier.

6/6/1799, Alexander Pushkin Russian writer, was born

20/5/1799. Honore de Balzac born.

30/8/1797, Mary Shelley, English novelist, best known as the author of Frankenstein, was born in London.

11/8/1797, A secret Home Office report suspected Coleridge and the Wordsworths of being enemy agents, because of their wandering around the countryside with campstools and making detailed sketches of the landscape.

21/7/1796. Robert Burns, Scottish poet, died aged 37 in Dumfries, and was buried there.  He was born on 25/1/1759, the eldest son of a poor peasant farmer, about 2 miles from Ayr, at Alloway.

31/10/1795, John Keats, English romantic poet, was born in London, the son of an innkeeper.

19/5/1795, James Boswell, Scottish diarist and biographer of Dr Johnson, died in London, aged 54.

29/9/1792, The Theatre Royal, Dumfries, was founded.

4/8/1792, Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet, was born at Warnham.

11/7/1790, William Wordsworth and his friend Robert Jones set off on a walking tour of France and Switzerland.

1/10/1788, William Brodie was hanged in Edinburgh. His career inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

22/1/1788, George Gordon, or Lord Byron, poet, was born in London.

29/1/1787, Thomas Paine, English writer, was born.

24/2/1786, Wilhelm Grimm, German collector of fairy tales along with his brother Jacob, was born in Hanau.

4/1/1785, Jacob Grimm, older of the two German brothers famous for fairy tales, was born in Hanau.

19/10/1784, Leigh Hunt, British poet and essayist, was born.

10/6/1782, The Grand Theatre, Lancaster, was founded.

17/8/1780, George Croly, British author, was born in Dublin.

10/2/1775, Charles Lamb, English writer, was born in The Temple, London, son of a clerk.

21/10/1772, The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, was born at Ottery St Mary in Devon.  He was the son of a vicar.

15/8/1771, The novelist Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh.

30/5/1764, The Theatre Royal, Bristol, was founded.

9/3/1763, William Cobbett, English political journalist, was born in Farnham, Surrey, the son of a farmer.

10/11/1759, Friedrich Schiller, German poet and dramatist, was born.

25/1/1759, Robert Burns, Scottish poet, was born at Alloway, near Ayr, Ayrshire, son of a poor farmer.

28/11/1757, The poet, artist, and visionary William Blake was born in London.

28/8/1749, Johann Goethe, German poet and novelist, author of Faust, was born in Frankfurt Am main, son of a lawyer.

19/10/1745, The satirist Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, died aged 77.

28/10/1740. James Boswell, Scottish diarist and biographer of Samuel Johnson, was born.

29/12/1720, The Haymarket Theatre, London, was founded.

25/4/1719. Daniel Defoe’s novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’ was published in London.

26/12/1716. Thomas Gray, the poet best known for his Elegy written in a Country Churchyard, was born in London, the son of a money broker.

18/9/1709. Samuel Johnson, poet and lexicographer, was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, son of a bookseller.

2/2/1709, The Scottish sailor, Alexander Selkirk, inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, was rescued after being marooned for four months on an island off Chile.

27/2/1706, John Evelyn, whose diary covered the last 65 years of his life, died aged 86 at Wotton, near Dorking, Surrey.

4/6/1703, Samuel Pepys was buried at St Olaves church in Hart Street, London.

26/5/1703. Samuel Pepys died at Clapham, London, aged 70. He became an MP in 1679. His diaries ran from 1660 to 1669, when he stopped due to failing eyesight.

1/5/1700, John Dryden, Poet Laureate for over 20 years, died in London.

31/8/1688. John Bunyan religious writer, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, died at the house of a friend in Holborn, London. See 12/11/1660.

3/6/1683, Sadlers Wells Theatre, London, was founded.

8/11/1674. The poet John Milton died at the age of 65. His best known work was Paradise Lost. He was born in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, and studied at Christ College, Cambridge, from 1652-53, writing poetry in English, Latin, and Italian. He served as secretary for Cromwell’s government and pamphleteered for civil and religious liberty. After the monarchy was restored, Milton was arrested as a supporter of the Commonwealth but soon released. Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained were published in 1667 and 1671, after he went blind in 1652.

1/5/1672, Birth of Joseph Addison, English writer and Whig who co-founded The Spectator in 1711

31/5/1669. Samuel Pepys, naval administrator and politician, made the last entry in his diary which began on 1/1/1660.

13/4/1668. John Dryden was appointed the first Poet Laureate. He kept this office until 1689.

6/8/1637. The first poet laureate, Ben Johnson, died in poverty.

9/8/1631, John Dryden, poet, was born at Aldwinde in Northampton.

6/8/1623. Anne Hathaway, wife of Shakespeare, died. They married on 27/11/1582, when Shakespeare was aged 18.

31/10/1620, John Evelyn, English diarist and author, was born in Wotton, near Dorking, Surrey.

6/3/1619, Cyrano de Bergerac, French novelist, was born in Paris.

23/4/1616. The playwright William Shakespeare, born on 23/4/1564, died.

20/5/1609, The sonnets of William Shakespeare were first published.

9/12/1608, John Milton, English poet, was born in Cheapside, London, the son of a scrivener.

17/1/1600, The Spanish dramatist, Pedro Calderon de la Barca, was born.

21/2/1595. Robert Southwell, English poet and Jesuit martyr, was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn.

29/4/1594, Thomas Cooper, English author, died in Winchester.

9/8/1593, The author Izaak Walton was born at Stafford.

18/4/1593, Shakespeare’s first published work, the poem Venus and Adonis, was entered into the Stationer’s Register.

18/4/1587, John Foxe, preacher and author, died.

27/11/1582, William Shakespeare, playwright, married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18.

2/7/1566, Nostradamus died – did he foresee this?

23/4/1564, William Shakespeare, playwright, was born in Stratford on Avon. He was the third of eight children.  His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove maker and alderman, and his mother, Mary Arden, was a daughter of the gentry.

6/2/1564, Christopher Marlowe, English poet, was born in Canterbury, son of a shoe maker.

1/3/1555, Nostradamus published his famous book of predictions.

14/12/1503. The French astrologer Nostradamus was born, as Michel de Nostradame.  He wrote his book of prophecies in 1555.

5/11/1494, Hans Sachs, poet and dramatist, was born.

8/9/1474, Ludovic Ariosto, poet, was born.

25/10/1400. Geoffrey Chaucer, English poet and storyteller, who wrote the unfinished Canterbury Tales, (born ca. 1340) died at his home in Westminister.

17/4/1397, Geoffrey Chaucer told The Canterbury Tales for the first time.

21/12/1375, Giovanni Boccaccio, writer, died.

14/9/1321. The poet Dante Alighieri died aged 56 at Ravenna, in the 20th year of exile from his native Florence.


Appendix 6 – Newspapers, Comics and Journals

30/9/2005, A Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, published controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

8/4/1992, Punch magazine published its last issue.

25/3/1992, United Newspapers announced the closure of Punch magazine, after 150 years of publication.

1990, In Britain, the Independent on Sunday and The European newspapers were launched.

1/11/1988, Batman’s faithful sidekick, Robin, was killed off by The Joker after a reader’s poll of DC Comics voted he should go.

6/10/1986, In Britain a new newspaper, The Independent, began publication.

4/3/1986, The first issue of the newspaper ‘Today’ appeared; it was published by Eddie Shah.

12/2/1981, Rupert Murdoch bought the Times.

1980, The London Evening News closed. The Evening Standard became the Standard.

13/11/1979, The Times reappeared after a year’s absence.

30/11/1978, The Times stopped publication because of an industrial dispute. Industrial relations problems continued at The Times until 13/11/1979.

1/11/1978, The British newspaper The Daily Star went on sale in the north and midlands.  It was owned by Express newspapers.

11/5/1971. The British newspaper, The Daily Sketch, appeared for the last time. It was merged with the Daily Mail, which had changed from broadsheet to tabloid format.

11/1/1968. A new magazine, Student, hit Britain’s newsstands. Its publisher, Richard Branson, hoped the new magazine would become the voice of Britain’s youth.

2/5/1966, The Times carried news headlines on its front  page instead of advertising for the first time.

15/9/1964, The Sun was first published.

14/9/1964. The British daily newspaper, The Herald, closed and was replaced by The Sun.

9/6/1964. British newspaper tycoon Lord Beaverbrook died, aged 85.

8/7/1963, The Fred Bassett cartoon first appeared in The Daily Mail.

4/2/1962. The Sunday Times became the first paper to issue a colour supplement. The idea was expected to fail.

25/10/1961. The satirical magazine Private Eye was published for the first time.

5/2/1961. The Sunday Telegraph began publishing.

17/10/1960, The British daily newspaper News Chronicle ceased publication and was incorporated into the Daily Mail.

5/8/1957, The Andy Capp cartoon first appeared in The Mirror newspaper.

1951, Dennis the Menace first appeared  in The Beano.

14/8/1951, Randolph Hearst, US newspaper magnate, died in California.

1950, Peak daily newspaper sales in the UK of 17 million copies, with total UK population of around 50 million.

16/3/1950, The Gambols cartoon first appeared in The Daily Express.

29/7/1938. The first edition of The Beano comic was published.

18/4/1938, The Superman hero first appeared in print in the US.

4/12/1937, The Dandy was first published, featuring Desperate Dan.

1937, Daily newspaper sales in the UK stood at 10 million (UK population then around 48 million).

23/11/1936, The first edition of Life magazine appeared.

28/6/1935. The first Rupert Bear cartoon appeared in The Daily Express. It was drawn by Albert Bestall, who had taken over from Rupert’s creator Mary Tourtel.

10/3/1935, The Bill Holman comic strip Smokey Stover ran for the first time in the Chicago Tribune.

7/1/1934, The comic book hero Flash Gordon made his debut in the USA.

11/3/1931. Birth of Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch.

21/2/1931 The New Statesman began publishing.

1/2/1930. The Times published its first crossword.

10/6/1923. Robert Maxwell, newspaper owner, was born in Solotvino, eastern Czechoslovakia, as Ludvick Hoch.

14/8/1922, Lord Alfred Harmsworth, British newspaper publisher who launched the London Evening News, Daily Mirror, and The Times, died.

29/12/1918, In Britain the Sunday Express newspaper was first published.

16/4/1912, The Daily Herald began publication in London.

2/11/1904. The British newspaper The Mirror was founded by Alfred Harmsworth. Originally sold as a woman’s paper for 1d, it was subsequently relaunched as the Daily Illustrated Mirror and retailed at ½ d.

22/2/1903, The world’s first ships newspaper was published, on the liner Etruria.

17/1/1902, The first issue of The Times Literary Supplement was published.

24/4/1900. 1st edition of the Daily Express printed in London. The newspaper was founded by C Arthur Pearson.

25/2/1899, Paul Julius Reuter, German founder of Reuters news agency, died.

3/4/1898, Henry Luce, US publisher who founded Time, Life, and Fortune magazines, was born.

4/5/1896. The Daily Mail was first published, founded by Lord Northcliffe. Priced at ½ d (21p in 2012 prices) it was

the first mass-circulation newspaper in Britain.

19/11/1893, The first newspaper colour supplement was produced; a 4-page section of the New York World.

6/7/1886. Box numbers were used in advertisements for the first time, by the Daily Telegraph.

1888, In London, the Financial Times was founded; a rival to the Financial News.

22/2/1886, The Times became the first newspaper to have a ‘personal’ column on its classified page.

1884, The first newspaper in London devoted entirely to financial ands commercial affairs, the Financial and Mining News, appeared. It was later renamed the Financial News.

16/10/1881, The British newspaper, The People, began publication.

27/10/1879, The Liverpool Echo printed its first copy.

25/5/1879, The newspaper tycoon Lord Beaverbrook was born in Maple, Ontario, Canada as William Maxwell Aitken.

18/1/1879. The first issue of Boys Own was published by O S Beaton, husband of the famous cook book writer. Published until 1967, the journal was backed by the Religious Tract Society.

2/2/1870. The press agencies Reuters, Havas, and Wolff signed an agreement whereby they could cover the world’s news between them.

7/2/1865, The first issue of the Pall Mall Gazette.

30/6/1855, In Britain, the Newspaper Stamp Duty was abolished.

29/6/1855, The Daily Telegraph was first published, in London.  The first editor was Alfred Bate Richards.

24/9/1853. Britain’s first provincial newspaper, the Northern Daily Times, was founded in Liverpool.

4/8/1853, Newspaper advertisements duty was abolished in Britain.

1851, Reuters News Agency was founded.

10/4/1847, Joseph Pulitzer, newspaper proprietor who founded the Pulitzer Prize for achievements in journalism or literature, was born.

21/1/1846. The Daily News, the newspaper edited by Charles Dickens, was first published in London.

1/10/1843. The Sunday newspaper, News of the World, was first published.

14/5/1842, The Illustrated London News was first published.

17/7/1841. The first issue of the satirical magazine Punch was published in London.

1836, In Britain, Stamp Duty on newspapers was reduced from 4d to 1d (from £1.30 to 32p in 2012 prices), making them more accessible to less well off people.

1/9/1833. The New York Sun newspaper was launched. It was cheaply priced at 1 cent, and was full of human interest stories, aimed for a mass market. Editors of more serious papers were sceptical about its survival. On 25/8/1835 this newspaper claimed that vegetation grew on the moon, and had widespread sales.

8/11/1827. The first English language newspaper in the Far East, the Canton Register began publication in Guangzhou.

20/10/1822. The Sunday Times was first published.

1821, The Manchester Guardian, later The Guardian, was published.

17/12/1820. John Bull, the magazine ‘for God, The King, and The People’ went on sale with 750 copies printed. After 6 weeks, circulation rose to 10,000.

21/7/1816, Paul von Reuter, German founder of Reuters News Agency, was born in Kassel as Israel Beer Josaphat.

4/12/1791. The Observer, the oldest Sunday newspaper in the UK, was first published.

3/5/1788. The first evening newspaper, the Star and Evening Advertiser, was published in London.

1/1/1785. The Daily Universal Register was first published by John Walter. It was renamed The Times on 1/1/ 1788.

21/9/1784. The first successful daily American newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, appeared.

26/3/1780. The first Sunday newspaper in Britain was published; the British Gazette and Sunday Monitor.

1778, The German newspaper, Allgemeine Zeiting began publishing.

23/3/1752, Canada’s first newspaper, the Halifax Gazette, went on sale.

17/6/1719, Joseph Addison died. A Whig essayist and poet, he had been co-founder of The Spectator.

1712, In Britain, Stamp Duty was imposed on newspapers, increasing their price.

1/3/1711. The Spectator was first published.

24/4/1704, The first regular newspaper in British North America, the Boston News Letter, was published.

11/3/1702, E Mallet published The Daily Courant, the first successful daily newspaper in Britain. It was printed as a single sheet.

29/11/1641, The first English newspaper was published.

2/12/1620, The first English-language newspaper was printed. Produced in Amsterdam, it consisted of a single sheet, 6 by 12 inches, printed both sides, reporting on foreign news only. When imported into Britain it was condemned  by King James I.

59 BC, In Rome the Acta Diurna was posted daily in public spaces.


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