It happened today – this day in history – September 19

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1356: The English, led by Edward, the Black Prince, defeated the French at the Battle of Poitiers in the Hundred Years’ War.

1839: George Cadbury was born in Birmingham. He expanded his father’s chocolate business and established a model village for his workers at Bourneville.

1876: The first carpet-sweeper was patented by Melville Bissell of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

1881: James Garfield, 20th president of the US, died from wounds suffered when he was shot in July.

1888: The world’s first beauty contest took place in Spa, Belgium.

1928: The first cartoon talking picture, Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie, featuring Mickey Mouse, was shown in New York.

1945: Wartime traitor William Joyce – Lord Haw-Haw – was sentenced to be hanged after his trial at The Old Bailey.

1955: Argentinian leader Juan Peron is deposed in a military coup.

1957: The United States detonates a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevade Test Site. It is the first subterranean nuclear test.

1960: Chubby Checker’s cover of the Hank Ballard song, The Twist, entered the US charts and launched the dance craze.

1973: Gram Parsons died of a drug overdose in a motel room in California. Two friends took the body and drove it to Joshua Tree National Park where they doused it in petrol and set it on fire.

1975: The first episode of Fawlty Towers was broadcast.

1985: More than 20,000 people died when an earthquake devastated large areas Of Mexico City.

BIRTHDAYS: David McCallum, actor, 86; Zandra Rhodes, fashion designer, 79; Kate Adie, TV reporter, 74; Jeremy Irons, actor, 71; Twiggy (Lesley Hornby), model/actress, 70; Daniel Lanois, singer/music producer, 68; Nile Rodgers (Chic), guitarist/music producer, 67.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]