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1825: The Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world’s first public passenger service – built by George Stephenson – was inaugurated.
1888: The Central News Agency in London received a letter which began “Dear Boss, I keep on hearing the police have caught me, but they won’t fix me just yet…” It was signed Jack the Ripper, the first time the name had been used.
1930: Bobby Jones of the US won the US National Amateur Championships to complete the first golfing grand slam.
1938: The liner Queen Elizabeth was launched in Clydebank.
1940: Japan signed a 10-year military and economic alliance, known as the ‘axis alliance’, with Nazi Germany and Italy.
1960: Bank Underground station in London opened the first travelator, in Europe.
1968: The rock musical Hair opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, the day after censorship in the theatre was lifted.
1979: Dame Gracie Fields, English comedienne, singer and music hall entertainer, died at her home on the Isle of Capri, Italy.
1979: BBC’s Question Time was broadcast for the first time with Robin Day in the chair.
1987: The Great Britain and European Ryder Cup Team defeated the US for the first time on US soil to retain the trophy.
BIRTHDAYS: Nicky Haslam, interior designer, 80; Denis Lawson, actor, 72; Meat Loaf, rock singer and actor, 72; Barbara Dickson, singer, 72; Michele Dotrice, actress, 71; Diane Abbott, Labour MP, 66; Gwyneth Paltrow, actress, 47; Avril Lavigne, singer, 35.