1616 First non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe is opened in Frascati, Italy
1821 Act of Independence of Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua declare their independence from the Spanish Empire
1835 HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board reaches the Galapagos Islands
1916 First use of tanks in warfare, “Little Willies” at Battle of Flers-Courcelette, part of the Battle of the Somme
1928 Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin while studying influenza
1940 Battle of Britain Day: climax of the Battle of Britain, tide begins to turn as the Royal Air Force repulses a major Luftwaffe attack, losing 29 aircraft to the Germans’ 57-61
1992 George Soros’ Quantum Fund begins selling large amounts of pound sterling, labelled “the man who broke the Bank of England” when pound crashes out of the ERM next day
Historical Events Today Events in 2023
Today in Film & TV
1949 “Lone Ranger” premieres on ABC-TV. Hi-yo, Silver! Away!
Today in Music
2005 “Be Without You” single released by Mary J. Blige (Billboard Song of the Year 2006, Grammy Award Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance 2005)
Today in Sport
1960 Maurice Richard announces his retirement. He finishes his career with 544 goals, an NHL record at the time.
1981 The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, D.C.
1997 Google.com is registered as a domain name
1794 4th US President James Madison (43) weds Dolley Madison (26) in Jefferson County, West Virginia
1949 Figure skater and actress Sonja Henie (36) weds Winthrop Gardner Jr.
1951 Actor Peter Sellers (26) weds actress Anne Howe in London, England
Agatha Christie was born on this day. She went on to become the best-selling writer of all time, her novels having sold about 2 billion copies worldwide – September 15, 1890