Happy Anniversary: A conscientious objection to working for the BBC

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The Independent Culture
SOME happenings of good and ill omen from the week, including the Ides (15th) of March.

14 March

1757: Admiral John Byng is executed by firing squad on board HMS Monarch, for failing to relieve Minorca from attack by the French.

1939: The longest ever test match is abandoned on its 12th day, as the English team have to leave to catch their ship home from Cape Town.

1985: After a swift rise in the lion population from 2 to 16, Singapore Zoo puts five lionesses on the contraceptive pill.

15 March

1877: Charles Bannerman opens the batting for Australia against England in the first official test match. His 165 (retired hurt) is the first test century.

1892: Jesse Reno patents the world's first escalator, the 'Reno Inclined Elevator'.

1907: Finland elects the world's first female MPs.

1929: Trotsky announces his intention to leave politics.

1937: Bernard Faustus coins the term 'blood bank', setting up the world's first such service at Cook County Hospital.

1949: Clothes rationing ends in Britain.

16 March

1872: Wanderers beat Royal Engineers 1-0 in the first FA Cup Final.

1908: The GPO issues the first books of stamps, each containing 24 penny stamps.

1976: Harold Wilson resigns as prime minister.

17 March

1845: Stephen Perry of London patents the elastic band.

1912: Lawrence Oates says: 'I am just going outside and may be some time.'

1921: First birth-control clinic opened by Marie Stopes in London.

18 March

1584: Ivan the Terrible dies, supposedly of grief for the son he had killed in rage three days earlier.

1935: The 30mph speed limit for built-up areas is introduced.

1947: Prince Philip of Greece becomes a naturalised Briton.

1989: Britain's first National Fat Women's Conference is held.

19 March

721BC: According to Ptolemy, the first eclipse is recorded by the Babylonians.

1928: The Industrial Fatigue Research Board praises the cup of tea as an aid to efficiency and a curb to industrial discontent.

1931: Alka-Seltzer is first marketed in the United States.

20 March

1780: James Watt begins production of a duplicator, invented to deal with the excess office work generated by his steam engine.

1806: The foundation stone is laid for Dartmoor Prison.

1809: The poisoner Mary Bateman is executed at York. Her body is exhibited at Leeds infirmary, where 2,500 people pay to see it. Portions of her skin are later sold as lucky charms.

1941: The BBC lifts its ban on employing conscientious objectors.

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