Happy Anniversary: Britain succumbs to the Colombian potato barons

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SOME reasons to celebrate every day of the forthcoming week:

26 July:

National Day of Liberia.

1745: Hambledon defeat Bramley in the first recorded women's cricket match.

1908: The FBI is established in Washington.

27 July:

1948: The first women's national athletics championships are held in Vienna.

28 July:

Death of two great baroque composers, J S Bach (1750) and Antonio Vivaldi (1741).

1586: First potatoes arrive in Britain, brought from Columbia by Sir Thomas Harriot.

1914: Austria declares war on Serbia.

1916: Import of cocaine and opium banned by royal proclamation.

1959: Post codes inaugurated in Britain.

1962: Simon Paterson becomes the first Briton to swim the Channel underwater.

29 July:

Feast day of St Martha, patron saint of housewives.

1926: London County Council medical officers praise modern fashions on grounds of hygiene.

1963: Kim Philby granted Soviet citizenship.

1981: Prince of Wales marries Lady Diana Spencer.

30 July:

1918: Captain Sarret of France makes the first parachute drop from an aeroplane.

1935: First Penguin paperback book goes on sale.

1938: First edition of the Beano goes on sale.

1968: Don Jones, California's state public defender, is fined for being too fat at 17 stone.

31 July:

1910: Dr Crippen is arrested aboard the SS Montrose, the first criminal apprehended through the use of a wireless.

1950: Sainsbury's open Britain's first self-service store in Croydon.

1 August:

1793: France introduces the kilogram, the first metric weight.

1969: The old (pre-decimal) halfpenny ceases to be legal tender.