Happy Anniversary: Drivers see the light: Some of the stranger anniversaries in the week ahead.

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

19BC: Birth of the future emperor, Claudius.

1774: Sir Joseph Priestley announces the discovery of oxygen.

1833: Parliament frees all slaves on British territory, making pounds 20m available to compensate slave owners.


1100: Death of William Rufus, shot by an arrow while hunting. His younger brother, later Henry I, may have been responsible.

1589: Henry II is stabbed to death by a mad monk.

1865: Publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

1876: Wild Bill (James Butler) Hickok is shot in the back by Jack McCall.


1921: First crop-spraying by aeroplane to rid an Ohio catalpa grove of leaf caterpillars.

1925: A court in Indiana orders a motorist who killed a pedestrian to spend one hour alone with the body.

1926: England's first traffic lights are set up at Piccadilly Circus in London.


1966: John Lennon claims the Beatles are more popular than Jesus Christ.

1987: Luis Reina becomes the first Spanish bullfighter to sell advertising space on his matador's tunic.


1914: The first electric traffic lights are turned on in Cleveland, Ohio.

1916: American chewing-gum goes on sale in France.

1970: Penalty kicks are first used as a tie-breaker in an English football match.


Death of two friends of Shakespeare: Anne Hathaway (1623) and Ben Johnson (1637).

1859: The first advertising slogan appears: 'Worth a guinea a box' for Beecham's Powders.

1890: The murderer William Kemmler becomes the first to die in the electric chair, at Auburn Prison in New York.


1556: The earliest recorded UFO is sighted over Basle, Switzerland.

1840: Parliament passes an act prohibiting child chimney-sweeps.