HAPPY ANNIVERSARY / From light to sound

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The Independent Culture
SOME of the week's more curious anniversaries.


1587: Christianity banned in Japan.

1890: Thomas Edison demonstrates his latest invention: the talking doll.


1965: The old telephone exchange names vanish as the GPO announces a change to numbers-only dialling.

1978: Birth of Louise Brown, the world's first test- tube baby.


1918: The first women's national athletics championships are held in Vienna.

1964: Winston Churchill makes his final appearance in the House of Commons.


1586: The potato (solanum tuberosum) is introduced into Ireland, brought from Colombia by Sir Thomas Harriot. Sir Walter Raleigh announces his plans to plant some at his estate to feed the animals.

1959: Inauguration of postcodes in Britain.


Feast Day of St Martha, patron of housewives and others engaged in care of the needy.

1926: Medical officers at the London County Council praise women's fashions on grounds of hygiene.


1938: First edition of the Beano.

1966: England win the World Cup.

1968: Don Jones, the public defender of the State of California, is fined for being too fat. He tips the scales at 238lb.


1910: Dr Crippen arrested.

1950: Sainsbury's in Croydon opens as Britains first self-service store.

1965: Cigarette commercials are banned on British television.