Happy Anniversary: Netherlands sentenced to death as Austria goes bankrupt

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The Independent Culture
SOME notable dates, romantic or otherwise, to ignore in the forthcoming week.

14 February

1477: Margery Brews writes to her fiance, John Paston of Norfolk, referring to him as 'my right welebelovyd Voluntyn', in the first recorded St Valentine's Day message.

1779: Natives of the Sandwich Islands greet Captain Cook on St Valentine's Day by stabbing him to death.

1852: Eliza Armstrong, three, is the first patient admitted to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London.

1893: The Sandwich Islands, now known as Hawaii, are annexed to the United States.

1929: Seven members of Bugsy Moran's gang are killed in the St Valentine's Day Massacre.

1933: Paris inaugurates world's first telephone speaking clock.

1963: Harold Wilson becomes leader of the Labour Party.

15 February

1882: The first frozen meat cargo leaves New Zealand for England.

1925: Regent's Park Zoo announces that lights are to be installed to cheer the animals up when it is foggy.

1978: It is reported that Michael Herbert Dengler of Minneapolis has been refused permission to change his name to 1069, because a number is 'totalitarian and an offence to human dignity'.

1928: The Oxford English Dictionary is complete after 70 years' work.

1971: The old penny dies as decimal currency is introduced in Britain.

1978: New Zealand beat England at cricket for the first time.

1981: Football League games are first played on a Sunday.

1984: Tommy Cooper dies.

16 February

1568: The Spanish Inquisition sentences the Netherlands to death.

1659: Nicholas Vanacker signs the first known cheque to be drawn on a British bank.

1937: Nylon is patented by a team led by a Dr Corothers in the US.

1959: Fidel Castro, 30, is sworn in as Cuban premier after the law is changed to lower the age limit for the job.

17 February

1883: Mr A Ashwell of Herne Hill patents the Vacant/Engaged sign for lavatory doors.

1905: An outbreak of typhus is reported in the East End of London.

1909: A Royal Commission reports that conditions in London produce a 'degenerate race, morally and physically enfeebled'.

18 February

1678: John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is published.

1930: The planet Pluto is discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory, United States, though an announcement is delayed until 13 March.

19 February

1878: Thomas Edison is granted patent No 200521 for the phonograph.

1897: The Women's Institute is founded by Mrs Hoodless in Stoney Creek, Ontario. It is brought to England by Mrs A Watt during the First World War.

1906: William S Kellogg forms the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co to market the cereal invented by his brother, John Harvey Kellogg, as a therapeutic food for mental patients.

1914: The 'Colonel Bogey March' is registered at the British Museum by its composers Kenneth Alford and F J Ricketts.

20 February

1811: Austria goes bankrupt.

1861: The steeple is blown off Chichester Cathedral in a storm.

1939: Nylon stockings go on sale in New York.

1971: Major-General Idi Amin promotes himself to General and President of Uganda.

1985: Ireland legalises the sale of contraceptives.