Happy Anniversary: On the first day, an airship lands in a pear tree

HERE ARE some dates to celebrate in the coming week, a rich period for National Days.

31 May:

1669: Samuel Pepys' failing eyesight causes him to stop writing his diary.

1909: Count Zeppelin flies his airship for a record 37 hours before crashing into a pear tree in Stuttgart when landing to refuel.

1938: The BBC broadcasts Spelling Bee, its first TV panel game.

1988: A court in Norway proclaims the right of a soldier to wear earrings on parade.

1 June:

National Day of Tunisia

1880: The world's first public telephone box is installed in New Haven, Connecticut.

1927: Death of Lizzie Borden, who allegedly killed her parents with an axe.

1935: Driving tests and compulsory 'L' plates introduced in Britain.

1938: Birth of Superman, created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegal in DC Comics.

2 June:

National Day of Italy

1850: Birth of Sir Jesse Boot, first Baron Trent, pharmaceutical retailer.

1953: This date chosen as Coronation Day, because records indicated it to be consistently the most sunny of the year. It rained.

3 June:

1946: Louis Reard unveils highly explosive design for new swimwear, which he names appropriately after the site of atomic tests, Bikini Atoll.

1956: Third class rail travel abolished in Britain.

4 June:

1784: Madame Thible becomes the first woman to fly in a Montgolfier balloon. The King of Sweden watches.

1937: The world's first supermarket trolleys roll into action in Oklahoma.

5 June:

National Day of Denmark

1975: Britain votes, by 17,378,581 to 8,470,073, to enter the Common Market.

6 June:

National Day of Sweden

1933: The first drive-in cinema opens in Camden, New Jersey, with enough room to hold 400 cars.

1988: Three giant turtles are washed up at a sewage plant in the Bronx. They are presumed to have been unwanted pets that were flushed away in their infancy.

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