Happy Anniversary: On the first day, an airship lands in a pear tree
Monday 31 May 1993
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
National Day of Denmark
1975: Britain votes, by 17,378,581 to 8,470,073, to enter the Common Market.
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.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Best TV shows on Netflix: 26 series to binge on
Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?
Star Wars 7: Plot details 'leak', with sequel's opening sequence and premise revealed
Original Rick Astley 'rickrolling' video removed from YouTube
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains