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.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 4 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 5 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
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