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.
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Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 World Cup 2014: Robin van Persie gives his bronze medal to eccentric Netherlands fan moments after being handed it by Sepp Blatter
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War is war: Why I stand with Israel
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Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
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