Happy Anniversary: The sound of guns and blades

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SOME of the more curious anniversaries of the coming week, historically a bad time to die if you want your last words recorded accurately.

17 January:

Feast day of Antony, patron saint of pigs.

1899: Al Capone born.

1900: The Mormon Brigham Roberts is refused a seat in the US House of Representatives on the grounds that he is a polygamist.

18 January:

A prolific date for births of children's authors: A A Milne (1882), Arthur Ransome (1884) and Raymond Briggs (1934), but mixed fortunes for fat men: Oliver Hardy (born 1892) and Sidney Greenstreet (died 1954).

1909: New Zealand brewers decide to abolish barmaids.

1934: The first arrest in Britain through the use of a policeman's pocket radio.

1937: Horse-drawn traffic is banned from large areas of London's West End.

19 January:

1728: Margaret Dickson, after being hanged for infanticide in Edinburgh, sat up and got out of her coffin when the hearse driver stopped for refreshment. Her innocence was later established.

1973: 'American Decay' a work of art by Carl Andre, opened in a Washington gallery. It included 500lb of cottage cheese and 10 gallons of ketchup and had to be closed the next day because of the smell.

20 January:

St Agnes' Eve when, according to Keats, 'young virgins might have visions of delight'.

1936: Death of King George V whose last words were either: 'How is the Empire?' (or various versions thereof) or 'Bugger Bognor'.

1958: First radar speed-checks in London.

1975: Britain and France abandon plans for a Channel tunnel.

1986: Britain and France agree on plans for a Channel tunnel.

21 January:

1907: Taxi-cabs are officially recognised in Britain.

1937: Marcel Boulestin becomes the first television chef in a new series called 'Cook's Night Out'.

1955: Archaeologists confirm Piltdown Man is definitely a hoax.

1984: Yorkshire County Cricket Club reverses its decision to sack Geoffrey Boycott.

22 January:

1908: In New York, Katie Mulcahey is the first to be arrested under a law forbidding women to smoke in public.

1927: Arsenal v Sheffield United is the first league football match to be broadcast live on radio.

1955: Joe Davis scores the first maximum 147 break in an official snooker tournament.

1988: Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, opens a departure lounge serving pre- flight food and drinks to cattle.

23 January:

1906: Death of William Pitt the Younger, whose last words were either: 'My country] Oh, my country]' (or variations thereof) or 'I think I could eat one of Bellamy's veal pies'.

1963: Kim Philby disappears from Beirut, later to turn up in Moscow.

1941: Nylon first produced in Britain, at Coventry.