Happy Anniversary: Turning a blind eye

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The Independent Culture
Some of the justly neglected anniversaries that fall during the forthcoming week.

28 March:

1906: The Meteorological Office in New York announced that the science of weather forecasting is 'within our grasp'.

1909: A formula is agreed for Serbia to renounce its claims on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1912: Both boats sink in the Boat Race.

1955: New Zealand make the lowest-ever score in a test match, all out for 26 against England in Auckland.

29 March:

1886: John Pemberton of Atlanta invents Coca-Cola, describing the new drink as an 'Esteemed Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage'.

1922: The US Census Department reports that 11 per cent of the population are unable to speak English.

30 March:

1842: Dr Crawford Long pioneers the use of ether as a general anaesthetic. In commemoration of this, 30 March is celebrated as Doctor's Day in the US.

1858: The first pencil with an eraser at the end is patented by Hyman Lipman of Philadelphia.

1915: George V offers to abstain from alcohol as an example to workers in the arms industry.

1923: Salt tax doubled in India.

1939: William Hitler of New York describes his uncle Adolf as 'a menace'.

31 March:

1900: France passes a law limiting the working day to 11 hours for women and children.

1947: The Bishop of London blames Britain's high divorce rate on the influence of Hollywood.

1 April:

1909: Britain's first double-decker buses run in Widnes, Cheshire.

1947: The Public Morality Council in Britain denounces artificial insemination as illegal and adulterous.

1958: Abolition of legalised prostitution in Japan.

2 April:

1801: At the battle of Copenhagen, Nelson famously put a telescope to his blind eye to ignore a signal from Sir Hyde Parker, saying: 'I have a right to be blind sometimes.'

1873: The first toilets are fitted in British trains, but only in sleeping cars.

1877: A female performer called Zazel becomes the first human cannon-ball.

3 April:

Feast Day of St Pancras of Taormina, a 1st- century evangelist sent by St Peter to convert the Sicilians. Unlike St Pancras of Rome, he does not have a railway station named after him.

1933: First flight over Everest.

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