A look back at the week ahead.

24 March 1877: The only dead heat in the Boat Race.

24 March 1958: Elvis Presley joins the army.

25 March 1807: The British Parliament abolishes the slave trade.

25 March 1811: Shelley is sent down from Oxford for refusing to answer questions about his tract "The necessity of Atheism".

25 March 1927: The Grand National is broadcast by wireless for the first time.

26 March: A fine date for British firsts, including: the first official cremation (at Woking in 1885); the first BBC daily weather forecast (1923); the first parking tickets (1958); the first woman broker on the floor of the Stock Exchange (1973).

27 March 1567: The Court of Judicatory of Senlis, France, sentences a sow with a black snout to hang for the murder of a baby.

27 March 1948: The weekly cheese ration is cut from 2oz to 11/2 oz.

28 March 1906: The Meteorological Office in New York announces that the science of weather forecasting is "within our grasp".

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

28 March 1912: Both boats sink in the Boat Race.

28 March 1934: Chancellor Dollfuss of Austria bans jokes about his diminutive stature.

28 March 1955: New Zealand register the lowest ever score in a Test match: they are all out for 26 against England.

28 March 1973: Marlon Brando refuses an Oscar in protest at Hollywood's treatment of American Indians.

29 March 1461: The forces of Edward IV defeat the army of Henry VI at Towton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the "bloodiest battle on English soil".

29 March 1827: Ten thousand mourners attend Beethoven's funeral in Vienna.

29 March 1886: Dr John Pemberton markets his new "Esteemed brain tonic and intellectual beverage" in Georgia. It is believed to be a cure for anything from hysteria to the common cold and is called "Coca-Cola".

29 March 1922: The US Census reports that 11 per cent of the population cannot speak English.

29 March 1936: A plebiscite in Germany records a 99 per cent approval rating for Adolf Hitler.

30 March: Doctor's Day in the United States, following the first use of ether as a general anaesthetic on this date in 1842.

30 March: Birthday of Francisco Goya (1746), Vincent Van Gogh (1853) and Rolf Harris (1930).

30 March 1858: Hyman Lipman of Philadelphia patents the pencil with an eraser on the end.

30 March 1867: US buys Alaska from Russia for $7.2m.

30 March 1915: George V offers to abstain from alcohol as an example to workers in munitions factories.

30 March 1939: In New York, William Hitler, Adolf's nephew, calls his uncle "a menace".

30 March 1978: Margaret Thatcher calls in Saatchi & Saatchi to boost the image of the Conservative party.