28 April:

1780: The London Morning Post carries the first advertisement for an abortion clinic.

1789: Captain William Bligh is cast adrift by the mutineers on HMS Bounty.

1988: Sian Edwards, 28, becomes the first woman conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

29 April:

Birth of Thomas Beecham (1879), Malcolm Sargent (1895) and Duke Ellington (1889).

1913: The modern zipper is patented by Gideon Sundback of Sweden, replacing the design of Whitcomb Judson.

1935: Cats' eyes, Percy Shaw's invention, first shine on British roads.

30 April:

1650: The Halifax gibbet is used for the last time, executing two men named Wil-kinson and Mitchell, for the theft of cloth and two colts.

1820: Cato Street conspirators are hanged then beheaded, the last beheadings in Britain.

1901: "Ping-Pong" is launched, the invention of James Gibb.

1 May:

1907: Death of Neil Brodie, reputedly Canada's dirtiest man, who took a bath only when ordered by law to do so.

1927: Imperial Airways are the first to serve hot meals on a London-Paris flight.

1939: First appearance of "The Batman", drawn by Bob Kane for Detective Comics.

2 May:

Feast day of St Gennys, patron of St Gennys, Cornwall.He may be the same person as St Genesius the martyr. If not, nothing is known of him.

1965: The first live TV broadcast by satellite links 9 countries and 300m viewers.

1982: The General Belgrano is sunk in the Falklands War.

3 May:

1494: Christopher Columbus discovers Jamaica.

1808: Monsieur Le Pique is killed in Paris in the first duel fought from hot air balloons.

1810: Lord Byron swims the Hellespont in 70 minutes.

1949: British High Court judges receive their first pay increase since 1872.

4 May:

1976: "Waltzing Matilda" is adopted as Australia's national anthem. It lasts only 10 years before being replaced by "Australia Fair".

1979: Margaret Thatcher moves into 10 Downing Street.

1980: Nine worshippers are trampled to death in Kinshasa as they try to see the Pope.

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