A busy weekend, according to historical precedent, for starting and finishing things:

9 June AD68: The emperor Nero commits suicide.

9 June 1902: The world's first automat opens in Philadelphia.

9 June 1907: The maiden flight of Santos Dumont's combined aeroplane/airship ends in disaster when the ship is wrecked.

9 June 1934: Donald Duck makes his debut in The Wise Little Hen.

9 June 1967: Dorothy Parker is cremated in New York. Her ashes remain in her lawyer's filing cabinet until 1988.

9 June 1975: First live radio transmission from the House of Commons.

10 June: Time Observance Day in Japan - in honour of punctuality.

10 June 1793: The world's first public zoo, the Jardin des Plantes, opens in Paris.

10 June 1829: The first Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race takes place from Hambledon Lock to Henley Bridge.

10 June 1909: The first SOS signal is sent out by SS Slavonia, a Cunard liner in trouble off the Azores.

10 June 1943: Laszlo Biro patents his new ballpoint pen.

10 June 1965: The first automatic landing made at Heath-row by a BEA de Havilland jet.

10 June 1988: A clergyman in the United States claims that a cartoon film shows Mickey Mouse snorting coke. This is officially denied with the explanation that he was sniffing flowers.

11 June 1509: King Henry VIII marries for the first time, to Catharine of Aragon.

11 June 1872: The last use of the stocks in England. Mark Tuck spends four hours in the Newbury stocks for insobriety and causing a disturbance in a parish church.

11 June 1907: Notts bowled out for 12 against Gloucestershire.

11 June 1953: Len Hutton becomes the first professional cricketer to captain England.