CONTRACTIONS: England cricket scores; UK road-building programme; ice caps; the Incredible Shrinking Man; bank notes; Major's backbench support; Alice in Wonderland; Roseanne Arnold's body (plastic surgery); UK influence in European Union
TODAY is the feast day of Saint Gandulf of Binasco, who had a special affinity with birds. He lived a life of self-denial in a Sicilian retreat preaching to the locals. Once, at Polozzi, his words were drowned out by chattering sparrows. St Gandulf appealed to the birds for quiet and they remained silent for the rest of the sermon. After his death in 1260, swallows flew into the church where he was enshrined and sang, in alternating choirs, a Te Deum of their own.
3 April 1721: Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister, remaining in office until 1742.
1882: American outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back at close range by one of his own gang, Robert Ford, in Missouri.
1913: Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst (above), was sentenced to three years for inciting others to place explosives at Lloyd George's golf villa in Walton Heath, Surrey. No one was hurt, but the new pounds 2,000 villa was wrecked and locals thought there had been an earthquake. She was released and rearrested 12 times under the 'Cat and Mouse Act' which allowed hunger strikers home to recover their health before reimprisonment. She served 30 days before the First World War led to an amnesty.
1930: Haile Selassie became emperor of Ethiopia, which he ruled for 44 years.
1978: BBC radio began broadcasting Parliament.
BIRTHDAYS: Doris Day, actress, 70; Marlon Brando, actor, 70; Tony Benn, Labour MP, 69; Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor, 64.
DEATHS: Eugene Ionesco, playwright, aged 81; Frances Donaldson, biographer, aged 87; Bill Travers, actor and conservationist, aged 72.Reuse content