this is the week that was

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11 March:

1702: Publication of the Daily Courant, England's first daily newspaper.

1845: Henry Jones invents self-raising flour.

1988: The pound note ceases to be legal tender.

12 March:

604: Death of St Gregory, who gave his name to the Gregorian chant.

1797: Introduction of the pound note in Britain.

1832: The ballet tutu makes its first public appearance.

1913: Canberra becomes the capital of Australia.

1918: Moscow becomes the capital of Russia.

13 March:

1781: William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus and names it "Georgius Sidus" after King George III.

1894: The first professional striptease is performed at a Paris Music Hall in an act called Le Coucher d'Yvette.

14 March:

1757: Admiral John Byng is shot by firing squad - "pour encourager les autres", as Voltaire put it - for failing to relieve Minorca from French attack.

1939: The longest-ever test match is abandoned on its 12th day to allow the English team to catch their ship home from South Africa.

1985: Singapore Zoo puts five lionesses on the pill after the lion population had rapidly swelled from two to 16.

15 March:

1877: Charles Bannerman scores the first test century for England against Australia in the first-ever test match.

1892: The first escalator is patented by Jesse Reno of Chicago, USA.

16 March:

1904: James Joyce wins the bronze medal in a singing contest and throws it in the River Liffey.

17 March:

3446 BC: The date Noah entered the ark, according to the 19th-century theologian Gustav Seyffarth.

1845: The elastic band is patented by Stephen Perry of London.

1912: Lawrence Oates says: "I am just going outside and may be some time."

1921: Marie Stopes opens the first birth-control clinic.

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