this is the week that was

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14 August:

1893: France becomes the first country to register motor vehicle licence plates.

1908: The first international beauty contest is held at the Pier Hippodrome in Folkestone, and is won by Nellie Jarman, 18, ahead of a field that included six English, three French, one Irish, one Austrian and "a number of fisher girls from Boulogne".

1932: Death of Rin Tin Tin, "in the arms of Jean Harlow" according to one report.

1941: A German spy becomes the last person to be executed in the Tower of London.

15 August:

1927: The length of cars in England is limited to 27ft 6ins.

1948: Don Bradman is out for 0 in his last innings.

1971: Harvey Smith makes a celebrated two-finger gesture at the British Showjumping Derby.

16 August:

1956: Death of Bela Lugosi. He is buried in his Dracula cloak.

1973: The USSR denounces Sesame Street as imperialistic.

17 August:

1896: Bridget Driscoll of Croydon, Surrey, becomes the first pedestrian to be killed by a car - despite a 4mph speed limit.

1896: Gold is discovered in the Klondike to start the gold rush.

18 August:

1587: Birth of Virginia Dare, the first white child of English parents to be born in America.

1743: The rules of boxing, as drawn up by Jack Broughton, are confirmed.

1930: The two halves of Sydney Harbour Bridge meet in the middle.

1947: It is announced that Princess Elizabeth will go on honeymoon without a trousseau, owing to the clothes shortage.

19 August:

1897: Electric-powered taxis are introduced in London. They are withdrawn three years later.

1941: US patent 2253125 is granted to H Heineke et al for his invention of a firing mechanism embedded in a fishing hook to enable fish to be shot.

1960: The USSR launch two dogs into space.

20 August:

1913: Stainless steel is first cast in Sheffield by Harry Brearley.

1913: Adolphe Pegond is the first person to bale out from a plane with a parachute.

1920: The Detroit News becomes the first newspaper to list daily radio programmes.

1940: Winston Churchill says: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

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