this is the week that was

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The Independent Online
12 February:

1831: Rubber galoshes are first marketed by JW Goodrich of Boston, Massachusetts.

1898: Henry Lindfield becomes the first motorist killed in a car crash.

1956: Britain's first yellow no-parking lines appear in Slough.

13 February:

1917: The Government passes a bill allowing women taxi-drivers.

1971: US vice-president Spiro Agnew hits three spectators with his first two shots at the Bob Hope Desert Golf Classic.

14 February:

1477: Margery Brews sends a letter to John Paston in Norfolk addressed "to my right welbelovyd Voluntyne", the first recorded Valentine's card.

15 February:

1925: Regents Park Zoo announces that lights are going to be installed to cheer up the animals on foggy days.

1971: Decimal currency comes into circulation in the UK.

1978: England loses to New Zealand at cricket for the first time.

16 February:

1568: The Spanish Inquisition sentences the whole of the Netherlands to death.

1659: The first cheque is drawn on a British bank account.

17 February:

1883: Mr A Ashwell, of Herne Hill, patents the Vacant/ Engaged sign for lavatory doors.

1909: A Royal Commission reports that conditions in London produce a "degenerate race, morally and physically enfeebled".

18 February:

1478: George, Duke of Clarence, is drowned in a butt of wine (reputedly Malmsey) in the Tower of London.

1678: John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is published.