this is the week that was

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The Independent Online
27 November

1868: General George Custer kills Chief Black Kettle of the Cheyenne.

1893: Women vote for the first time in a general election - in New Zealand.

28 November

1837: Birth of John Wesley Hyatt, inventor of the modern billiard ball.

1916: Four are injured in the first aeroplane raid on London.

1988: The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, admits to being "economical with the truth".

29 November

1929: Admiral Richard Byrd and Bernt Balchen become the first people to fly over the South Pole.

1965: Mrs Mary Whitehouse announces the formation of the National Viewers and Listeners Association.

30 November

1628: Birth of John Bunyan.

1667: Birth of Jonathan Swift.

1835: Birth of Mark Twain.

1872: England draw 0-0 with Scotland in Glasgow in the first international soccer match.

1900: Oscar Wilde dies in a Paris hotel. His last words are reported to be addressed to the wallpaper: "One or the other of us has to go."

1935: Non-belief in Nazism becomes grounds for divorce in Germany.

1 December

1135: Henry I dies after eating "a surfeit of lampreys".

1952: George Jorgenson, formerly of the US armed forces, becomes a woman in the first sex-change operation.

1953: Marilyn Monroe is the centrespread in the first edition of Playboy.

1966: The Post Office issues special Christmas stamps for the first time.

1990: The two halves of the Channel Tunnel meet in the middle.

2 December

1697: St Paul's Cathedral is opened.

1814: The Marquis de Sade dies in the lunatic asylum at Charenton.

1859: John Brown (as in the song) is hanged for treason against Virginia.

1901: King Camp Gillette markets the first safety razon with a two-edged disposable blade.

1922: Britain's first public telephones come into operation in 22 phone boxes.

1942: Fermi and Compton achieve the world's first experimental nuclear chain reaction.

3 December

1910: Neon lighting is displayed for the first time at the Paris motor show.

1920: Rudyard Kipling is awarded pounds 2 damages for the unauthorised use of his poem "If" in a medical advertisement.

1961: Matisse's Le Bateau is put the right way up after hanging upside down, unnoticed, for 46 days at the New York Museum of Modern Art.