1879: The Blackpool illuminations are first switched on.
1981: President Mitterand formally abolishes the Guillotine.
1876: Melville Bissell patents the carpet sweeper.
1888: The world's first beauty contest is held in Belgium.
1893: New Zealand gives women the vote - the first country to do so.
1928: Mickey Mouse (with Walt Disney's voice) speaks in Steamboat Willie, the first talkie cartoon.
1960: 344 tickets are issued on London's first day of traffic meters and parking wardens.
1842: Birth of James Dewar, inventor of the vacuum flask.
1961: Antonio Albertondo of Argentina becomes the first to swim the channel and back non-stop. It took him 43hrs 5mins.
1576: The astrologer Girolamo Cardano predicted his own death for this date. He woke up feeling fine but killed himself later the same day.
1915: CH Chubb buys Stonehenge at auction for pounds 6,600.
1986: Prince Charles admits on television that he talks to his plants.
1987: Viscount Linley becomes the first member of the royal family to be banned from driving.
1735: Robert Walpole becomes the first PM to occupy 10 Downing Street.
1920: The Metropolitan Police Flying Squad is formed.
1955: The first advert is broadcast on British television - for Gibbs SR toothpaste.
1846: Johann Galle discovers the planet Neptune.
1848: Chewing gum is first marketed, by John Curtis, under the name State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum.
1897: A nine-year-old boy in Hackney becomes the first motoring fatality on a public highway.
1974: First transmission of Ceefax Teletext on BBC TV.
1916: The naturalist John Burroughs says that moving pictures deprive people of brain power.
1928: Sir Oswald Mosley, then a Labour MP, declares that his title "doesn't mean anything" and therefore is not worth giving up.
1963: Doctors in New Zealand perform the first successful blood transfusion to an unborn baby.
1967: A 4lb 2oz aardvark is delivered in a Miami zoo, the first to be born in captivity in the West.Reuse content