Happy Anniversary: Raking in the muck

William Hartston
Sunday 10 April 1994 23:02

HERE are some of the more curious anniversaries that fall in the coming week, traditionally a good time for the colours pink and green, for innovation in cartoon strips, and for aviatrices.

11 April

1855: The first pillar boxes appear in London - painted green.

1929: Popeye makes his first appearance, as a minor character, in an American cartoon strip.

1930: American scientists confidently predict that a man will land on the Moon by the year 2050.

1939: Glasgow bans the playing of darts in pubs as too dangerous.

12 April

1606: The Union Jack is adopted as the official flag of England, Scotland and Wales.

1930: At the age of 52 years and 165 days, Wilfred Rhodes becomes the oldest man to play Test cricket, for England against the West Indies.

1954: Bill Haley and the Comets record 'Rock Around the Clock'.

13 April

1742: A Dublin audience attends the first performance of Handel's Messiah.

1925: A gastronomic survey concludes that Americans are primarily 'steak-eaters'.

1964: Sydney Poitier becomes the first black actor to win an Oscar.

14 April

1906: Theodore Roosevelt introduces the word 'muck- raking' into the language, quoting John Bunyan: '. . . never looking at the stars, but steadily plied his rake in the muck'.

1931: The Highway Code is issued by the Ministry of Transport.

1934: In Italy, Mussolini increases the tax on bachelors by 50 per cent.

1950: Dan Dare, drawn by Frank Hampson, makes his appearance in the first edition of the Eagle.

1983: The cordless telephone is introduced in Britain.

1989: A study conducted by the police in Huddersfield claims that violent prisoners can be calmed by being kept in pink cells.

15 April

1755: After eight years' work, Dr Johnson publishes his Dictionary.

1793: The Bank of England issues the first pounds 5 notes.

1901: A funeral in Coventry sees the first use of a motor hearse, a 6 hp Daimler.

1912: The Titanic sinks on its maiden voyage.

1929: Tea duty is abolished after 325 years, only to be replaced by a new tea tax in 1930.

1942: The government bans embroidery on women's undergarments and nightwear.

1955: McDonald's hamburgers founded by Ray Kroc in Chicago.

16 April

1900: The US Post Office issues the world's first book of stamps.

1921: Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

1964: Geraldine Monk becomes the first woman to fly solo around the world.

17 April

1860: The first Anglo-

American boxing match takes place with John Heenan (US) and Tom Sayers (UK) drawing a bare-knuckle contest of 42 rounds.

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