Archive for August, 2012

What Every Lady Driver Should be Wearing – the Story of the First Woman to Drive a Taxicab in London

Posted on August 31st, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

A regular visitor to the BNA website kindly shared this wonderful story with us. At its heart, the report tells the story of Sheila O’Neill, as she sets off on her new career as the first female taxicar driver in London. With her portfolio of nursing and mechanical skills, she sounds like the ideal professional […]

Stories of Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the Origins of the Paralympics

Posted on August 28th, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

With the 2012 Paralympic Games now underway in London, we thought we’d post some stories about the pioneering sporting activities that Stoke Mandeville Hospital organised in the late 1940s, as well as some of the very moving reports about some of the patients who were admitted to the famous Spinal Injuries Unit. We were especially moved by […]

The First Duel Fought in Hot Air Balloons – Paris, 1808

Posted on August 24th, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

Monsieurs Granpree and Le Pique fight for the hand of Mademoiselle Tirevit in the skies above Paris We love stumbling across quirky stories in the Archive! More often than not, we find these stories while looking for something else – our eyes always seem happy to read weird and wonderful tales in adjacent columns. This […]

The Burning of Washington DC and the White House by British Forces – 24 August 1814

Posted on August 24th, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

On 24 August 1814, a British force led by Major General Robert Ross defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, and then marched on Washington DC. Once Ross and his soldiers reached the capital, they set fire to many public buildings, including the White House and the US Capitol. The soldiers were under strict […]

Rudolph Valentino, ‘the Great Lover’ – Died on 23 August 1926

Posted on August 23rd, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

The great Hollywood screen idol, Rudolph Valentino, died on 23 August 1926, aged only 31. Known as ‘the Great Lover’, ‘Valentino’ or ‘the Latin Lover’, he was one of the biggest stars of the silent era. He died from severe pleuritis, after developing peritonitis following an operation to remove his appendix and gastric ulcers. His […]

‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ BBC1 Family History TV Series – Gregg Wallace, August 2012

Posted on August 22nd, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

We were greatly moved by the stories of Gregg Wallace’s family ancestors in last night’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ programme. In particular, the story of the child killed by fire due to the knocking over of a paraffin lamp was especially poignant. Indeed, a similar story was aired in the previous week’s episode […]

Dorothy Parker – born on 22 August 1893, and thrown out of Charlestown Prison in August 1927

Posted on August 22nd, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

‘Hustled out of prison – woman who got into the prison by a fraud’ Dorothy Parker, writer, poet and brilliant wit, was born in New Jersey on 22 August 1893. We found this fascinating, wee story in the Archive about her blagging her way into Charlestown Prison and then being promptly thrown out of the […]

‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ – Gregg Wallace, BBC1, Wednesday 22 August, 21:00

Posted on August 22nd, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

We’re really looking forward to watching the episode two of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ tonight. In tonight’s programme, ‘Masterchef’ presenter, Gregg Wallace, looks to learn more about his family ancestors and, in particular, to solve the mystery of what happened to his great-grandfather, who seemingly abandoned his wife and children. In last week’s […]

Theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre on 21 August 1911

Posted on August 21st, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

On this day in 1911, somebody stole the Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum in Paris. It was a very famous theft, and even people like Pablo Picasso and the French poet, Guillaume Apollinairewere, were pulled in for questioning by the police. It was only two years later that the truth emerged – the painting […]

Leon Trotsky – Attacked by Ramon Mercader in Mexico City on 20 August 1940

Posted on August 20th, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

In Mexico City on 20 August 1940, Leon Trotsky was attacked by the Spanish communist and Soviet agent, Ramon Mercader. To mark the day and pay our respects, we’ve posted an old newspaper story about the attack on Trotsky. It’s interesting to note that the newspaper story wrongly reports the attack was carried out by […]