on this day – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

Blog

On this day, 31 May

Joseph Grimaldi

Today, we’re highlighting one of many events that have occurred over the years on 31 May. On 31 May 1837, the Clown Laureate of the Regency era, Joseph ‘Joey’ Grimaldi, died. Read the entire obituary Grimaldi was considered the best clown of the nineteenth century. His work was influential in the role and appearance of clowns — he expanded the clown’s role in pantomimes and the harlequinade. He worked on several famous stages, including Drury Lane, Sadler’s Wells, and Covent Garden. Over

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

On this day, 18 May

Today, we’re looking at two events that occurred on 18 May: the Khodynka Tragedy in 1896 and Jacqueline Cochran’s breaking of the sound barrier in 1953. Khodynka Tragedy The first took place in 1896 in the Khodynka Field, Moscow. The field was the site of festivities honouring the recent coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. Thousands gathered to celebrate and to, hopefully, receive rumoured gifts of food and a commemorative cup. With growing and increasingly frenzied crowds, the police force on

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The month of May throughout the years

As we welcome a new month, we at the Archive take the opportunity to delve into historical events that have occurred in the month of May over the years. Lewis and Clark On 14 May 1804, Lewis and Clark departed St Louis on their expedition west. It was the first American expedition to explore the western half of the United States. The expedition was ordered by President Jefferson following the Louisiana Purchase to, in part, map this newly acquired territory.

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coupon Monday: Rationing is introduced in Britain on this day in 1940

On the 8th of January 1940 rationing was introduced in Britain. With over 70% of the food supply imported before WWII, the government decided to safeguard against any plots to starve Britain into submission by introducing the rationing scheme. The Ministry of Food’s explanation for the scheme was published in a number of newspapers: The new scheme was well documented across the newspapers… But there was reassurance that even the royal family was doing their bit for the war effort:

Tags

, , , , , ,

Pluto discovered and nearly named Percival

Pluto was discovered on 18 February 1930, though the Nottingham Evening Post reported that the planet was very nearly given a different name. The article states that Atlas, Prometheus, Tempus, Marconi and even Percival were considered as potential names. Nottingham Evening Post – Thursday 10 April 1930 Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. View the whole newspaper page  

Tags

, , ,

The Obscenity Trial of Miss Radclyffe Hall’s novel, ‘The Well of Loneliness’ – 16 November 1928

‘Give us also the right to our existence’ At Bow Street in London on 16 November 1928, Miss Radclyffe Hall’s novel, ‘The Well of Loneliness’, found itself in the dock on a charge of obscenity. The powers-that-be had decided that they did not like the novel’s ‘unnatural offences’ – hence the decision to prosecute. The magistrate eventually decided that the book was obscene and ordered that it be destroyed. Here is a newspaper story that reports on this famous literary

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘Charge of the Light Cavalry Brigade’ – the Battle of Balaclava, 25 October 1854

On 25 October 1854, Lord Cardigan led the charge of the Light Brigade againt the Russians in the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimea. The insane order to attack the gun positions arose due to a miscommunicated message somewhere along the chain of command. 156 men of the Light Brigade were killed in the charge and 122 were wounded – 335 horses were also killed during the attack. Included below is a newspaper article from November 1854 that reports on the

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

The Start of the Battle of the Somme – 1 July 1916

The Somme Offensive commenced on 1 July 1916, as Allied forces attacked German positions by the River Somme on the Western Front in France. On the opening day of the battle, the British suffered 60,000 casualties – making it the worst day in the history of the British army. Here is an upbeat newspaper report of the battle, which was published on the first day of the battle – also included is a map of the area where the battle took

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , ,

‘Operation Barbarossa’: the Invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany – 22 June 1941

‘When Barbarossa commences, the world will hold its breath and make no comment’ – Adolf Hitler On 22 June 1941, Hitler ordered the start of ‘Operation Barbarossa’ – the campaign to conquer the Soviet Union. To mark the day, here are some contemporary newspaper stories (published the day after the invasion started) that report on the start of the war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

The Duel Fought by the Duke of Wellington and the Earl of Winchelsea – 23 March 1829

On 23 March 1829, the Duke of Wellington and Earl of Winchelsea fought a duel at Battersea Fields in South London. At this time, the Duke of Wellington was Prime Minster of Great Britain and Ireland, and his Tory Government had passed the Catholic Relief Bill. This act was represented the legislative move towards Catholic emancipation, and a section of the legislation would allow catholics to take a seat in parliament. Wellington (who had been born in Dublin) had not

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , ,