On this day in 1859, Edwin Drake struck oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania, proving that his pioneering drilling techniques were economically feasible.
Articles written by Ben Judge
On this day in 1768, Captain James Cook set off from Plymouth on his way to Tahiti and the fabled land of Terra Australis Incognita.
On this day in 1960, Russian mongrels Belka and Strelka became the first dogs to be recovered alive after having been shot into space.
On this day in 1920, Tennessee became the last state in America to give women the vote, more than half a century after Wyoming.
Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec Empire, fell to the Spanish conquistadors on this day in 1521, bringing an end to Aztec rule.
Hollywood starlet Hedy Lamarr received a patent in 1942 for her ‘frequency hopping communication system’ – the basis of much of today’s wireless technology.
Holland’s swashbuckling adventure in Brazil came to an end on this day in 1661, with the signing of the Treaty of The Hague.
On this day in 1704 Gibraltar was taken in the name of ‘Charles III of Spain’ by English and Dutch forces as part of the ‘War of the Spanish Succession’.
On this day in 1703, journalist, novelist and English spy Daniel Defoe was sentenced to three days in the pillory for writing a satirical pamphlet.
Dubbed the ‘Austerity Games’, the XIV Olympiad opened in London to 85,000 spectators on this day in 1948.