This day in history

5 January 1766: Christie’s first auction
This day in history

5 January 1766: Christie’s first auction

Venerable auction house Christie's began business on this day in 1766 selling pillow cases, bed-sheets and second-hand chamber pots.
5 Jan 2021
4 January 1884: Founding of the Fabian Society
This day in history

4 January 1884: Founding of the Fabian Society

Rapid economic change in the 19th century didn't benefit everybody. On 4 January 1884, the Fabian Society was established in London to redress the bal…
4 Jan 2021
4 January 1698: the Palace of Whitehall is destroyed by fire
This day in history

4 January 1698: the Palace of Whitehall is destroyed by fire

On this day in 1698, a basket of linen caught fire burning to the ground one of Europe's most complex and beautiful royal residences – the Palace of W…
4 Jan 2021
2 January 1980: National steelworkers' strike
This day in history

2 January 1980: National steelworkers' strike

For the first time in over 50 years, Britain’s steelmaking industry saw the start of a national strike on this day in 1980, as unions demanded a 20% p…
2 Jan 2021
24 December 1955: Norad begins tracking Santa
This day in history

24 December 1955: Norad begins tracking Santa

On this day in 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command began tracking Santa Claus as he sped around the world delivering presents.
24 Dec 2020
23 December 1913: The US Federal Reserve is created
This day in history

23 December 1913: The US Federal Reserve is created

After much debate, Woodrow Wilson finally signed the bill that would create the US Federal Reserve on this day in 1913.
23 Dec 2020
23 December 1834: Joseph Hansom patents the Hansom cab
This day in history

23 December 1834: Joseph Hansom patents the Hansom cab

The 19th-century forerunner of the London black cab, architect Joseph Aloysius Hansom patented his Hansom cab on this day in 1834.
23 Dec 2020
22 December 1965: 70mph speed limit introduced
This day in history

22 December 1965: 70mph speed limit introduced

On this day in 1965, a “temporary” 70mph speed limit was introduced on all unregulated roads in Britain by the Minister of Transport. The limit was so…
22 Dec 2020
22 December 1973: Opec more than doubles the price of oil
This day in history

22 December 1973: Opec more than doubles the price of oil

On this day in 1973 Opec, the oil price cartel, more than doubled the price of oil from $5.12 a barrel to $11.65.
22 Dec 2020
21 December 1844: The Rochdale Pioneers open for business
This day in history

21 December 1844: The Rochdale Pioneers open for business

On this day in 1844, the Rochdale Pioneers opened a little shop on Toad Lane in Rochdale, Lancashire, which became a model for co-operatives around th…
21 Dec 2020
19 December 1932: BBC World Service begins
This day in history

19 December 1932: BBC World Service begins

The first royal Christmas message by George V gave the fledgling World Service an early boost six days after it was founded in 1932.
19 Dec 2020
18 December 1878: the end of the Molly Maguires
This day in history

18 December 1878: the end of the Molly Maguires

On this day in 1878, the Molly Maguires – a secret society formed in Ireland – ceased to exist with the hanging of the last of 20 condemned members of…
18 Dec 2020
17 December 1900: The Guzman Prize is announced
This day in history

17 December 1900: The Guzman Prize is announced

On this day in 1900, Clara Guzman stumped up 100,000 francs prize money for the first person to communicate with and receive a response from another p…
17 Dec 2020
17 December 2003: the first powered flight of SpaceShipOne
This day in history

17 December 2003: the first powered flight of SpaceShipOne

The privately funded and built space plane, SpaceShipOne, witnessed its first powered flight on this day in 2003 – a crucial step towards winning the …
17 Dec 2020
16 December 1689: Parliament passes the Bill of Rights
This day in history

16 December 1689: Parliament passes the Bill of Rights

A written part of the country's “unwritten constitution”, the Bill of Rights, was passed on this day in 1689, asserting Parliamentary superiority over…
16 Dec 2020
16 December 1773: The Boston Tea Party protest
This day in history

16 December 1773: The Boston Tea Party protest

On this day in 1773 the 'Sons of Liberty' carried out the Boston Tea Party protest, destroying over 92,000lb of tea, and paving the way for the Americ…
16 Dec 2020
15 December 1995: the “Bosman ruling” transforms the economics of football
This day in history

15 December 1995: the “Bosman ruling” transforms the economics of football

The finances of football were changed forever on this day in 1995 when Jean-Marc Bosman won his case, and out-of-contract footballers were allowed to …
15 Dec 2020
15 December 1970: Venera 7 probe lands on Venus
This day in history

15 December 1970: Venera 7 probe lands on Venus

On this day in 1970 the Soviet Union’s Venera 7 spacecraft successfully landed on the surface of Venus, and sent a brief signal back to Earth.
15 Dec 2020
14 December 1896: the Glasgow Subway opens to passengers
This day in history

14 December 1896: the Glasgow Subway opens to passengers

On this day in 1896 the Glasgow Subway, the world's third underground metro system, opened to passengers.
14 Dec 2020
12 December 1914: NYSE resumes stock trading
This day in history

12 December 1914: NYSE resumes stock trading

On this day in 1914, the New York Stock Exchange reopened for business after being closed at the outbreak of the First World War.
12 Dec 2020
11 December 2008: Bernie Madoff arrested for $50bn fraud
This day in history

11 December 2008: Bernie Madoff arrested for $50bn fraud

Billionaire financier Bernie Madoff was arrested on this day six years ago, for running a $50bn Ponzi scheme. He was later sentenced to 150 years in p…
11 Dec 2020
11 December 1978: Lufthansa heist nets $6m
This day in history

11 December 1978: Lufthansa heist nets $6m

The Mafia carried out the Lufthansa heist at New York's JFK airport, on this day in 1978, later inspiring the Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas”.
11 Dec 2020
10 December 1968: the “300 million yen robbery”
This day in history

10 December 1968: the “300 million yen robbery”

In Japan's most notorious – and ingenious – robbery, one man outwitted four guards and made off with a car containing ¥300m on this day in 1968.
10 Dec 2020
10 December 1868: world's first traffic lights installed in Britain
This day in history

10 December 1868: world's first traffic lights installed in Britain

On this day in 1868, the world's first traffic lights – the Westminster Street Semaphore Signals – came to Britain. The experiment would end in traged…
10 Dec 2020