This day in history

4 September 476: the fall of the Roman Empire
This day in history

4 September 476: the fall of the Roman Empire

On this day in September 476, the barbarian Odoacer deposed Rome’s last emperor, the teenage Romulus Augustulus.
4 Sep 2020
4 September 1882: Edison lights up Wall Street
This day in history

4 September 1882: Edison lights up Wall Street

On this day in 1882, Thomas Edison demonstrated the benefits of electric light to Wall street bankers, ushering in the age of electricity.
4 Sep 2020
3 September 1843: Greeks revolt against their German king
This day in history

3 September 1843: Greeks revolt against their German king

Fresh-faced King Otto, installed after independence from the Ottoman Empire, wasn't a hit with the Greek public. And today in 1843, they rebelled.
3 Sep 2020
3 September 1967: Sweden switches to driving on right-hand side of the road
This day in history

3 September 1967: Sweden switches to driving on right-hand side of the road

This day in 1967 was known as ‘Högertrafikomläggningen’ in Sweden. It was the day the country switched from driving on the left side of the road to dr…
3 Sep 2020
2 September 1945: Japan signs its unconditional surrender
This day in history

2 September 1945: Japan signs its unconditional surrender

On this day in 1945 – 75 years ago – Japanese officials formally surrendered, ending the Second World War, and creating the conditions for Japan's eco…
2 Sep 2020
2 September 1666: The Great Fire of London starts on Pudding Lane
This day in history

2 September 1666: The Great Fire of London starts on Pudding Lane

On this day in 1666, the Great Fire of London started on Pudding Lane. The fire raged for four days, laying waste to much of the city.
2 Sep 2020
1 September 1859: the ‘Carrington Event’, the biggest solar storm ever recorded
This day in history

1 September 1859: the ‘Carrington Event’, the biggest solar storm ever recorded

On this day in 1859, a huge mass of magnetic particles erupted from the sun and hit the earth, knocking out telegraphs and putting on a spectacular di…
1 Sep 2020
31 August 1957: the Federation of Malaya declares independence from the UK
This day in history

31 August 1957: the Federation of Malaya declares independence from the UK

On this day in 1957, after ten years of preparation, the Federation of Malaya became an independent nation.
31 Aug 2020
29 August 1842: The first Opium war ends
This day in history

29 August 1842: The first Opium war ends

On this day in 1842, the signing of the Treaty of Nanking ended the first Opium war with China.
29 Aug 2020
28 August 1833: Slavery Abolition Act enacted
This day in history

28 August 1833: Slavery Abolition Act enacted

On this day in 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act received royal assent, ending slavery in most of the British Empire, and leading to the biggest 'bailou…
28 Aug 2020
27 August 1859: The birth of America’s oil industry
This day in history

27 August 1859: The birth of America’s oil industry

On this day in 1859, Edwin Drake struck oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania, proving that his pioneering drilling techniques were economically feasible.
27 Aug 2020
27 August 1995: Rugby Union turns professional
This day in history

27 August 1995: Rugby Union turns professional

On this day in 1995, 25 years ago, the International Rugby Board agreed to bring the era of amateur rugby to an end.
27 Aug 2020
26 August 1768: Captain Cook sets sail on his first voyage of discovery
This day in history

26 August 1768: Captain Cook sets sail on his first voyage of discovery

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.
26 Aug 2020
26 August 1970: the Isle of Wight holds the UK's biggest-ever music festival
This day in history

26 August 1970: the Isle of Wight holds the UK's biggest-ever music festival

On this day in 1970, 600,000 people flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the biggest music festival ever to be held in the UK.
26 Aug 2020
25 August 2012: Voyager 1 enters interstellar space
This day in history

25 August 2012: Voyager 1 enters interstellar space

On this day in 2012, the Voyager 1 spacecraft crossed into interstellar space, becoming the first manmade object to explore the space between the star…
25 Aug 2020
24 August 1947: the first Edinburgh Festival takes place
This day in history

24 August 1947: the first Edinburgh Festival takes place

This day in 1947 saw the start of the first Edinburgh Festival – which has grown to become the largest arts festival in the world.
24 Aug 2020
22 August 1932: BBC starts early TV broadcasts
This day in history

22 August 1932: BBC starts early TV broadcasts

On this day in 1932, John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, began to conduct experimental broadcasts on the BBC, using his new technology.
22 Aug 2020
21 August 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen from the Louvre
This day in history

21 August 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen from the Louvre

On this day in 1911, Italian outcast Vincenzo Perrugia slipped out of a cupboard at the Louvre and made off with the Mona Lisa.
21 Aug 2020
21 August 1991: coup to oust Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev fails
This day in history

21 August 1991: coup to oust Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev fails

Communist hardliners arrested Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev while he was on holiday, hastening the end of the USSR, on this day in 1991.
21 Aug 2020
20 August 1960: Russia’s ‘space dogs’ recovered alive
This day in history

20 August 1960: Russia’s ‘space dogs’ recovered alive

On this day in 1960, Russian mongrels Belka and Strelka became the first dogs to be recovered alive after having been shot into space.
20 Aug 2020
20 August 1866: The American Civil War officially ends
This day in history

20 August 1866: The American Civil War officially ends

Over a year after Confederate general Robert E Lee surrendered, US president Andrew Johnson could finally declare the American Civil War over, on this…
20 Aug 2020
19 August 1989: The Pan-European Picnic brings down the Iron Curtain
This day in history

19 August 1989: The Pan-European Picnic brings down the Iron Curtain

On this day in 1989 thousands of people flocked to a picnic in Hungary. Many kept going straight across the border into Austria.
19 Aug 2020
19 August 1612: the Lancashire witch trials
This day in history

19 August 1612: the Lancashire witch trials

Ten people were convicted and sent to the gallows on the evidence of a nine-year old girl on this day in 1612, in the infamous Lancashire witch trials…
19 Aug 2020
18 August 1587: The first English person is born in the Americas
This day in history

18 August 1587: The first English person is born in the Americas

The first person born to English parents in the Americas, little Virginia Dare, was born on this day in 1587. But what happened to her is a mystery.
18 Aug 2020