1952: Mr Arthur Carron the Swindon tenor was making an appearance at Covent Garden Opera House, where he played the part of King Herod in the opera Salome. He was filling in with the cast of the Covent Garden Co while touring in Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.

1962: Swindon Rotary Club launched its fundraising campaign in aid of world famine relief with a successful ball at McIlroys Ballroom, Swindon. Nearly 200 people danced to the music of Harry Smith’s Orchestra. Special guests included the Mayor and Mayoress of Swindon Ald and Mrs T G Gay.

1972: More men and women from the Swindon area were joining the Army. Director of Army Recruiting Brigadier Oliver Roome congratulated recruiting staff at the Swindon Army Career Information office in Faringdon Road, Swindon during his two day tour of offices in Wiltshire. The Brigadier was accompanied by Lt Col David Budden commander of recruiting and liaising staff from HQ South Western District in Taunton.

The world

1732: George Washington, first president of the United States, was born in Virginia.

1797: French soldiers landed at Fishguard, but were soon captured. No other foreign force has managed to invade Britain since.

1810: Frederic Chopin, Polish composer and pianist, was born near Warsaw.

1819: The United States bought Florida from Spain.

1857: Lord Baden Powell, English hero of the siege of Mafeking during the Boer War and founder of the Boy Scout movement in 1908, was born in London.

1879: FW Woolworth opened his first store in Utica, New York, which later failed and closed in May 1880.

1886: The Times became the first newspaper to institute a classified personal column.

1957: Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was formally granted the style and titular dignity of Prince of the United Kingdom by the Queen in recognition of his 10 years’ service to the country.

1972: An IRA bomb killed seven people at Aldershot barracks.

1980: British ice skater Robin Cousins won the gold medal for figure skating in the Lake Placid Olympics.

BIRTHDAYS Sheila Hancock, actress, 85; Judy Cornwell, actress, 78; Niki Lauda, former racing driver, 69; Julie Walters, actress, 68; Nigel Planer, actor/writer, 65; Kyle MacLachlan, actor, 59; Devon Malcolm, former cricketer, 55; Shaka Hislop, former football goalkeeper, 49; Michael Chang, former tennis player, 46; Drew Barrymore, actress/director, 43.