1947: Arthur Carron, Swindon-born tenor who for 10 years was a principal at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, made one of his rare appearances in his home town since he returned from America. He was engaged to sing with Swindon Choral Society and Orchestra at Central Hall, Clarence Street.
1957: Twenty-three new National Savings groups were formed in Swindon last month, stated a National Savings Committee Southern Region report. This increased the total number of groups by eight to 454 because 15 were dissolved in February.
1977: Swindon was the nerve centre of a massive nationwide drugs swoop called Operation Julie. Police from 18 county police forces were using the divisional headquarters in Fleming Way as the country’s number one operations control.
2013: Winners of the Harold Jolliffe One Act Play Festival 2012 were entering two plays in the year’s celebration of local drama. Swindon’s Whole Hog Theatre Productions walked away with the top award for their presentation of The Final Act Of Henry Gladstone, taken from an Anton Chekov play, Swan Song, at Swindon’s Arts Centre.
1881: Rioting took place in Basingstoke in protest against the daily promotion of teetotalism by the Salvation Army.
1886: Apache warrior Geronimo surrendered to the US Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.
1963: Dr Richard Beeching issued a report calling for huge cuts to the United Kingdom’s rail network.
1977: Two Boeing 747 airliners collided on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 – all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am. Sixty-one survived on the Pan Am flight. It was the worst aviation accident in history.
2004: HMS Scylla, a decommissioned Leander class frigate, was sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall.
1922: Dick King-Smith – English author.
1924: Sarah Vaughan – American singer.
1942: Michael York – English actor.
1963: Quentin Tarantino – American director, screenwriter, and producer.
1975: Fergie – American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress. Member of The Black Eyed Peas and Wild Orchid.
1988: Holliday Grainger – English actress.
1988: Jessie J – English singer-songwriter and producer.
1625: James VI and I of England and Scotland.
1968: Yuri Gagarin – Russian pilot and astronaut.
2002: Dudley Moore – English actor and singer.
2002: Billy Wilder – Polish-American director, producer, and screenwriter.