ON THIS DAY: May 8

David Attenborough, born on this day in 1926

David Attenborough, born on this day in 1926

First published in On This Day

SWINDON...

1947: With her feet on the path to film fame, Diana Dors was overwhelmed with congratulations from well-wishers in Swindon. She had been making personal appearances at the Savoy cinema. They were showing The Shop On Sly Corner, the film in which Diana made her debut.

1957: Wroughton had a distinguished visitor in Mr Jean de la Olla, one of France’s well-known and most gallant wartime resistance fighters. He was touring England with Mr P Laughton-Bromley, a Squadron Leader in the RAF during the war and member of the RAF Escape Society.

1977: A living legend danced her way into the hearts of a packed audience at the Wyvern Theatre. Dame Margot Fonteyn, possibly the greatet ballet dancer of all time, received the sort of ovation only reserved for one of the greats of the classical arts.

2013: Hundreds of schoolchildren from Swindon were heard by listeners across the nation as they took part in the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show Tour, when Nick Grimshaw, Little Mix and Bastille came to the town.

THE WORLD...

1886: Pharmacist John Pemberton first sold a carbonated beverage named Coca-Cola as a patent medicine.

1902: In Martinique, Mount Pelée errupted, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing more than 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survived the blast.

1912: Paramount Pictures was founded.

1919: Edward George Honey first proposed the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate The Armistice of World War I, which later resulted in the creation of Remembrance Day.

1933: Gandhi began a 21-day fast in protest against the British rule in India.

1945: V-E Day, as combat ended in Europe. German forces agreed in Reims, France, to an unconditional surrender.

1980: The eradication of smallpox was endorsed by the World Health Organisation.

1984: The Soviet Union announced that it would boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

1984: The Thames Barrier was officially opened.

BORN...

1847: Oscar Hammerstein I – American businessman and composer.

1884: Harry S Truman – American colonel and politician, 33rd President of the United States.

1926: David Attenborough – English television host.

1932: Phyllida Law – Scottish actress.

1943: Pat Barker – English novelist.

1958: Roddy Doyle – Irish author and screenwriter.

1958: Kevin McCloud – English designer, writer and television presenter.

1975: Enrique Iglesias – Spanish singer-songwriter, producer, and actor.

1976: Martha Wainwright – Canadian-American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

DIED...

1903: Paul Gauguin – French painter.

1967: LaVerne Andrews – American singer with The Andrews Sisters.

1987: Doris Stokes – English psychic.

1988: Robert A Heinlein – American writer.

1999: Dirk Bogarde – English actor and screenwriter.

2013: Bryan Forbes – English actor, director, producer, and screenwriter.

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