19th May

Born on this Day 19th May
1861 Dame Nellie Melba
1874 Gilbert Laird Jessop
1879 Lady Nancy Astor
1909 Nicholas Winton
1890 Ho Chi Minh
1896 Sir Michael Balcon
1925 Malcolm X
1928 Colin Chapman
1932 Alma Cogan
1937 Pat Roach
1939 James Fox
1944 Peter Mayhew
1945 Pete Townsend
1952 Grace Jones
1953 Victoria Wood
1954 Phil Rudd
1963 Yazz
1972 Jenny Berggren
1978 Marcus Bent
1983 Jessica Fox

Died on this Day
1536 Anne Boleyn
1935 T.E. Lawrence
1988 Wilberforce (No.10 Downing Street’s cat)


1956 Britain’s skiffle supremo Lonnie Donegan appeared on Perry Como’s US TV, before starting a month long second US tour.

1984 Bob Marley topped the album charts for the first time with ‘Legend’.

1984 Everton won the FA Cup after beating Watford 2-0 at Wembley.

1990 Viv Richards made the fastest century of the season against Sussex in 95 minutes. The score included 15 fours and 3 sixes.

People & Showbiz

1939 ‘From My Postbag’, the first British radio request programme, was presented by Sandy MacPherson.

1940 Winston Churchill made his first broadcast as Prime Minister.

1999 ‘Star Wars Episode One :The Phantom Menace’ was released in American cinemas after already making enough money in merchandise to pay for the $100 million movie.

1999 Professor Andrew Motion was appointed British Poet Laureate, to replace Ted Hughes who died in 1998. Unlike predecessors, Motion was to hold the position for 10 years, instead of life, and be paid £5000 a year instead of £70.

General Events

1499 Catherine of Aragon, is married by proxy to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. Catherine is 13 and Arthur is 12.

1536 Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.

1897 Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol.

1962 A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of Happy Birthday.

1988 A gang of apparent ‘Yuppie- bashers’ attacked and damaged more than 30 expensive cars in Berkshire and Hampshire.

1990 2 Soviet cosmonauts were awaiting an unmanned craft to deliver a ladder to enable them to make repairs. If it failed they would have to wait for a manned rescue flight. Am American space expert said that “… space travel is becoming like public transport. If the bus breaks down you fix it, or wait for another to come along”.

1995 Schoolchildren in Wales were accidentally given current GSCE English Literature papers in an exam practice class. 25,000 exam papers had to be scrapped as result.

1997 Cherie Booth QC became the first Prime Minister’s wife to sit as a judge as she attended the Mayor’s and City of London Court, hearing a case of a worker suing British Aerospace for £7,000 damages over a hernia.

1999 25 year old Martin Jones from Swindon became the first British man to be charged with being drunk in charge of a motorized skateboard.

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