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1485: The Battle of Bosworth Field was fought in Leicestershire and Richard III was butchered as he vainly tried to reach the usurper Henry Tudor. He was the third King Richard to die by violent means and cautious monarchs have avoided the name since.
1642: The Civil War in England began, between the supporters of Charles I (Royalists or Cavaliers) and of Parliament (Roundheads), when the King raised his standard at Nottingham.
1893: Dorothy Parker, author, wit and theatre critic, was born in New Jersey. Her reviews were often short and to the point. “The only thing I didn’t like about The Barretts Of Wimpole Street was the play.”
1862: Composer Claude Debussy was born in St Germain-en-Laye, France.
1922: Michael Collins, Irish politician and revolutionary, was assassinated by extremist Republicans in an ambush in Ireland.
1933: BBC TV televised a boxing match for the first time.
1960: Beyond The Fringe, one of the most influential satirical revues staged in Britain, opened in Edinburgh.
1962: Fifteen terrorists attacked General de Gaulle in the 22nd of 31 attempts on his life. Despite being sprayed with a volley of 150 shots, the General was only superficially cut by flying glass.
1985: A British Airtours Boeing 737 burst into flames at the end of the runway at Manchester Airport when take-off was aborted. Although 80 escaped, 55 died in the flames and fumes.
1989: Lord Hill of Luton, BBC’s Radio Doctor who gave medical advice to families in the Second World War, died aged 85.
2004: Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream was stolen at gun point from the Munch Museum in Norway.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Hawaii residents were stocking up on bottled water and other essentials as they faced the threat of a strengthening hurricane.
BIRTHDAYS: Valerie Harper, actress, 80; Steve Davis, former snooker player, 62; Roland Orzabal, pop musician, 58; Tori Amos, singer/songwriter, 56; Mats Wilander, former tennis player, 55; Howie D, former pop singer, 46; Kristen Wiig, actress, 46; Sheree Murphy, actress, 44.