It happened today – this day in history – September 15

1649: Titus Oates, English Anglican priest and fabricator of the “Popish Plot” in 1678, was born.

1830: At the official opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Britain’s first railway fatality occurred when MP William Huskisson stepped from a train to shake hands with the Duke of Wellington and was run over.

1859: Engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel died. He designed the Clifton suspension bridge.

1871: The Army and Navy Co-operative began the first mail order business to meet the needs of its members in Britain and overseas.

1890: Agatha Christie was born in Torquay.

1916: Tanks went into battle for the first time for the British Army, in the Somme. Designed by Sir Ernest Swinton, they revolutionised battle strategy.

1954: The famous scene is shot of Marilyn Monroe laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent for the film The Seven Year Itch.

1974: Civil war broke out in Beirut between Christians and Muslims.

1978: Muhammad Ali beats Leon Spinks in New Orleans to win the World Heavyweight title for the third time

1985: Europe won the Ryder Cup from the US who had long dominated the competition.

2008: Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders signed a landmark deal under which the leader of nearly three decades was to cede some power.

008: Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Brothers seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the largest victim of the subprime mortgage crisis that would devastate financial markets and contribute to the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

BIRTHDAYS: Clive Merrison, actor, 74; Tommy Lee Jones, actor, 73; Oliver Stone, film director, 73; Jaki Graham, singer, 63; Prince Harry, 35.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk