In 1385, London appointed its first sanitary officer, the serjeant of the Channel, to keep the streets free of rubbish.
Fact of the Day
Quote of the Day
"People in high or in distinguished life ought to have a greater circumspection in regard to their most trivial actions. For instance, I saw Mr [Alexander] Pope...to the best of my memory, he was picking his nose. "
~ William Shenstone
On This Day
1814 Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, the doctor who gave his name to the guillotine but who didn't invent it, died aged seventy-five. His family were so embarrassed by the connection that they ended up changing their name.
1827 One of the greatest composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven, died during a thunderstorm, aged fifty-six. The autopsy showed severe liver damage, probably caused by excessive drinking.
1945 After a month of fighting, American forces captured the strategically-important island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese.
1971 Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan.
1973 Women were first allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange.