ON THIS DAY IN ...
1802: Alexandre Dumas, French creator of The Three Musketeers, was born near Soissons. 1824: The first public opinion poll was conducted in Wilmington, Delaware, on voting intentions in the forthcoming US presidential election.
1883: Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the English Channel in 1875, was drowned attempting to swim the rapids below Niagara Falls.
1908: Some 56 runners began the London Marathon from the east lawn of Windsor Castle. An extra 385 yards was added to the 26-mile course so that they finished in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium.
1925: Six-year-old Patricia Cheeseman was the first person successfully treated with insulin, at Guy's Hospital in London. 1935: Greetings telegrams were introduced by the GPO. If they were in a gold envelope they cost an extra threepence. 1980: Peter Sellers died in hospital, two days after suffering a heart attack attending a reunion lunch with fellow Goons Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe.