ON THIS DAY...
ST BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY - patron saint of bee-keepers, also of leatherworkers (because Bartholomew, one of the 12 Apostles, is reported to have died by being flayed alive). 79 AD: Vesuvius erupted, destroying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing 2,000 people. 1572: The St Bartholomew's Day massacre took place in Paris in which thousands of French Huguenots were killed by order of the Catholic French court.
1724: George Stubbs, portrait and animal painter (especially horses), was born in Liverpool. 1814: British troops under General Ross invaded Washington and set fire to the White House and the Capital. Both were rebuilt and enlarged.
1875: British merchant navy captain Matthew Webb (above) became the first person to swim the English Channel, doing the breaststroke from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in 21 hours, 45 minutes.
1891: The motion picture camera was patented by Thomas Edison.
1916: Eight people died when Zeppelins raided the outskirts of London. 1965: The 450,000-yearold body of a man was found in a Hungarian limestone quarry. 2008: Gordon Brown promised that the London Games would be "the best Olympics Ever" as the official handover to Mayor Boris Johnson took place in Beijing. ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: The Department of Health said British healthcare worker William Pooley, who tested positive for Ebola in Sierra Leone, was being evacuated to the UK on a Royal Air Force jet.