Matt Hill

The Very First Eurovision

Rerun: Spectacle, camp and glamour were NOT on the agenda in Lugano, Switzerland on 24th May, 1956: the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast mostly on the radio, and featured a whistling duo as its interval act. Who had to perform twice. Voting controversy, however, was enshrined in the institution right from the outset – […]

The Very First Eurovision Read More »

RETRO

Rerun: Spectacle, camp and glamour were NOT on the agenda in Lugano, Switzerland on 24th May, 1956: the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast mostly on the radio, and featured a whistling duo as its interval act. Who had to perform twice. Voting controversy, however, was enshrined in the institution right from the outset –

Jerry Lee Lewis’s Child Bride

When Jerry Lee Lewis landed at Heathrow Airport for his first UK tour on 22nd May, 1958, he was met with a flurry of journalists eager for a scoop. Yet just one question brought everything to a halt: “Who are you?”.  A wide-eyed girl in Lewis’s entourage answered: Myra Gale Brown, his wife. But she

Read More »

RETRO

When Jerry Lee Lewis landed at Heathrow Airport for his first UK tour on 22nd May, 1958, he was met with a flurry of journalists eager for a scoop. Yet just one question brought everything to a halt: “Who are you?”.  A wide-eyed girl in Lewis’s entourage answered: Myra Gale Brown, his wife. But she

Burying Bob Marley

The funeral for Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley was half religious ceremony, half rock concert on 21st May, 1981. An estimated 100,000 people are believed to have seen Marley’s body lying in state, and the announcement of Jamaica’s national budget was postponed by several days to accommodate his funeral. The casket contained his red Gibson

Burying Bob Marley Read More »

RETRO

The funeral for Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley was half religious ceremony, half rock concert on 21st May, 1981. An estimated 100,000 people are believed to have seen Marley’s body lying in state, and the announcement of Jamaica’s national budget was postponed by several days to accommodate his funeral. The casket contained his red Gibson

How To Survive A Nuclear Bomb

‘Protect and Survive’, the UK Government’s pamphlet offering Britons advice on how to navigate the aftermath of a nuclear explosion, was published on 20th May, 1980, following a campaign in The Times. Intended for distribution in times of imminent crisis – and only alongside the broadcast of a series of related public information films –

How To Survive A Nuclear Bomb Read More »

RETRO

‘Protect and Survive’, the UK Government’s pamphlet offering Britons advice on how to navigate the aftermath of a nuclear explosion, was published on 20th May, 1980, following a campaign in The Times. Intended for distribution in times of imminent crisis – and only alongside the broadcast of a series of related public information films –

The Man Who Invented The Wild West

Rerun: Gun totin’, horse ridin’ spectacular ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West’ opened in Omaha, Nebraska on 17th May, 1883 – the start of a multi-decade run. With a cast of hundreds, including Calamity Jane, Sitting Bull, and Annie ‘Get Your Gun’ Oakley, it toured the world – and forever shaped the way cowboys and Indians were

The Man Who Invented The Wild West Read More »

RETRO

Rerun: Gun totin’, horse ridin’ spectacular ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West’ opened in Omaha, Nebraska on 17th May, 1883 – the start of a multi-decade run. With a cast of hundreds, including Calamity Jane, Sitting Bull, and Annie ‘Get Your Gun’ Oakley, it toured the world – and forever shaped the way cowboys and Indians were

The Unkillable King George

George III narrowly dodged a bullet for the SECOND time in one day on 15th May, 1800, as he attended a performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.   The assassination attempt came from James Hadfield, a clinically insane former soldier, who rose from the pit and fired a pistol at the King, causing uproar in

The Unkillable King George Read More »

RETRO

George III narrowly dodged a bullet for the SECOND time in one day on 15th May, 1800, as he attended a performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.   The assassination attempt came from James Hadfield, a clinically insane former soldier, who rose from the pit and fired a pistol at the King, causing uproar in

The First Two Minute Silence

Rerun: The two minute silence can be traced back to 14th May, 1918, when it was first observed in Cape Town, South Africa.  Repeated daily for a year, and initiated by the firing of the noon day gun on Signal Hill, the ‘Two Minute Silent Pause of Remembrance’, as it was known, was instituted by

The First Two Minute Silence Read More »

RETRO

Rerun: The two minute silence can be traced back to 14th May, 1918, when it was first observed in Cape Town, South Africa.  Repeated daily for a year, and initiated by the firing of the noon day gun on Signal Hill, the ‘Two Minute Silent Pause of Remembrance’, as it was known, was instituted by

Cardinal Richelieu and the Table Knife

Disdain for bad table manners reportedly led 17th Century Machiavelli Cardinal Richelieu to insist that knives should be flattened at his table on 13th May, 1637 – revolutionising dining etiquette. While some Mediaeval habits such as spitting and urinating at the table had largely disappeared by this era, finger-licking and the use of knives as

Cardinal Richelieu and the Table Knife Read More »

RETRO

Disdain for bad table manners reportedly led 17th Century Machiavelli Cardinal Richelieu to insist that knives should be flattened at his table on 13th May, 1637 – revolutionising dining etiquette. While some Mediaeval habits such as spitting and urinating at the table had largely disappeared by this era, finger-licking and the use of knives as

The Lady Who Left Her Baby Outside

As Annette Sorensen drank margaritas in a New York BBQ restaurant on May 10th, 1997, she left her 14 month-old daughter outside, in a stroller.  She spent two days in jail, was accused of child neglect, and was separated from her baby for four days. But Sorensen, a Danish visitor to the States, claimed she

The Lady Who Left Her Baby Outside Read More »

RETRO

As Annette Sorensen drank margaritas in a New York BBQ restaurant on May 10th, 1997, she left her 14 month-old daughter outside, in a stroller.  She spent two days in jail, was accused of child neglect, and was separated from her baby for four days. But Sorensen, a Danish visitor to the States, claimed she

Cocaine + Caffeine = Coca-Cola

John Pemberton launched Coca-Cola from a pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on 8th May, 1886. Legend has it that a serendipitous mishap had led to the addition of carbonated water, transforming the medicinal tonic into a fizzy beverage that would capture the public’s imagination. But in fact, Pemberton’s original formula – Pemberton’s French Wine Coca –

Cocaine + Caffeine = Coca-Cola Read More »

RETRO

John Pemberton launched Coca-Cola from a pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on 8th May, 1886. Legend has it that a serendipitous mishap had led to the addition of carbonated water, transforming the medicinal tonic into a fizzy beverage that would capture the public’s imagination. But in fact, Pemberton’s original formula – Pemberton’s French Wine Coca –