The 33-Day Pope


The corpse of John Paul I was discovered by a nun in the early hours of 29th September, 1978. His body was embalmed within 24 hours, heightening suspicions that the cause of death may have been unnatural. He had been Pope for just 33 days. An unconventional Pope – who had refused to wear the papal …

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Let’s Get Metric


Feet, inches, palms, cubits, rods… all were SWEPT ASIDE on 28th September, 1889, when the first General Conference of the Weights and Measures Commission met in Sèvres, France to refine a definition for the NEW universal measurement of distance: the metre. The calculation was painstakingly made by measuring a quarter of the meridian of the …

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See Facts? Ceefax!


The BBC’s teletext information service, Ceefax, launched on 23rd September, 1974 – providing the British public with a way to look up headlines, football results and TV listings, some twenty years before the launch of Internet Explorer. Countless National Lottery winners discovered their victories via the analogue service, which was discontinued in 2012. To this …

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The All-Female Jury


Witchcraft and infanticide were the charges levelled against young maidservant Judith Catchpole at the General Provincial Court in Patuxent County, Maryland on September 22nd, 1656. Since the case hinged on whether she had been pregnant, an all-female jury was assembled – the first in colonial America. Seven married women and four single women physically examined her …

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