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On this day: Month 31

Today’s birthdays

Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, 82

Brian Eno, musician/composer, 71

Mike Oldfield, musician, 66

Greg Wise, actor, 53

Zara Tindall, member of the British royal family, 38

Patrice Evra, footballer, 38

Andy Murray (pictured), tennis player, 32

Joe Mattock, footballer, 29

It happened today…

1718: The first machine gun was patented by London lawyer James Puckle who, as a keen fisherman, intended to use it at sea

1800:George III survived two assassination attempts in one day

1936:Amy Johnson arrived in England after a record-breaking 12-day, 15-hour flight from London to Cape Town and back

1940:Nylon stockings went on sale in America. In the first eight hours, 72,000 pairs were sold in New York city alone

1941:Britain’s first jet-propelled aircraft, the Gloster-Whittle E28/39, flew for the first time

1957:Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb near Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean

1963:Tottenham win third European Cup Winner’s Cup against Atlético Madrid of Spain 5-1 in Rotterdam

1988:Soviet troops began leaving Afghanistan after eight years of occupation

1991:Edith Cresson became the first woman prime minister of France

1991:Manchester United win 31st European Cup Winner’s Cup against FC Barcelona 2-1 in Rotterdam

2002:Bowling For Columbine, a documentary directed by Michael Moore, has its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival

2018: Doctors said a five-year-old girl attacked by a black bear outside her home in the US would make a full recovery, thanks to the quick thinking of her mother who scared the animal away

Quote of the day

‘I have seen for myself the effects of plastic pollution on some of our planet’s most precious species and natural places — an unfolding catastrophe that has been overlooked for too long. But we ignore it at our peril’ — TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough

Thought for the day

‘Everyone is more or less mad on one point’ — Rudyard Kipling