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Tide turns in Battle of Britain

Over Britain, the Royal Air Force (RAF) launches a major counterattack against the German Luftwaffe. In September 1940, the German air force launched a massive blitz against London, hoping to bomb the British capital into submission. After a week of almost ceaseless attacks, several areas of London were in flames and the royal palace, churches, and hospitals had all been hit. However, the German concentration on London allowed the RAF to recuperate elsewhere. On September 15, 1940, the RAF launched a vigorous counterattack, downing a reported 185 German planes. Although the actual figure was probably closer to 60, the defeat was serious enough to convince Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to abandon his plans for an invasion of Britain.

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Agatha Christie is born

Mary Clarissa Agatha Miller, later known as Agatha Christie, is born on this day in Torquay, Devon, England. Raised and educated at Ashfield, her parents' comfortable home, Christie began making up stories as a child. Her mother and her older sister Madge also made up stories: Madge told especially thrilling tales about a fictional, mentally deranged older sister. Agatha married Colonel Archiba... Read more >

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Nuremberg race laws imposed

On this day in 1935, German Jews are stripped of their citizenship, reducing them to mere “subjects” of the state. After Hitler’s accession to the offices of president and chancellor of Germany, he set about the task of remaking his adopted country (Hitler had to pull some strings even to be eligible for office, as he was Austrian by birth) into the dream state he imagined. But his dream ... Read more >

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Four black schoolgirls are killed in a church in Birmingham, Alabama

On this day in 1963, a bomb explodes during Sunday morning services in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls. With its large African-American congregation, the 16th Street Baptist Church served as a meeting place for civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., who once called the government of Birmingham a "symbol of hardcore resistance to integr... Read more >

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The Sun newspaper is first printed

It Does Have Its Knockers

Happy birthday to The Sun newspaper, which was first printed on this day in 1964. Though it was a rather different beast when it initially appeared. Replacing the flagging Daily Herald, it was a stablemate of the Daily Mirror and was a classy-looking broadsheet on launch. It’s first slogan was ‘A paper born of the age we live in’ and it vo... Read more >