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24th June

1509 The coronation of Henry VIII took place.

1717 The Grand Lodge of English Freemasons was formed in London.

1825 * William Henry Smith, bookseller who built the biggest chain of newsagents in Britain.

1895 * Jack Dempsey, US world heavyweight boxing champion known as the 'Manassa Mauler'.

1911 * Juan Manuel Fangio, 5 times Argentinean world motor racing champion.

1947 Kenneth Arnold, an American pilot, reported seeing strange objects near Mt. Rainier, Washington. He described them as 'saucers skipping across the water,' hence the term 'flying saucers' was born.

1947 * Mick Fleetwood, English founder of the Anglo-US pop group Fleetwood Mac.

1948 The Soviet Union began a blockade of Berlin. Allied forces responded with what would be known as the Berlin Airlift flying in more than 2 million tons of supplies over the next year.

1953 Jacqueline Bouvier announced her engagement to John F. Kennedy.

1974 The Labour Government admitted that Britain exploded a nuclear device in the United States a few weeks ago.

1983 Sally Ride became the first US spacewoman aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

1986 Hard-line unionist leader the Reverend Ian Paisley warned Northern Ireland was on the verge of civil war.

1997 The U.S. Air Force released The Roswell Report, closing the case on the 1947 Roswell, N.M. incident concerning UFOs and alien bodies.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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