A Dictionary of Dates

A Dictionary of Dates

A Dictionary of Dates

A Dictionary of Dates


Which U.S. Presidents were born on the Fourth of July? When did Alexander Graham Bell make the first telephone call? Catherine the Great, Jerome K. Jerome, Baron von Richthofen, Bing Crosby, and Dr. Spock were all born on the same day of the year, but which? Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety-two--but on what day did he set sail? Compiler of the London Observer's weekly dates column, Cyril Leslie Beeching, here provides an informative and entertaining listing of important anniversaries for each day of the year. A Dictionary of Dates, New Edition reveals a remarkable number of coincidences, and records births and deaths of the famous as well as significant and unusual events in history. With the bonus of a chronology of world events from the earliest times to the present day, international coverage, and a full index, this is an invaluable reference book for anyone with an interest in history or just plain fascinating facts. Thoroughly revised and updated for this new edition, A Dictionary of Dates, New Edition is an informative and entertaining guide to important anniversaries for each day of the year.


In the preparation of this book, it has become clear that most readers have an interest in dates in one way or another: from the obvious personal anniversaries to the wider awareness of historical events of lesser or greater significance. It is also undoubtedly the information about the people and happenings behind the dates which gives them their particular attraction and makes their listing so much more than a straightforward catalogue or directory. (There are, too, a remarkable number of fascinating coincidences concerning birthdays and other occurrences on certain days of the year, though no claims are made for any astrological significance in this respect.)

The book's two main sections are intended to give easy references to the dates and their associated details in both day-by-day and chronological order. In addition there is a very extensive index which, apart from its main function, could be seen as a 'good read' in itself.

Inevitably, if only for reasons of finite space, there are some names and items which the reader will look for in vain; but it has been the intention to cover as wide a field of interest as possible. Some items, however, have been deliberately omitted because of the lack of certainty about the dates; and in the instances of dates being duplicated through the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, the usual convention of taking the New Style has been generally followed. (For fuller details of this aspect the reader may refer to 'Gregorian calendar' in the index of this book.)


New Malden, Surrey January 1993 . . .

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