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On This Day in history - 30th July
1718 William Penn, English Quaker leader and founder of the American colony of Pennsylvania died.
1746 The death of Francis Towneley, English Jacobite who was executed for his role in the rebellion of 1745. His head was placed on a pike on Temple Bar, London but was secretly removed and has since been in possession of the Towneley family. The skull is now preserved in the chapel at Towneley Hall. The chapel's early 16th Century altarpiece is a magnificent example of Flemish craftsmanship.
1818 Emily Brontë, English novelist and author of Wuthering Heights was born in Thornton, West Yorkshire. Emily was the third eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother Branwell. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell. The Brontës' later home was the Haworth Parsonage, in West Yorkshire.
1898 The birth of Henry Moore, English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art. His forms are generally pierced or contain hollow spaces. Many interpreters liken the undulating form of his reclining figures to the landscape and hills of his birthplace, Yorkshire.
1900 London Underground's Central Line was opened by the Prince of Wales, with a two pence (tuppence) fare for all destinations.
1935 'Penguin' paperback books, founded by Allen Lane, went on sale in Britain.
1940 Sir Clive Sinclair, inventor and pioneer of the first home computers (Sinclair ZX81 and Spectrum) was born. In 2010 Sinclair stated that he did not use computers himself, and preferred using the telephone to email. In 1983, Sinclair formed Sinclair Vehicles and released the Sinclair C5, a battery electric vehicle that proved to be a commercial failure.
1948 The world's first radar station was opened, to assist shipping at the port of Liverpool.
1958 Daley Thompson, British athlete was born. He won the decathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, and broke the world record for the event four times. With four world records, two Olympic gold medals, three Commonwealth titles, and wins in the World and European Championships, Thompson is considered by many to be the greatest decathlete of all time.
1963 Kim Philby, British intelligence officer from 1940 and Soviet agent from 1933, fled to the USSR.
1966 England won the Football World Cup in London, beating West Germany 4 - 2. This was England's first (and only) win since the tournament began in 1930. England forward Geoff Hurst became the only man to score a hat-trick in a world cup final.
1968The Beatles closed the Apple Boutique, and gave clothes away for free to passers-by.
1973 British victims of the drug Thalidomide were awarded £20 million compensation as their 11 year case against the Distillers company ended in victory.
1991 Italian tenor Pavarotti celebrated 30 years in opera with a huge, free concert in Hyde Park.
2000 The News of the World came under mounting pressure to end its 'name and shame' campaign against paedophiles.
2006 The world's longest running music show Top of the Pops was broadcast for the last time on BBC Two. The show had aired for 42 years. 2213 episodes were screened, the first being broadcast on New Year's Day 1964. Disc Jockey Jimmy Savile (who died on October 29th 2011) was the presenter of both the first and last shows. In October 2012 numerous allegations were made that Savile had sexually abused hundreds of young people, stretching from 1955 to 2009. In the aftermath, his gravestone at Scarborough was removed at the request of Savile's family and plaques and statues of him in other locations were removed to prevent further defacement.
2014 A large part of the 144-year-old Grade II listed pier at Eastbourne's seafront was 'reduced to a mangled wreck' after a huge blaze that is believed to have started in wall panelling. In the aftermath, Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne pledged up to £2 million to help Eastbourne's tourism industry recover from the pier's loss.