9 May 1662

Mr Punch made his first recorded appearance in England, as Samuel Pepys noted in his diary. He described it as "an Italian puppet play… which is very pretty".


9 May 1671

Irish-born adventurer Thomas Blood and three accomplices made an unsuccessful attempt to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Blood was pardoned by Charles II and his son Holroyd later commanded Marlborough's artillery at the battle of Blenheim.

9 May 1860

Birth in Kirriemuir, Angus, of Sir James Matthew Barrie, writer and creator of Peter Pan.

9 May 1882

William F Ford of New York is issued a patent for the classic stethoscope.

9 May 1949

Britain's first coin-operated laundrette opens its doors at Number 184, Queensway in London.

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9 May 1978

The body of Italian politician Aldo Moro is found in the back of a car in central Rome. He had been kidnapped by Red Brigades on 16 March.

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