Henry VIII in deep thought. Maybe he is contemplating how to get rid of his current wife, or perhaps he's thinking about which dating agency to join. Or it could be something more simple like what's for lunch, or whether browse the jewellery on Ebay - you can never have too many rings you know, when you are King of England...
24th December 1922 - The BBC broadcasts the first British radio play “The Truth about Father Christmas”. NB: Arthur Burrows, who read the play, was a keen wireless enthusiast. Prior to joining the BBC he was in charge of the original experimental transmissions from Marconi House (see our 12th December fact for more details).
December 1888 - Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear. NB: "Friends, Romans, Countrymen lend me your ears" said Mark Antony at the beginning of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar".but he wasn't expecting this!
December 1843 - "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens was first published, with the initial copies sold out in the first day. NB: It took him only 6 weeks to write the book, and he wrote it all out by hand! (but possibly not with a novelty "snowman pen")
December 1849 - William Bond obtains first photo (known as a daguerreotype) of the moon. He was the creator of the first "moonie" ; NB: I bet he wouldn't have believed that man would be landing on the moon only 120 years later, on 16 July
17th December 1903 - The Wright Brothers made their first flight. We think Orville Wright must have regretted asking his brother Wilbur to help! NB: The first flight lasted 59 seconds and they succeeded where others failed by studying birds and inventing "wing-warping" to control the airplane.
16th December 1485 - Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife, was born. Unfortunately Henry fell in love with her Lady in Waiting, Anne Boleyn, and soon after "ejected" her from the Royal Household. NB: Henry VIII had 6 wives, which subsequently suffered the following fates (as the rhyme goes) divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived
December 1911 - The South Pole was first reached, by Norwegian Roald Amundsen. NB: Robert Scott, the British Explorer, got there 34 days later! Imagine the look on his face when he saw the Norwegian flag!
12th December 1901 - Marconi sends the first transatlantic radio signal from Cornwall to Newfoundland. NB: The first radio signal was actually simply the letter "S" in morse code. (not the dance music from Saturday Night Fever, as this sketch would have you believe :) )