Claire Teal: Quick look back at the momentous events of history

DECEMBER 29, 2010 – the 363rd day of the year according to the Gregorian Calendar or (364th in leap years). This, of course, means there are only two days remaining before a whole new year begins.

As such I intend to fill them with good times and happy memories but throughout history some pretty momentous events have occurred. Take poor Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who on this very day was assassinated in his own cathedral by the knights of Henry II in 1170. On a nautical note and some 690 years later, HMS Warrior the first British seagoing iron-clad warship was launched in 1860 to rapturous applause, almost twice the size of her French rival La Gloire, she, by all accounts, thoroughly outclassed her in speed, guns and armoury. Withdrawn from fighting in 1863 you can still go and visit the old dear in Portsmouth if the fancy takes you. On December 30, 1460 another blow was dealt during the War of the Roses when the Duke of York unfortunately didn't have 10,000 men and so failed to beat the House of Lancaster in the Battle of Wakefield. From Wakefield to Broadway, December 30, 1948 finds young Cole Porter opening his musical smash Kiss Me Kate at the New Century Theatre. One of my favourites, it went on to become the first musical to win a Tony Award.

People of historical interest born on December 29: Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France 1721, British actor Bernard Cribbins 1928, the Bingley born showjumper Harvey Smith 1938 and singers Marianne Faithful 1946 and Aled Jones 1970.

People of historical interest born on December 30: Titus Roman Emperor 39 AD, English writer Rudyard Kipling 1865.

I think we'll just be having a quiet one, no battles, assassinations or Broadway show openings planned as such. My brother and his family are coming down to help finish this damned turkey.

Here's to the last few days of 2010 and the bright new shiny beginnings of 2011. Thanks to all of you for another great 12 months. We wish you health and happiness and a very Happy New Year.