The late Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday 8th September 2022, making her the longest serving monarch in British history. She ascended the throne on February 6th 1952 at the age of 25.
For the seven decades (70 years) during which the late Queen Elizabeth II ruled the United Kingdom, the world has experienced many significant events that have shaped the course of history. These memorable moments cut across different sectors from scientific discoveries to financial crises too, here is a summary of these events:
May 2, 1952 – The World’s First Commercial Jet Launched
Few months after Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne, the world’s first commercial jet with the National British carrier British Overseas Aircraft Corporation flew passengers from London, UK to Johannesburg, South Africa.
April 12, 1955 – Polio Vaccine became safe to use
Dr. Thomas Francis Jr., director of the Poliomyelitis Vaccine Evaluation Center at the University of the Michigan School of Public Health, announced to the world that the Salk polio vaccine was safe, effective and potent to use.
1957 – Nigeria’s First Prime Minister
In 1957, Sir Tafawa Balewa became Nigeria’s first and only prime minister in the country shortly after it became self-governed.
Oct. 4, 1957 – Launch of Sputnik 1
The Soviet Union, made up of 15 republics (including the likes of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, etc ) launched the first artificial Earth satellite, marking the beginning of the space age.
May 9, 1960 – US Approved Birth control pill
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on this day approved the world’s first commercially produced birth control contraceptive named Enovid-10.
May 16, 1966 – China’s Cultural Revolution begins
Communist leader Mao Zedong started the supposed Cultural Revolution, which lasted till his death in 1976.
April 4, 1968 – Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
On this day, the civil rights leader was shot at a Motel in Memphis, USA, during the Civil Rights Movement.
July 20, 1969 – First Moon Landing
Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon.
January 1975 – Altair 8800 launch
Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems released the first commercial personal computer.
April 30, 1975 – End of the Vietnam War
On this day, the Vietnam war, which had lasted for almost 20 years, ended.
May 4, 1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes UK prime Minister
The first female prime minister ruled the United Kingdom. Two more female prime ministers have followed after her including the recently elected Liz Truss.
May 8, 1980 – Smallpox declared eradicated
The World Health Assembly declared the complete eradication of smallpox.
June 5, 1981 – AIDS first reported
Health experts published the first ever report on AIDS.
April 27, 1994 – Apartheid ended in South Africa
Racial segregation ended in South Africa with the election of President Mandela.
Sept 11, 2001 – 9/11 attacks
Members of Al-Qaeda bombed the United States, killing 2,977 people in the process.
2007 – 2009 – The Great Recession
The U.S. housing bubble led to the most severe economic recession since the Great Depression.
Jan 3, 2009 – Bitcoin Launched
The first ever digital currency launched.
June 23, 2016 – Brexit referendum vote
Britain voted to leave the European Union. The United Kingdom went on to officially withdraw in 2020.
March 11, 2020 – COVID-19
The World Health Organization announced the outbreak of the coronavirus, which saw businesses, schools, organizations shut down across the world for months. The global pandemic led to the death of over 6.4 million deaths worldwide.