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On this day - December 14

1503: French astrologer and prophet Nostradamus was born.

1895: George VI was born. He succeeded his brother Edward VIII when he abdicated, and led the British through the war years.

1901: The first table tennis tournament was held at the Royal Aquarium, London.

1911: Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer, became the first man to reach the South Pole - 35 days ahead of Captain Scott.

1918: Women over 30 voted in a British general election for the first time.

1922: John Reith was appointed general manager of the fledgling BBC.

1962: Mariner II sent back the first close-up pictures of the planet Venus.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Twenty-seven people, including 18 children, were killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, US, one of the worst gun massacres in the country's history.

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