It happened today – on this day in history – February 14

1400: Richard II is murdered at Pontefract Castle.

1556: Archbishop Thomas Cranmer declared a heretic.

1689: Parliament places Mary Stuart and Prince William III on the throne.

1747: James Bradley presents his discovery of the wobbling motion of the Earth on its axis to the Royal Society, London.

1779: Explorer James Cook is killed in a fight with Hawaiians, aged 50.

1831: Vicente Guerrero, second president of Mexico is executed by firing squad.

1849: James Knox Polk becomes the first serving US President to have his photograph taken.

1876: Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray apply separately for telephone patents. The Supreme Court eventually rules Bell the rightful inventor.

1895: Oscar Wilde’s “Importance of Being Earnest,” opens in London.

1900: Russia responds to international pressure to free Finland by tightening imperial control over the country.

1912: Arizona becomes the 48th state of the USA.

1929: The St Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago. 7 gangsters are killed, allegedly on Al Capone’s orders.

1931: The original “Dracula” film starring Bela Lugosi is released.

1939: Victor Fleming replaces George Cukor as director on Gone With The Wind.

1941: The German Afrika Korps lands in Tripoli, Libya.

1945: Second day of the bombing of Dresden by Allied air forces. On the same day, Prague is bombed probably due to a mistake in the orientation of the pilots bombing Dresden.

1951: Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Jake LaMotta to take the middleweight title.

1952: The sixth Winter Olympic Games open in Oslo, Norway.

1971: Richard Nixon installs secret taping system in the White House.

1973: David Bowie collapsed on stage during a concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. On the same day, Muhammad Ali beats British heavyweight boxing champion Joe Bugner by unanimous points decision in Las Vegas.

1975: Death of writer P G Wodehouse aged 93.

1981: A fire in a Dublin nightclub kills 48 people.

1984: Elton John married recording engineer Renate Blauer in Sydney, Australia. On the same day, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean dominate the ice dancing at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics. Performing to Ravel’s Bolero in free dance routine they achieve record 9-of-9 perfect scores for artistic impression.

1985: Hostage CNN reporter Jeremy Levin is released in Beirut.

1989: Keyboardist Vincent Crane (Atomic Rooster) died from a deliberate overdose of Anadin tablets aged 45. On the same day, Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 million in damages for the Bhopol disaster and The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie and his publishers due to his novel “Satanic Verses”.

1991: The film “The Silence Of The Lambs” is released.

1996: The Artist Formerly Known As Prince married Mayte Garcia in a Minneapolis church.

1999: Prince divorces Mayte Garcia.

2002: Mick Tucker, drummer with glam rock band The Sweet died of leukaemia aged 54. On the same day, the fishing vessel Tullaghmurray Lass sinks off the coast of Kilkeel, County Down, Northern Ireland killing three members of the same family on board.

2004: Dave Holland, former drummer with Judas Priest was jailed for eight years for indecent assault and the attempted rape of a 17-year old boy. On the same day,in a suburb of Moscow, the roof of the Transvaal water park collapses, killing more than 25 people, and wounding more than 100 others.

2005: Lebanon’s former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, is assassinated.

2008: Liam Gallagher married All Saints singer Nicole Appleton in a civil ceremony in Westminster.

2012: Death of singer/songwriter Dory Previn aged 86.

2013: Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in South Africa.

2014: Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigns after less than a year in office. On the same day, Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold wins her first of two consecutive Olympic women’s skeleton gold medals in Sochi.

2018: South African President Jacob Zuma resigns from office.

BIRTHDAYS: Maceo Parker, saxophonist (James Brown/Parliament/Funkadelic) 77; Alan Parker, director, 76; Carl Bernstein, journalist (Watergate) 76; Raymond Teller, magician, 72; Kevin Keegan, former footballer, 69; Meg Tilly, actress, 60; Simon Pegg, actor/writer, 50; Dean Gaffney, actor, 42; Freddie Highmore, actor, 28.

Mick Ferris

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