It happened today – this day in history – April 1

1318: Berwick-upon-Tweed is captured by the Scottish from the English.

1724: Henry Pelham is appointed English minister of War.

1748: The ruins of Pompeii are rediscovered by Spaniard Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre.

1826: Samuel Morey is issued the first U.S. patent for an internal-combustion engine, which he calls a “Gas or Vapour Engine”

1854: “Hard Times” begins serialisation in Charles Dickens’s magazine “Household Words”.

1865: During the American Civil War, Union forces defeat Confederates and capture important railway supply line at the Battle of 5 Forks, Virginia.

1873: Birth of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff in Novgorod, Russia.

1891: Painter Paul Gaughin leaves Marseille for Tahiti.

1929: Luis Buñuel releases his experimental 24-minute film “Un Chien Andalou”.

1933: Nazi Germany begins the persecution of Jews by boycotting Jewish businesses. On the same day, Scotland beats Ireland, 8-6 at Lansdowne Road, Dublin to win the Home Nations Rugby Championship and Triple Crown.

1937: Aden becomes a British crown colony.

1938: World heavyweight champion Joe Louis KOs Harry Thomas in the fifth round of their title bout in Chicago.

1945: US ground forces invade Okinawa in the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific theatre during the Second World War.

1957: The BBC receives a mixed reaction to a Panorama April Fools documentary about spaghetti crops in Switzerland.

1961: The Beatles begin a three-month residency at The Top Ten Club, Hamburg, playing 92 straight nights.

1964: John Lennon reunites with his father Freddie after 17 years. It doesn’t go well.

1966: The Troggs record the Chip Taylor song Wild Thing in one complete second take at Regent Sound Studio in London. On the same day, John Lennon buys The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, where he reads near the beginning of the book’s introduction; “When in doubt, relax, turn off your mind, float downstream,” which he immediately uses as inspiration for a new song Tomorrow Never Knows.

1970: The orchestral scores are recorded by Phil Spector for The Beatles songs The Long And Winding Road and Across The Universe for the Let It Be album, much to Paul McCartney’s outrage as he had not been consulted and did not want orchestration on his song.

1974: Ayatollah Khomeini calls for an Islamic Republic in Iran.


1976: AC/DC make their live debut in the UK playing at The Red Cow in Hammersmith. On the same day, The Buzzcocks make their live debut at Bolton Institute Of Technology. The power is turned off after three numbers. Also, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak found Apple Computer in the garage of Jobs’ parents’ house in California.

1979: Iran is proclaimed an Islamic Republic following fall of the Shah.

1983: Tens of thousands of peace demonstrators form a human chain stretching 14 miles across Berks from the Greenham Common military base.

1984: Soul legend Marvin Gaye is shot dead by his father at his parents’ home in Los Angeles.

1990: Up to 1,000 prisoners run amok at Strangeways Prison in Manchester.

Singles chart:

  1. The Power – Snap!
  2. Love Shack – The B52s
  3. Strawberry Fields Forever – Candy Fip
  4. Vogue – Madonna
  5. Blue Savannah – Erasure
  6. Birdhouse In Your Soul – They Might Be Giants
  7. Lily Was Here – David A Stewart ft Candy Dulfer
  8. Don’t Miss The Partyline – Bizz Nizz
  9. Hang On To Your Love – Jason Donovan
  10. Dub Be Good To Me – Beats International ft Lindy Layton
1990: The B52s – Cosmic Thing

Album chart:

  1. Only Yesterday – The Carpenters
  2. Changesbowie – David Bowie
  3. I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got – Sinead O’Connor
  4. Best Of – Van Morrison
  5. Violator – Depeche Mode
  6. …But Seriously – Phil Collins
  7. Vivaldi: The Four Seasons – Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra
  8. Cosmic Thing – The B52s
  9. Running Free/Run To The Hills – Iron Maiden
  10. The Essential Pavarotti – Luciano Pavarotti

1991: Iran releases British hostage Roger Cooper after five years.

2000: The Enigma machine, used by the Germans to encrypt messages in the Second World War, is stolen from Bletchley Park.

2001: Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is arrested.

2002: The Netherlands legalizes euthanasia, becoming the first nation in the world to do so.

2004: Paul Atkinson guitarist with The Zombies and later an A&R executive, working for Columbia and RCA, discovering and signing ABBA, Bruce Hornsby, Mr. Mister and Judas Priest, dies aged 58.

2015: John Lennon’s first wife Cynthia dies at her home in Spain following a short battle with cancer.

2017: Bob Dylan finally accepts the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature at a ceremony in Stockholm.

2020: Singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger of the band Fountains Of Wayne, dies at the age of 52 as a result of health complications caused by COVID-19.

2022: Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declares a nationwide public emergency after violent protests amid the country’s worst economic crisis since independence.

2023: Former world lightweight champion boxer Ken Buchanan dies aged 77 from dementia.

Ella Eyre (Photo: Justin Goff)

BIRTHDAYS: Rudolph Isley, singer-songwriter (The Isley Brothers) 85; Ali (Elizabeth) MacGraw, actress, 85; Jimmy Cliff (Chambers), singer-songwriter, 80; Billy Currie, keyboards/violinist (Ultravox) 72; Annette O’Toole, actress, 72; David Gower, cricketer, 67; Susan Boyle, singer, 63; Chris Grayling, MP, 62; Philip Schofield, TV presenter, 62; Chris Evans, broadcaster, 58; Dean Windass, footballer, 55; Method Man (Clifford Smith) rapper (Wu Tang Clan) 53; Clarence Seedorf – Dutch footballer, 48; Hannah Spearitt, singer (S Club 7) 43; Beth Tweddle, former gymnast, 39; Ella Eyre, singer-songwriter, 30; Asa Butterfield, actor, 27.