It happened today – this day in history – April 17

1397: Geoffrey Chaucer tells the “Canterbury Tales” for the first time at the court of Richard II.

1492: Christopher Columbus signs a contract with the Spanish monarchs to find the “Indies” with the stated goal of converting people to Catholicism. This promises him 10 per cent of all riches found, and the governorship of any lands encountered.

1534: Sir Thomas More is confined in the Tower of London.

1790: Death of inventor and US founding father Benjamin Franklin aged 84.

1808: Napoleon orders the seizure of US ships.

1860: Acknowledged as first world title bout, champion of England Tom Sayers and American John Heenan fight out a brutal 2 hour, 27 minute draw near Farnborough before police stop the fight.

1865: Mary Surratt is arrested as a conspirator in President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

1875: Modern Snooker is invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain, a bored British officer in Jabalpur, India.

1932: Emperor Haile Selassie ends slavery in Ethiopia.

1937: A European record attendance for a football match of 149,415 sees Scotland beat England 3-1 at Hampden Park in a Home Championship match.

1939: Joe Louis KOs Jack Roper in Round 1 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1941: British troops land in Iraq. On the same day, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany.

1945: Italian leader Benito Mussolini flees from Salò to Milan. On the same day, the US 8th Army bombs Dresden.

1948: Elpidio Quirino becomes President of the Philippines following the death of President Manuel Roxas.

1951: The 75-strong crew of a British submarine is feared dead after going missing off the south coast of England.

1956: Premium Bonds are introduced in Britain.

1960: Singer-songwriter Eddie Cochran is killed when the taxi he is travelling in crashes into a lamppost on Rowden Hill, Chippenham, Wilts. His girlfriend, songwriter Sharon Sheeley and singer Gene Vincent survive the crash. The first police officer on the scene is cadet David Harman, later of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch.

1961: Exiles invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.

1964: Jerrie Mock becomes the first woman to fly solo around the world.

1967: Italian boxer Nino Benvenuti beats American Emile Griffith in a 15 round points decision to win world middleweight crown at Madison Square Garden.

1968: Singles chart:

  1. Congratulations – Cliff Richard
  2. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  3. If I Only Had Time – John Rowles
  4. Delilah – Tom Jones
  5. Simon Says – 1910 Fruitgum Company
  6. Lady Madonna – The Beatles
  7. Jennifer Eccles – The Hollies
  8. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding
  9. Step Inside Love – Cilla Black
  10. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Andy Williams

1969: Bernadette Devlin, 21, wins the Mid Ulster seat to become Britain’s youngest ever female MP. On the same day, Alexander Dubcek is forced to resign as first secretary of Czechoslovakia’s Communist Party and Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating Senator Robert Kennedy.

1970: Santana begin sessions for what would be their breakthrough album Abraxas at Wally Heider Recording Studio, San Francisco.


1975: The Khmer Rouge captures Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

1979: Four RUC officers are killed by a Provisional IRA van bomb in Bessbrook, County Armagh.

1983: Felix Pappalardi, bass player with American rock band Mountain and producer of the Cream albums Disraeli Gears and Wheels Of Fire is shot dead by his wife Gail Collins during a jealous rage. On the same day, Grete Waitz runs the female world record marathon (2:25:29).

1984: Policewoman Yvonne Fletcher is killed after shots are fired from the Libyan People’s Bureau in central London.

On TV today (Tuesday)


06.25Good Morning Britain

09.00Roland Goes East

09.25Thames News Headlines

10.25Old Mother Riley, Headmistress

11.35Once Upon a Time…Man

12.00Orm and Cheep


12.30The Sullivans

13.00News at One

13.20Thames News

13.30A Plus

14.00Take the High Road

14.30Comedy Tonight

15.00Mr and Mrs

15.30Miracles Take Longer

16.00Children’s ITV; Orm and Cheep


16.20How Dare You!


17.15Emmerdale Farm

17.45News at 5.45

18.00Thames News



18.55Reporting London

19.30Give Us a Clue

20.00Hollywood or Bust

21.00The Master of Ballantrae
TV film starring Richard Thomas and Michael York. A Scottish nobleman is forced to flee his homeland and abandon the woman he loves after a failed attempt to overthrow the king.

22.00News at Ten

22.30The Master of Ballantrae



14.30Channel Four Racing – from Newmarket

16.30World of Animation


17.15Kill or Cure?

18.00Old Country

18.30Cautionary Tales

19.00Channel Four News



20.304 What It’s Worth

21.00Film: Britannia Hospital (1982)
Savage British satire starring Malcolm McDowell and Leonard Rossiter.

23.15Eastern Eye


06.00Ceefax AM

06.30Breakfast Time

09.00Battle of the Planets

09.20Look Back with Noakes

09.45Hong Kong Phooey

10.00Why Don’t You …?

10.20Ivor the Engine

10.30Play School

10.55Pages from Ceefax

12.20Seven Days That Changed the World

12.30News After Noon

12.57Regional News

13.00Pebble Mill at One

13.45Little Misses and the Mister Men

14.00Star Movie: Loving You (1957)
Starring Elvis Presley


15.53Regional News

15.55Play School: It’s Tuesday

16.20The Hunter

16.25Professor Popper’s Problems

16.40Cheggers Plays Pop

17.05John Craven’s Newsround

17.10Think Again

17.40Sixty Minutes

18.40Young Musician of the Year 1984

19.15Wildlife on One
Introduced by David Attenborough

19.40A Question of Sport
Team captains Bill Beaumont and Emlyn Hughes with sporting personalities asked questions by David Coleman.

US series starring Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy.

21.00Nine O’Clock News

21.25The Richard Dimbleby Lecture
The Rt Rev David Sheppard , Bishop of Liverpool, gives the 12th in this series of annual lectures before an invited audience at the Royal Society of Arts in London.

22.15Film: The Taking of Pelham 123 (1974)
Thriller starring Robert Shaw


06.05Open University

09.00Pages from Ceefax

17.10Sheffield: the Tertiary Debate

17.35News Summary

17.40The Charlie Chan Mystery

18.40Tucker’s Luck


19.30Reggae, Madness and the Wild Things

19.55Cartoon Two

20.00Chronicle 200

21.00The Music of Gerard Kenny
Part 1 of the concert recorded recently at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

The mind of a murderer Part 2: The real mystery of killer Kenneth Bianchi ‘s true personality and, using the videotapes, shows how the remarkable series of interviews threw a new light on the case and put psychiatry itself in the dock.


23.35Photo Assignment

23.55Open University

1986: British journalist John McCarthy is abducted in Beirut on his way to the airport.

1987: Drummer and percussion player Carlton Barrett of The Wailers is shot dead outside his house in Kingston, Jamaica.

1993: Two Los Angeles police officers are convicted in federal court of violating motorist Rodney King’s civil rights while two others are aquitted.

1998: Linda McCartney dies after a long battle with cancer.

1999: A bomb planted by a right wing extremist explodes in Brixton.

2003: New Orleans Blues guitarist Earl King dies aged 69.

2005: Little Britain wins the BAFTA for best comedy.

2008: Danny Federici, longtime keyboard player for the E. Street Band, dies from cancer aged 58.

2009: Morrissey walks off stage during his set at the Coachella festival in California after declaring he can ‘smell burning flesh’. The committed vegetarian took offence to the smell coming from nearby barbecues.

2011: Adele – 21

2011: Album chart:

  1. Wasting Light – Foo Fighters
  2. 21 – Adele
  3. 19 – Adele
  4. Glee: The Music Volume 5 – Glee Cast
  5. On A Mission – Katy B
  6. Loud – Rihanna
  7. Who You Are – Jessie J
  8. The Lady Killer – Cee Lo Green
  9. Build A Rocket Boys – Elbow
  10. Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

2012: The 8th century St. Cuthbert Gospel, Europe’s oldest intact book, is purchased by the British Library for £9 million.

2013: Same-sex marriage is legalised in New Zealand.

2014: Death of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez aged 87.

2015: Jimmy Anderson becomes the highest wicket-taking bowler in England’s test cricket history.

2018: Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies aged 92.

2019: Alan García, former President of Peru, commits suicide by shooting himself as police try to arrest him on corruption charges.

BIRTHDAYS: David Bradley, actor, 79; Henry Kelly, broadcaster, 75; Jan Hammer, keyboards player/composer, (Mahavishnu Orchestra) 73; Michael Sembello, songwriter, 67; Sean Bean, actor 61; Maynard James Keenan, singer (Tool) 57; Liz Phair, singer-songwriter, 54; Jennifer Garner, actress, 49; Claire Sweeney, actress, 49; Victoria Beckham, fashion designer, 47; Mikael Åkerfeldt, guitarist/singer (Opeth), 47; Rooney Mara, actress, 36; Eliza Doolittle, (Eliza Caird), singer-songwriter, 33.