It happened today – this day in history – April 2

742: Birth of Charlemagne.

1453: Turkish forces begin the siege of Constantinople.

1513: Juan Ponce de Leon claims Florida for Spain.

1645: Robert Devereux resigns as parliament supreme commander.

1725: Giacomo Casanova, writer, adventurer and famous lover, is born in Venice.

1783: William Cavendish-Bentinck becomes prime minister of Britain after an opposition coalition of Henry Fox and Frederick North forces William Petty to resign.

1800: First performance of Beethoven’s 1st Symphony in C.

1801: The British, led by Horatio Nelson destroy the Danish fleet in the naval Battle of Copenhagen.

1805: Birth of author Hans Christian Andersen in Odense, Denmark.

1836: Charles Dickens marries Catherine Thomson Hogarth.

1845: H L Fizeau & Leon Foucault take the first photo of the Sun.

1872: Samuel Morse, developer of the electric telegraph, dies at 80.

1912: The Titanic undergoes sea trials under its own power.

1917: US President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to declare war against Germany.

1921: Albert Einstein lectures in New York City on his new “Theory of Relativity”

1930: Ras Tafari Makonnen becomes Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia.

1932: Charles Lindbergh hands over $50,000 ransom for his kidnapped son unaware that the baby is already dead.

1935: Physicist Robert Watson-Watt receives a British patent for RADAR.

1939: Ralph Guldahl wins his only Masters golf title with a tournament record 279 (−9), 1 stroke ahead of runner-up Sam Snead.

1944: Dmitri Shostakovich’s 8th Symphony premieres in New York. On the same day, the Soviet Army marches into pro-German Romania.

1955: Dennis Wilshaw of Wolves becomes the only Englishman to score four goals against Scotland in England’s 7-2 victory at Wembley Stadium.

1960: Cuba buys oil from the USSR.

1962: The new Panda pedestrian crossing causes confusion among drivers and pedestrians following its launch in London.

1964: The Beach Boys record I Get Around, their first No 1 single. On the same day, The Beatles’ Can’t Buy Me Love breaks the record for the greatest advanced orders for a single in the UK with advanced sales of over 2.1 million.


1966: The Soviet Union’s Luna 10 becomes the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon.

1967: 154 Rolling Stones fans are arrested after a riot breaks out at a 14,000-seater gig in Austria.

1968: The film 2001- A Space Odyssey, directed by Stanley Kubrick, premieres in Washington D.C.

1969: Singles chart:

  1. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marrvin Gaye
  2. Gentle On My Mind – Dean Martin
  3. Sorry Suzanne – The Hollies
  4. Boom Band-A-Bang – Lulu
  5. The Israelites – Desmond Dekker and the Aces
  6. Monsieur Dupont – Sandie Shaw
  7. Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) – Peter Sarstedt
  8. Games People Play – Joe South
  9. In The Bad, Bad Old Days – The Foundations
  10. First Of May – The Bee Gees

1974: Tatum O’Neal, aged 10, becomes the youngest winner of an Oscar as best supporting actress for her role in the film Paper Moon.

1975: Thousands of civilian refugees flee from Quang Ngai Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.

1977: Red Rum gallops into racing history by winning the Grand National for a record third time. Charlotte Brew is the first female to ride in the race.

1978: Velcro goes on sale for the first time.

1982: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands. On the same day, Ken Bates buys heavily-in-debt Chelsea FC for £1.

1986: Four people are killed after they are sucked through a hole blown in the side of a TWA jet flying to Athens.

1987: Jazz drummer Buddy Rich dies aged 69 from a brain tumour.

1992: Edith Cresson, France’s first female prime minister, resigns. On the same day, Mafia boss John Gotti is found guilty of five murders plus conspiracy to murder, loan sharking, illegal gambling, obstruction of justice, bribery and tax evasion.

1998: Former French cabinet minister Maurice Papon is found guilty of war crimes for his part in deporting Jews from France during the Second World War. On the same day, Rob Pilatus, one half of pop duo Milli Vanilli is found dead in a Frankfurt Hotel room after taking a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol.

2003: Soul singer Edwin Starr dies at his home in Nottingham aged 61.

2005: Pope John Paul II dies at the age of 84.

2006: A John Lennon schoolbook containing the 12-year-old’s drawing of Lewis Carroll’s poem The Walrus and the Carpenter is sold at auction for £126,500.

2011: India becomes the first team to win the Cricket World Cup on home soil, defeating Sri Lanka by six wickets.

2018: Death of Winnie Mandela, aged 81.

2019: NASA states it wants to send astronauts to Mars by 2033, and land on the Moon again in 2024.

2020: The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide passes 1 million, with 1,002,159 cases and 51,485 deaths reported. On thee same day, comedian Eddie Large [McGinnis], dies aged 78 from heart issues and COVID-19 complications.

2021: Justin Bieber – Justice

2021: Album chart:

  1. Collections From The Whiteout – Ben Howard
  2. Justice – Justin Bieber
  3. Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
  4. The Bitter Truth – Evanescnce
  5. Wild West – Central Cee
  6. Promises – Floating Points/Sanders/LSO
  7. The Highlight – The Weeknd
  8. Fine Line – Harry Stylss
  9. Greatest Hits – Queen
  10. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon – Pop Smoke

2022: Ukraine liberates the entire Kyiv region from retreating Russian forces.

Pedro Pascal (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

BIRTHDAYS: Linda (Lydia) Hunt, actress, 79; Emmylou Harris, singer, 77; Paul Gambaccini, broadcaster, 74; Linford Christie, athlete, 64; Christopher Meloni, actor, 63; Clark (Robert) Gregg, actor/director, 62; Keren Woodward, singer, (Bananarama), 61; Karl Beattie, director and producer (Most Haunted) 61; Teddy Sherringham, footballer, 58; Helen Chamberlain, broadcaster, 57; John Thompson, actor, 55; Chico, (Yousseph Slimani), singer, 53; Simon Farnaby, actor/writr, 52; Pedro Pascal, actor, 49; Michael Fassbender, actor, 47; Jesse Plemons, actor, 36; Andre Onana, goalkeeper, 28.