It happened today – this day in history – April 22

1370: Building begins on the Bastille in Paris.

1500: Pedro Alvares Cabral is the first European to discover Brazil and claims it for Portugal.

1521: French King Francois I declares war on Spain.

1616: Death of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, author of Don Quixote, from cirrhosis at 68.

1659: Lord Protector Richard Cromwell disbands parliament.

1671: Charles II sits in on parliament.

1692: Edward Bishop is jailed for proposing flogging as a cure for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.

1769: Madame du Barry becomes King Louis XV’s “official” mistress.

1809: Napoleon beats Austria Archduke Karl at the Battle of Eckmuhl.

1870: Birth of Lenin (Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov).

1876: Tchaikovsky completes his ballet “Swan Lake”.

1898: US President William McKinley orders a blockade of Cuban harbours.

1908: Death of prime minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman aged 71.

1915: The Second Battle of Ypres begins on the Western Front. On the same day, Germany is the first nation to use poison chlorine gas for military purposes.

1916: Chief of Staff of the Irish Volunteers Eóin MacNeill issues the countermanding order in Dublin to try to stop what would become the Easter Rising.

1930: British troops battle pro-independence revolutionaries in the Jalalabad hills near Chittagong, Bengal province, British India.

1931: Egypt and Iraq sign a peace treaty.

1934: The US Division of Investigation (later the FBI) under Melvin Purvis, botch an operation to capture the John Dillinger gang at Little Bohemia Lodge, Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin.

1944: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet in Salzburg.

1945: The concentration camp at Sachsenhausen is liberated. On the same day, upon being informed that a planned counter-attack in Berlin never happened, Hitler flies into a rage, denounces the German Army and concedes World War II is lost. Meanwhile, SS chief Heinrich Himmler secretly meets with Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, asking him to act as an intermediary for a surrender offer to the Western Allies. The Allies do not take the offer seriously.

1957: Elvis Presley has his custom built ‘Music Gates’ installed at his mansion Gracelands in Memphis.

1959: British ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn arrives in New York after spending 24 hours in a Panamanian prison when her husband, Dr Roberto Arias, a former Panamanian ambassador in London, is suspected of planning a coup against the government of President Ernesto de la Guarda.

1967: Martial Law goes into effect in Greece.

1969: The first human eye transplant is performed. On the same day, Joe Frazier KOs Dave Zyglewick in Round 1 for heavyweight boxing title and Bernadette Devlin, the youngest woman ever to be elected to Westminster, makes a controversial maiden speech in the House of Commons concerning the situation in Northern Ireland .


1971: Haiti’s ruler, Francois ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, dies after 14 years in power.

1972: An 11-year-old boy is the first to die from a rubber bullet impact in Northern Ireland.

1977: Shimon Peres becomes prime minister of Israel.

1978: Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta win the Eurovision Song Contest for Israel singing A-Ba-Ni-Bi in Paris.

1979: Singles chart:

  1. Bright Eyes – Art Garfunkel
  2. Some Girls – Racey
  3. Cool For Cats – Squeeze
  4. Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) – The Jacksons
  5. Pop Musik – M
  6. Hallelujah – Milk and Honey
  7. The Logical Song – Supertramp
  8. Who Killed Bambi – The Sex Pistols
  9. Goodnight Tonight – Wings
  10. The Runner – The Three Degrees
1979: Blondie – Parallel Lines

Album chart:

  1. The Very Best Of – Leo Sayer
  2. Greatest Hits Vol 2 – Barbra Streisand
  3. Country Life – Various Artists
  4. C’est Chic – Chic
  5. Spirits Having Flown – The Bee Gees
  6. Breakfast In America – Supertramp
  7. Dire Straits – Dire Straits
  8. Parallel Lines – Blondie
  9. Last The Whole Night Long – James Last
  10. A Collection Of Their 20 Greatest Hits – The Three Degrees

1980: Thirteen leading officials of the ousted government in Liberia are publicly executed on the orders of the new military regime.

1981: More than $3.3 million is stolen from the First National Bank of Arizona in Tucson in the then largest US bank robbery in history.

1983: Stern magazine in Germany announces the discovery of 60 volumes of personal diaries written by Adolf Hitler. (They turn out to be a hoax).

1990: Hezbollah release US hostage Robert Polhill from Lebanon after 39 months.

1994: Michael Moorer beats Evander Holyfield in 12 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title. On the same day, former US President Richard Nixon dies aged 81, four days after suffering a stroke.

1995: George Foreman beats Axel Schulz in 12 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title in Las Vegas.

1997: A four-month siege of the Japanese embassy in Peru ends in gunfire and explosions as troops storm in.

2000: US federal agents seize six-year-old Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez in an early morning raid on the home of his relatives in Miami.

2003: Songwriter Felice Bryant dies of cancer. She wrote many hits with her husband Boudleaux including; The Everly Brothers’, Bye Bye Love, All I Have To Do Is Dream and Wake Up Little Susie.

2008: It is revealed that singer Tommy Steele took Elvis Presley on a secret tour of London in 1958 after they struck up a friendship. Presley fans had believed the only time Elvis ever set foot in the UK was during a stop-over at Prestwick Airport in Scotland in March 1960.

2012: A 30 year old woman collapses and dies during the London Marathon.

2013: Singer Richie Havens, who opened the Woodstock Festival, dies of a heart attack at 72.

2014: David Moyes is sacked as manager of Manchester United.

2017: Romanian coach Ilie Nastase is thrown off the tennis court for insulting British female players during the Federation Cup play-off in Constanta.

2018: Liverpool’s Mo Salah is named PFA Player of the Year.

2019: Former Celtic and Scotland captain Billy McNeill dies aged 79.

2020: Sudan bans female genital mutation and makes it a criminal offence.

BIRTHDAYS: Jack (John) Nicholson, actor/screenwriter, 85; John Waters, director/screenwriter, 76; Peter Frampton, guitarist/singer-songwriter, 72; Paul Carrack, singer-songwriter, 71; Donald Tusk, former Polish politician and president of the European Commission, 65; Lloyd Honeyghan, former boxer, 62; Jeffrey Dean Morgam, actor, 56; Sheryl Lee, actress, 55; Dion Dublin, football pundit, 53; Craig Logan, bassist (Bros)/record producer, 53; Shavo Odadjian, bassist, (System Of A Down) 48; Darren Moore, football manager, 48; Kaka (Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite) footballer, 40; Amelle Berrabah, singer (The Sugarbabes) 38; Michelle Ryan, actress, 38; Amber Heard, actress, 36; David Luiz (Marinho), footballer, 35; John Obi Mikel, footballer, 35; Machine Gun Kelly (Colson Baker) rapper/actor, 32.