It happened today – this day in history – April 24

1731: Death of novelist Daniel Defoe.

1801: First performance of Joseph Haydn’s oratorio “Die Jahreszeiten”.

1872: Mt Vesuvius erupts in Italy.

1880: Amateur Athletic Association, governing body for men’s athletics in England & Wales, is founded in Oxford.

1888: Eastman Kodak is founded by George Eastman.

1898: Spain declares war after rejecting a US ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.

1913: The Woolworth Building in New York City is opened – world’s tallest building at the time.

1915: The German army fires chloroform gas at Ypres.

1916: Easter Rising of Irish republicans against British occupation begins in Dublin. On the same day, Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launch a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organise a rescue for ice-trapped ship Endurance.

1920: Polish troops attack Ukraine.

1950: US President Harry Truman denies there are communists in the US government. On the same day, Jordan annexes the West Bank.

1953: Winston Churchill is knighted by The Queen.

1968: The Beatles’ new company, Apple Records turned down the offer to sign David Bowie.

1969: Paul McCartney says there is no truth to rumours he is dead. On the same day, British Leyland launches the Austin Maxi.

1970: Gambia becomes a republic within the Commonwealth.

1974: Death of comedian Bud Abbott aged 78.

1975: Badfinger singer/songwriter/guitarist Pete Ham committed suicide by hanging himself in his garage, aged 27.

1976: Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York apartment. While watching Saturday Night Live they considered just turning up at the studio, which was close by, but decided against it.

1986: The Duchess of Windsor dies aged 89.

1992: David Bowie married Somali born supermodel and actress Iman in Switzerland.

1993: The IRA explodes a 1000kg car bomb in Bishopsgate, London, killing a news photographer and injuring 44 others.

2004: Cosmetics entrepreneur Estee Lauder dies aged 97.

2016: Papa Wemba, the King of Rumba Rock died aged 66 during a show.in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. On the same day, soul singer Billy Paul died from pancreatic cancer aged 81.

BIRTHDAYS: Shirley MacLaine (Beaty), actress, 86; John Williams, guitarist, 79; Barbra Streisand, singer/actress/director, 78; Tony Visconti, music producer, 76; Doug Clifford, drummer (Credence Clearwater Revival), 75; Nigel Harrison, bassist (Blondie) 69; Jean-Paul Gaultier, fashion designer, 68; Stuart Pearce, former footballer, 58; Billy Gould, bassist (Faith No More) 57; Paul Ryder, bassist (Happy Mondays) 56; Djimon Hounsou, actor, 56; Patty Schemel, drummer (Hole) 53; Aidan Gillen (Murphy), actor, 52; Lee Westwood, golfer, 47; Sachin Tendulkar, cricketer, 47; Gabby Logan, broadcaster, 47; Kelly Clarkson, singer, 38; Ben Howard, singer/songwriter, 33; Jan Vertonghen, Spurs footballer, 33.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]