It happened today – this day in history – April 29

1429: Joan of Arc arrives at the siege of Orleans.

1587: Sir Frances Drake sails into Cadiz and sinks the Spanish fleet.

1707: English and Scottish parliaments accept the Act of Union; creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain (comes into effect on May 1).

1769: Engineer James Watt patents the steam engine with a separate condenser.

1784: Premier of Mozart’s Sonata in B flat in Vienna.

1852: The first edition of Peter Roget’s Thesaurus is published.

1862: New Orleans falls to Union forces during the American Civil War.

1864: 1,700 British troops suffer their worst defeat of the New Zealand Wars at the hands of 230 entrenched Maori warriors in Tauranga.

1899: Birth of jazz legend Duke Ellington.in Washington DC.

1901: Birth of Hirohito, 124th Emperor of Japan.

1916: Irish republicans abandon the post office in Dublin and surrender unconditionally, marking the end of the Easter Rising.

1930: The telephone connection between Britain and Australia goes into service.

1940: Norwegian King Haakon VII and the government flee to Britain.

1945: The Japanese army evacuates Rangoon, Burma. On the same day, US troops liberate 31,601 people from Dachau concentration camp in Germany, German armies in Italy sign an unconditional surrender to the Western Allies and Adolf Hitler marries Eva Braun in the Führerbunker, Berlin.

1946: 28 former Japanese leaders are indicted in Tokyo as war criminals.

1955: Giovanni Gronchi is elected President of Italy.

1958: The Broadway musical, My Fair Lady, starring Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle, opens for its first night in London to a rapturous reception.

1963: Andrew Oldham and agent Eric Easton sign a management deal with The Rolling Stones after buying the rights to the band’s first recordings for £90. They also persuade piano player Ian Stewart to drop out of the line up and become the band’s road manager, although right up to his death in December 1985, the band insisted on a piano always being available for him to play behind the stage during gigs whenever he felt like it.

1965: The Australian government announces it will send troops to Vietnam.

1967: The 14-hour Technicolour Dream benefit party for The International Times is held at Alexandra Palace in London featuring Pink Floyd, The Move, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and Yoko Ono. John Lennon was in the audience.

1970: US and South Vietnamese forces launch an incursion into Cambodia.

1974: US President Richard Nixon says he will release edited tapes from the White House .

1975: The US begins to evacuate its citizens from Saigon in response to advancing North Vietnamese forces, bringing an end to US involvement in the war.

1976: After a gig in Memphis, Bruce Springsteen takes a cab to Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and proceeds to climb over the wall. A guard takes him to be another crank fan and apprehends him.

1977: British Aerospace forms.


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1978: Following a coup, the new left-wing rulers of Afghanistan say almost all the leaders of the ousted Daoud regime are dead. On the same day, singer P.J. Proby is sacked from his role in the London stage musical Elvis after repeatedly changing his lines from the script.

1980: Director Alfred Hitchcock dies aged 80.

1981: Elton John pays £14,000 at an auction held at Christies in London for 232 Goon Show radio scripts broadcast during the 1950s.

1984: Singles chart:

  1. The Reflex – Duran Duran
  2. Against All Odds – Phil Collins
  3. I Want To Break Free – Queen
  4. Hello – Lionel Richie
  5. Automatic – The Pointer Sisters
  6. Locomotion – OMD
  7. When You’re Young And In Love – The Flying Pickets
  8. Don’t Tell Me – Blancmange
  9. One Love – Bob Marley & The Wailers
  10. You Take Me Up – The Thompson Twins
1984: Queen – The Works

Album chart:

  1. Now That’s What I Call Music 2 – Various Artists
  2. Can’t Slow Down – Lionel Richie
  3. Into The Gap – The Thompson Twins
  4. Thriller -Michael Jackon
  5. The Works = Queen
  6. And I Love You So – Howard Keel
  7. Footloose – Original Soundtrack
  8. Alchemy – Dire Straits
  9. Human’s Lib – Howard Jones
  10. Grace Under Pressure – Rush

1985: Tony Tubbs TKOs Greg Page in Round 15 for heavyweight boxing title.

1986: The Duchess of Windsor is laid to rest alongside her husband, the former King Edward VIII, at Frogmore in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

1990: Cranes begin tearing down the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate.

1992: Rioting breaks out in Los Angeles following the acquittal of four white police officers accused of beating black motorist Rodney King.

1993: Guitarist Mick Ronson dies of liver cancer aged 46

1996: Rent, starring Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs opens at the Nederlander Theatre, New York.

1997: Bass guitarist Keith Ferguson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds dies of liver failure at the age of 50, due in part to a thirty-year addiction to heroin.

1999: The Avala TV Tower near Belgrade is destroyed in NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

2004: George W. Bush and vice president Dick Cheney testify before the 9/11 Commission in a closed, unrecorded hearing in the Oval Office.

2011: Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey.

2012: The International Chemical Weapons Convention deadline for chemical weapon stockpiles comes into effect.

2014: Death of actor Bob Hoskins aged 71.

2015: German measles is declared eradicated from North and South America.

2018: Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigns amid immigration scandal involving the Windrush generation.

2019: Indonesia plans to relocate its capital from Jakarta due to the city sinking, according to a government minister.

2020: A mile-wide asteroid named 1998 OR2 passes within 3.9 million miles of Earth. On the same day, actress Jill Gascoine dies of Alzheimer’s disease at 83 and footballer Trevor Cherry dies aged 72.

2022: Tennis legend Boris Becker is jailed for two and a half years for hiding assets during bankruptcy proceedings.

2023: A 72-hour ceasefire in Sudan breaks down between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

Uma Thurman (Photo: Georges Biard)

BIRTHDAYS: April Stevens (Caroline LoTempio), singer, 95; Willie Nelson, singer-songwriter, 91; Klaus Voorman, artist/bassist, 82; Anita Dobson, actress, 75; David Icke, former goalkeeper/sports presenter/conspiracy theorist, 72; Bill Drummond, artist/writer/musician/producer, 71; Jerry Seinfeld, comedian, 70; Kate Mulgrew, actress, 69; Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, actor, 67; Michelle Pfeiffer, actress, 66; Polly Samson (Gilmour), writer/lyricist, 62; Rollo Armstrong, songwriter/record producer (Faithless) 58; Phil Tuffnel, former cricketer, 58; Uma Thurman, actress, 54; Andre Agassi, tennis star, 54; Jo O’Meara, singer (S Club 7) 45; Kian Egan, singer (Westlife) 44; Tom Smith, singer-songwriter/guitarist/keyboards (Editors) 43, Megan Boone, actress, 41; Katherine Langford, actress, 28.

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