It happened today – this day in history – August 1

30BC: Marc Antony (Marcus Antonius) commits suicide aged 53.

10BC: Birth of Emperor Claudius (Tberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus).

527: Justinian I becomes the sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire.

1485: Henry Tudor’s (future King Henry VII) army sails to England.

1498: Christopher Columbus lands on “Isla Santa” (Venezuela).

1714: Georg Ludwig becomes King George I of England on the death of Queen Anne.

1717: Nicholas Rowe is appointed Poet Laureate by George I.

1774: Chemist Joseph Priestly discovers oxygen by isolating it in its gaseous state.

1781: The British army under General Cornwallis occupies Yorktown, Virginia.

1793: France becomes the first country to use the metric system.

1798: The Royal Navy under Admiral Horatio Nelson attacks and decimates the French fleet at Aboukir Bay off the Nile Delta .

1819: Birth of author Herman Melville in New York City.

1820: London’s Regent’s Canal opens.

1831: London Bridge opens to traffic.

1834: Slavery is abolished throughout the British Empire.

1842: The Rotherhithe Tunnel under the Thames opens.

1870: The Irish Land Act gives rights to tenants of landlords in Ireland.

1886: Britain annexes Kermadec-Island near New Zealand.

1893: Henry Perky and William Ford patent shredded wheat.

1903: Death of Calamaty Jane (Martha Jane Canary) aged 51.

1909: François Faber of Luxembourg becomes the first foreigner to win the Tour de France.

1914: Kaiser Willhelm II of Germany declares war on his nephew Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

1918: British troops enter Vladivostok.

1936: The Olympic Games are opened by Adolf Hitler in Berlin.

1941: The first Jeep is produced.

1942: Race riots in Harlem, New York.

1943: Another race riot in Harlem, New York.

1944: The Polish Underground Army begins the battle to liberate Warsaw. On the same day, Anne Frank makes her last diary entry.

1950: King Leopold of Belgium abdicates, Baudouin becomes king.

1953: Fidel Castro is arrested in Cuba.

1954: The South African Natives Resettlement Act comes into being, empowers the Government to remove Africans from any area within and next to the magisterial district of Johannesburg.


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1960: Benin (Dahomey) gains independence from France. On the same day, Islamabad is declared as the federal capital of Pakistan.

1962: Failed assassination attempt on President Nkrumah of Ghana.

1963: Arthur Ashe becomes first African-American tennis player to be named in the US Davis Cup team.

1965: Lotus driver Jim Clark wins the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring to clinch his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

1966: Sniper Charles Whitman kills 16 and wounds 31 at the University of Texas before being shot by police. On the same day, Yakubu Gowon becomes Nigerian Head of State after a military coup.

1969: The three-day Atlantic City Pop Festival began with acts including B.B. King, Janis Joplin, Santana, Dr John, Procol Harum, Iron Butterfly, Little Richard, Credence Clearwater Revival, The Byrds and The Mothers of Invention. Joni Mtchell ran off crying during her third song because the crowd were not paying attention. On the same day, Mariner 6 sends close-up photos of Mars.

1970: The film Performance, starring Mick Jagger in his acting debut, has its UK premiere in London.

1971: The Concert for Bangladesh, organised by and starring George Harrison, takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York with an all-star band featuring Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston and performances from Bob Dylan and Ravi Shankar.

1972: The first article exposing the Watergate scandal by Woodward and Bernstein appears in The Washington Post.

1976: Formula 1 racing driver Niki Lauda suffers serious burns after his Ferrari crashes at the German Grand Prix. On the same day, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton divorce for the second time.

1983: Actor Peter Arne is bludgeoned to death in London aged 62.

1985: Russian KGB officer Vitaly Yurchenko defects to the US in Rome, naming Americans Ronald Pelton and Edward Lee Howard as KGB agents.

1986: Tennis ace John McEnroe marries actress Tatum O’Neal.

1987: Mike Tyson outpoints Tony Tucker in 12 rounds in a heavyweight boxing unification matchup in Las Vegas. Tyson is the first to own all three major belts WBA, WBC and IBF at the same time. On the same day, In New Zealand, the Maori Language Act comes into force, making te reo Māori an official language of New Zealand. Also, actress Pola Negri dies aged 92.

1989: Charlotte Hughes from Cleveland celebrates her 112th birthday and enters the record books as the oldest person in Britain.

1990: UB40 are deported from the Seychelles after police discover marijuana in their hotel rooms.

1992: Linford Christie, 32, becomes the oldest man to win an Olympic 100m gold medal in Barcelona.

1993: England wins the women’s cricket World Cup for the first time since the inaugural event in 1973 with a 67 run victory over New Zealand at Lord’s.

1994: Thousands of historic documents and more than 100,000 books are destroyed in a blaze at Norwich Central Library.

1996: George R R Martin publishes the epic fantasy novel “A Game of Thrones”, the first in his series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. On the same day, Michael Johnson wins the 200m at the Atlanta Olympics in a world record 19.32 seconds to become the first man to complete the 200m-400m double.

1997: The World Athletics Championships open in Athens, Greece.

1999: Petronas Towers officially opens in Kuala Lumpur as the world’s tallest building at the time.

2003: The Hutton Inquiry into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly begins.

2004: Singles chart:

  1. Thunderbirds – Busted
  2. Dry Your Eyes – The Streets
  3. Lola’s Theme – Shapeshifters
  4. How Come – D12
  5. Some Girls – Rachel Stevens
  6. Tipsy – J-Kwon
  7. Burn – Usher
  8. Dragostea Din Tei – O-Zone
  9. Everytime – Britney Spears
  10. See It In A Boy’s Eyes – Jamelia
2004: Usher – Confessions

Album chart:

  1. Live In Hyde Park – The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  2. A Grand Don’t Come For Free – The Streets
  3. Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters
  4. Hopes And Fears – Keane
  5. Final Straw – Snow Patrol
  6. Confessions – Usher
  7. Anastacia – Anastacia
  8. Under My Skin – Avril Lavigne
  9. Room On The 3rd Floor – McFly
  10. Songs About Jane – Maroon 5

2012: Eight female badminton doubles players are disqualified from the Olympics in London for attempting to manipulate the draw by throwing matches. On the same day, Great Britain collects its first ever Olympic gold medal in women’s rowing with Heather Stanning and Helen Glover in the coxless pairs. Also, Bradley Wiggins’ Olympics cycling time trial victory gives him the most aggregate medals (7) of any British Olympian (4 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze).

2015: Cilla Black dies after a fall at her holiday home near Marbella, Spain, aged 72. On the same day, Declan Donnelly marries manager Ali Astall at St Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Elswick, Tyne and Wear.

2018: The Swedish crown jewels are stolen from Strängnäs Cathedral, Stockholm.

2019: Death of documentary film maker D A Pennebaker aged 94.

BIRTHDAYS: Robert Cray, guitarist/singer, 68; Adrian Dunbar, actor, 63; Joe Elliott, singer (Def Leppard), 62; Chuck D, (Carlton Ridenhour), rapper (Public Enemy) 61; Suzi Gardner, guuitarist (L7) 61; Coolio, (Artis Ivey) rapper, 58; Mark Wright, footballer, 58; Amber Rudd, politician, 58; Adam Duritz, singer (Counting Crows) 57; Sir Sam Mendes, director/screenwriter, 56; Graham Thorpe, cricketer, 52; Kenwyn House, guitarist (Reef) 51; David James, goalkeeper, 51; Kris Holden-Ried, actor, 48; Nwankwo Kanu, footballer, 45; Jason (Joseph) Momoa, actor, 42; Bastian Schweinsteiger, footballer, 37; Nemanja Matic, footballer, 33; Dhani Harrison, musician, 33.