It happened today – this day in history – August 3

1460: Death of King James II of Scotland aged 29.

1492: Christopher Columbus sets sail on his first voyage with three ships, Santa María, Pinta and Niña from Palos de la Frontera, Spain for the “Indies”.

1778: La Scala opens in Milan.

1798: Admiral Horatio Nelson forces the remnants of the French fleet to surrender at the Battle of The Nile.

1829: Gioacchino Rossini’s “William Tell” premieres in Paris.

1860: The Second Maori War begins in New Zealand.

1867: Birth of first Labour Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in Bewdley.

1887: Birth of war poet Rupert Brooke in Rugby.

1904: British journalist Francis Younghusband visits the forbidden city of Lhasa.

1908: Brothers Amadee and Jean Bouyssonie discover the fossil remains of a nearly complete 60,000 year-old Neanderthal man at La Chappelle-aux-Saints, France.

1914: The first unofficial trip through the Panama Canal by the SS Christobel. On the same day, Belgium rejects a demand to allow free crossing for the German Army leading to their invasion hours later. Germany also declares war on France leading British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey to remark: “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.”

1923: Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes US President upon the death of President Warren G. Harding the day before.

1924: Death of writer Joseph Conrad aged 66.

1925: The last US troops leave Nicaragua after 13 years.

1926: Traffic lights are installed at Piccadilly Circus in London.

1932: Official automatic timing and photo-finish camera for track events is used for the first time at the Los Angeles Olympics.

1934: Adolf Hitler merges the offices of German Chancellor and President, declaring himself “Führer”.

1936: African American sprinter Jesse Owens wins the 100m (10.3 seconds) in front of Adolf Hitler at the Berlin Olympics. His first of four gold medals at the Games.

1940: Italian troops invade British Somalia.

1943: General George Patton slaps an American GI in hospital, accusing him of cowardice.

1944: Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp gases 4,000 gypsies.

1952: Ferrari driver Alberto Ascari clinches the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by winning the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. On the same day, the Olympic Games close in Helsinki, Finland.

1954: Death of French novelist Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle) aged 81.

1957: Tunku Abdul Rahman, a British-educated Malay prince, is elected as head of state ahead of independence from Britain.

1958: The USS Nautilus becomes the first submarine to reach the North Pole. On the same day, British racing driver Peter Collins dies aged 26 when his Ferrari crashes during the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

1960: Niger gains independence from France.

1963: The Beatles play The Cavern in Liverpool for the last time. During their set a power cut plunges the venue into temporary darkness, prompting Lennon and McCartney to perform an acoustic version of When I’m Sixty-Four, a song the band wouldn’t release until the Sgt Pepper album in 1967.

1966: The South African government bans Beatles records. On the same day, comedian Lenny Bruce dies at his home in the Hollywood Hills from a morphine overdose aged 39.

1967: 45,000 US soldiers are sent to Vietnam.


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1968: The two day Newport Pop Festival begins in Costa Mesa, California with Alice Cooper, Canned Heat, Country Joe and the Fish, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sonny & Cher, Steppenwolf and Tiny Tim. Over 100,000 fans attend

1969: Singles chart:

  1. Honky Tonk Women – The Rollng Stones
  2. Give Peace A Chance – John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band
  3. Saved By The Bell – Robin Gibb
  4. Goodnight Midnight – Clodagh Rodgers
  5. In The Ghetto – Elvis Presley
  6. My Cherie Amour – Stevie Wonder
  7. Make Me An Island – Joe Dolan
  8. Conversations – Cilla Black
  9. Baby Make It Soon – Marmalade
  10. It Miek – Desmond Dekker and the Aces

1971: Paul McCartney announces the formation of his new group Wings with wife Linda and former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine.

1974: Guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter leaves Steely Dan and joins The Doobie Brothers.

1978: The Queen opens the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada.

1979: At 67 years, 2 months and 7 days, Sam Snead sets the record for the oldest golfer to make the cut in a major – PGA Championship.

1980: The Olympic Games close in Moscow.

1981: US President Ronald Reagan issues an ultimatum to 13,000 striking air traffic control workers: “if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated.”

1984: A bomb attack on Madras airport, India, kills 34. On the same day, Mary Lou Retton scores 10 for her final vault to win the individual all-round competition in Los Angeles and become the first American woman to win an Olympic gymnastics medal.

1990: The US commits naval forces to the Gulf regions following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

1994: King Hussain pilots the first Jordanian plane to fly over Israeli airspace.

1995: Hollywood actress and one of the first female directors, Ida Lupino, dies aged 77.

1996: Andre Agassi wins the men’s singles Tennis gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics beating Spaniard Sergi Bruguera 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.

1999: Thierry Henry joins Arsenal from Juventus for £11m.

2001: A car bomb is detonated on Ealing Broadway injuring seven people.

2002: Ten-year old schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman go missing from a barbecue Soham, Cambs

2003: The Anglican Church in America votes to approve the appointment of an openly gay bishop, Canon Gene Robinson.

2006: Arthur Lee singer and guitarist of influential 1960s band Love dies in Memphis at the age of 61 following a battle with acute myeloid leukaemia.

2007: Queen guitarist Brian May hands in his astronomy PhD thesis – 36 years after abandoning it to join the band.

2008: Film star Morgan Freeman is injured near Ruleville, Mississippi, when his car flips over several times. On the same day, Russian writer and Nobel Prize winner, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, dies aged 80.

2012: The United Nations General Assembly reproaches The UN Security Council over its lack of action in Syria. On the same day, swimmer Michael Phelps wins the 100m butterfly in the London Olympics to take his all-time Games gold medal tally to a record 17.

2014: The Israeli Defence Force remove much of its ground forces from the Gaza Strip following the destruction of 32 tunnels built by Hamas and other militants. At least 13 Palestinians are reported killed in ongoing air raids and tank shelling.

2014: Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love

Album chart:

  1. X – Ed Sheeran
  2. Blue Smoke – The Best Of – Dolly Parton
  3. The Breeze – Eric Clapton
  4. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
  5. Wanted On Voyage – George Ezra
  6. Ghost Stories – Coldplay
  7. Hypnotic Eye – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  8. Welcome To The Jungle – Neon Jungle
  9. Nothing But The Beat – David Guetta
  10. Caustic Love – Paolo Nutini

2015: The Athens Stock Exchange re-opens after a month and falls by 22%.

2017: Brazilian footballer Neymar transfers from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record transfer fee of €222m on a 5-year deal. On the same day, Massachusetts woman Michelle Carter is sentenced to 2 1/2 years for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide and Rapper Kidd Creole is arrested and charged with stabbing a homeless man to death in New York City. Also, actor Robert Hardy dies aged 91.

2019: A suspected domestic terrorist shoots and kills 22 and injures 24 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. On the same day, a gunman kills nine and injures 27 at a bar in Dayton, Ohio.

BIRTHDAYS: Tony Bennett (Benedetto), singer, 95; Steven Berkoff, actor/theatre director, 84; Martin Sheen (Ramon Estevez), actor, 81; Martha Stewart, author US TV personality, 80; Jack Straw, politician, 75; John Landis, director, 71; Osvaldo Ardiles, former footballer, 69; Kirk Brandon, singer/guitarist (Spear Of Destiny/Theatre of hate) 65; John C. McGinley, actor, 62; Lee Rocker (Leon Drucker) double bassist, 60; James Hetfield, guitarist/vocalist (Metallica) 58; Tasmin Archer, singer, 58; Skin, (Deborah Anne Dyer), singer (Skunk Anansie) 54; Gina G (Gardiner), singer, 51; Michael Ealy (Brown), actor, 48; Stephen Graham, actor, 48; Tom Brady, Quarterback, 44; Evangeline (Nicole) Lilly, actress, 42; Scroobius Pip (David Meads) actor/rapper/poet, 40; Mamie Gummer, actress, 38; Karlie Kloss, model, 29.