It happened today – this day in history – August 4

1265: Prince Edward beats Simon de Montfort the younger at the Battle of Evesham.

1306: Wenceslaus III of Bohemia is stabbed to death aged 16.

1347: English troops conquer Fort Calais.

1704: English and Dutch troops occupy Gibraltar during the War of Spanish Succession.

1730: Crown prince Frederick of Prussia escapes to England.

1782: Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart marries Constanze Weber in St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.

1789: The National Constituent Assembly meets and issues the first decrees that abolish centuries of feudalism in France.

1792: Birth of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in Horsham, Sussex.

1875: Writer of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, dies aged 70.

1892: Sunday school teacher Lizzie Borden is arrested in Fall River, Massachusetts, after the axe murders of her parents.

1900: An allied expeditionary force, made up of Japanese, Russian, British, French and American troops, sets off from Tientsin for Peking to put down Boxer rebellion.

1902: The Greenwich foot tunnel opens under the River Thames.

1903: Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto of Venice elected Pope Pius X.

1914: The German army shoots Belgian priests and burns down the village of Battice. Britain declares war on Germany and Lord Kitchener becomes Minister of War. The US declares its neutrality.

1918: Adolf Hitler receives the Iron Cross first class for bravery on the recommendation of his Jewish superior, Lieutenant Hugo Gutmann.

1919: Hungarian communist leader Béla Kun flees to Vienna after the Hungarian Soviet Republic is overthrown by the Romanian Army.

1934: The British Empire Games open at London’s White City Stadium.

1936: Jesse Owens wins the gold medal for the long jump at the Berlin Olympics.

1942: Winston Churchill arrives in Cairo.

1944: Anne Frank is arrested in Amsterdam by German Security Police after a tip off.

1948: Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands wins the 80m hurdles in Olympic record 11.2 at the London Olympics.

1952: Gambling boss Theodore Roe is murdered by hitmen working for mobster Sam Giancana.

1957: Maserati driver Juan Manuel Fangio clinches his record fifth Formula 1 World Drivers Championship winning the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

1960: A rocket propelled USAF research aircraft sets a flight speed record of 2,150mph.

1962: Nelson Mandela is captured by South African police.

1964: FBI agents uncover the bodies of three missing civil rights workers at a dam in Mississippi. A member of the Ku Klux Klan later admits he had witnessed the murders. The investigation and subsequent trial was dramatised in the film “Mississippi Burning”. On the same day, azz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane marries fellow musician Alice Macleod.

1966: The British Empire Games & Commonwealth Games open in Kingston, Jamaica.


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1971: The US launches the first satellite into lunar orbit from a manned spacecraft.

1972: Arthur Bremer, 21, the man who attempted to assassinate Governor George Wallace in May is sentenced to 63 years in jail by a court in Maryland, US. On the same day, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin orders the expulsion of 50,000 Asians with British passport from Uganda.

1974: Singles chart:

  1. Rock Your Baby – George McCrea
  2. When Will I See You Again – The Three Degrees
  3. Born With A Smile On My Face – Stephanie de Sykes
  4. You Make Me Feel Brand New – The Stylistics
  5. Summerlove Sensation – The Bay City Rollers
  6. Rocket – Mud
  7. Amateur Hour – Sparks
  8. Band On The Run – Paul McCartney & Wings
  9. Kissin’ In The Back Row – The Drifters
  10. Rock The Boat – The Hues Corporation
1974: Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells

Album chart:

  1. Band On The Run – Wings
  2. Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
  3. The Singles 1969-1973 – The Carpenters
  4. Another Time Another Place – Bryan Ferry
  5. Kimono My House – Sparks
  6. Caribou – Elton John
  7. And I Love You So – Perry Como
  8. The Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
  9. Cassidy Live – David Cassidy
  10. Journey To The Centre Of The Earth – Rick Wakeman

1975: Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and his wife Maureen are both badly injured when the hire car he is driving spins off the road and crashes on the Greek island of Rhodes. Plant smashes his ankle and records the band’s next album from a wheelchair.

1980: John Lennon begins recording the album Double Fantasy in New York, his first in five years.

1983: A revolution in the Republic of Upper Volta brings Thomas Sankara to power.

1984: Carl Lewis wins the 100m in 9.9 seconds at the Los Angeles Olympics. On the same day, the Republic of Upper Volta becomes Burkina Faso.

1987: In a letter to BBC news reporter Peter Gould, Moors murderer Ian Brady speaks for the first time of five deaths in addition to those he has already admitted.

1991: The Greek cruise ship Oceanos sinks off the Wild Coast of South Africa.

1995: The Croatian army attacks territory under the Republic of Serbian Krajina in the largest land battle since the Second World War.

1996: The Olympic Games close in Atlanta.

1999: Actor Victor Mature dies from leukaemia aged 86.

2000: Celebrations take place all over the UK to mark the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

2005: Blues singer and guitarist Little Milton dies nine days after slipping into a coma following a brain aneurysm.

2007: Singer-songwriter Lee Hazlewood dies of cancer

2009: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il meets with former US President Bill Clinton and releases captured American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling who had been found guilty of entering the country illegally.

2011: Mark Duggan, 29, is shot by police in Tottenham, sparking widespread riots that cost an estimated £200 million worth of property damage.

2012: South African Oscar Pistorius becomes first double-leg amputee to compete at the Olympics in the 400m. He goes out in the semis. On the same day, Serena Williams wins Olympic gold in London, beating Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in the ladies singles. Also, actress Natalie Portman marries ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied in California.

2013: Hassan Rouhani is inaugurated as the President of Iran.

2015: A plague of locusts in Southern Russia prompts a state of emergency to be declared.

2017: Aldi supermarket withdraws all eggs from sale after the chemical fipronil is found in eggs from The Netherlands.

2018: President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela survives an assassination attempt by drone, live on TV.

2019: Frank Zapata becomes the first person to cross the English Channel by flyboard in 22 minutes (average speed 60mph).

BIRTHDAYS: Martin Jarvis, actor, 80; Georgina Hale (Hole), actress, 78; Klaus Schulze, electronic music pioneer (Tangerine Dream) 74; Maire Brennam, singer-songwriter (Clannad) 69; Vincent “Vini” Reilly, guitarist (The Durutti Column) 68; Billy Bob Thornton, actor, 66; John Wark, former footballer, 64; Mary Decker, American athlete, 63; Ian Broudie, singer-songwriter (The Lightning Seeds) 63; Barack Obama, former US President, 60; Daniel Dae Kim, actor, 53; Lee Mack (McKillop), comedian/writer, 53; Max Cavalera, guitarist/singer, (Sepultura) 52; Kate Silverton, journalist, 51; (Rachel) Meghan Windsor (Markle), Duchess of Sussex, 40; Great Gerwig, director/screenwriter/actress, 38; Antonio Valencia, footballer, 36; Cole and Dylan Sprouse, actors, 29; Saido Berahino, footballer, 28; Sam Cook, cricketer, 24.

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