It happened today – this day in history – August 5

910: The last major Viking army to raid England is defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward and Earl Aethelred in what is now part of Wolverhampton.

1100: Henry I is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey.

1305: William Wallace, who led Scottish resistance to England, is captured near Glasgow and transported to London for trial and execution.

1388: The Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish between the Scottish and the English in Northumberland.

1543: French and Turkish troops occupy Nice.

1583: Humphrey Gilbert claims Newfoundland for the British crown.

1716: Habsburgs under Eugene of Savoy defeat the Turks at the battle of Petrovaradin.

1745: Jacobite forces capture British company of troops under Captain Scott.

1763: British forces led by Henry Bouquet defeat Chief Pontiac’s native American Indians at Bushy Run.

1792: Death of former British prime minister Lord North, aged 60.

1846: Oregon territory is divided between the US and Britain at the 49th parallel.

1861: The US Army abolishes flogging.

1882: Martial law is imposed in Japan.

1884: The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty is laid on Bedloe’s Island, New York.

1901: Peter O’Connor of Ireland, sets the first officially recognised world long jump record at 24′ 11 3/4″ in Dublin.

1905: The first meeting of the Russian and Japanese peace commissioners takes place in US President Theodore Roosevelt’s home in Oyster Bay, New York state.

1914: Cuba, Uruguay, Mexico and Argentina proclaim neutrality in the First World War. On the same day, in the first battle of the war, the Germans launch a massive assault on forts around the Belgium city of Liège and Montenegro declares war against Austria-Hungary.

1917: British troops attack the canal of Ypres in Boesinghe, Belgium.

1918: The last German air raid on England during the First World War occurs, with four Zeppelins dropping bombs in the Midlands and the north east.

1925: Plaid Cymru is formed with the aim of disseminating knowledge of the Welsh language.

1936: US athlete Jesse Owens wins the 200m in world record time (20.7) for his third gold medal of the Berlin Olympics.

1943: During the Battle of Troina, Mount Etna erupts sending ash and lava miles into the sky.

1944: German forces begin the mass killing of between 40,000 and 50,000 Polish civilians in the Wola district of Warsaw.

1949: An earthquake hits Quito, Ecuador, killing 6,000 people.

1957: The comic strip “Andy Capp” makes its debut in The Daily Mirror.

1960: Burkina Faso declares independence from France.

1962: Film star Marilyn Monroe is found dead aged 36 in her bedroom after an overdose of barbiturates.

1963: Craig Breedlove sets the world land speed record of 407.477mph in Spirit of America on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

1964: The US begins bombing North Vietnam. On the same day, Mel Brooks marries actress Anne Bancroft at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau.

1968: Country guitarist Luther Perkins dies aged 40 as a result of severe burns and smoke inhalation after falling asleep at home with a cigarette in his hand.

1969: George Harrison has his new Moog synthesizer brought into the studio for The Beatles to use in finishing the album Abbey Road. It is immediately used to overdub a synth line onto the song Because and was later overdubbed onto the songs Here Comes The Sun, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and provided the white noise on the end of I Want You (She’s So Heavy). On the same day, Mariner 7 flies past Mars and the UVF plants its first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin.


1970: George Best becomes the first player to score in a penalty shoot-out and Denis Law the first to miss one as Manchester United beat Hull City in the pre season Watney Cup.semi final. On the same day, Black Panther leader Huey Newton is freed from jail after two trials ended in hung juries and the district attorney decides against another.

1973: Three people are killed and 55 wounded when two Arab gunmen open fire on a crowded passenger lounge at Athens airport.

1974: US President Richard Nixon admits he withheld information about the Watergate break-in.

1975: The Forestry Commission warns that Dutch Elm disease is spreading across Britain. On the same day, drummer Sandy West and guitarist Joan Jett form The Runaways, the first ever all female heavy rock band after being introduced by producer Kim Fowley. Singer Cherie Currie, guitarist Lita Ford and bassist Jackie Fox complete the line-up.

1981: President Reagan fires 11,500 striking air traffic controllers.

1983: Twenty two members of the IRA are jailed for a total of more than 4,000 years following one of Northern Ireland’s biggest mass trials. On the same day, singer-songwriter David Crosby is sentenced to five years in jail for cocaine and firearms offences.

1984: American Joan Benoit wins first Olympic marathon for women (2:24:52) an Ed Moses wins the 400m hurdles gold medal, his 105th consecutive race victory. On the same day, actor Richard Burton dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 58.

1986: Culture Club keyboard player Michael Rudetsky is found dead at Boy George’s home in Hampstead.

1989: The NASA Venus probe Magellan is launched from the Space shuttle. On the same day, General elections are held in Nicaragua with the Sandinista Front winning a majority.

1990: Singles chart:

  1. Turtle Power – Partners In Kryme
  2. Tom’s Diner – DNA ft Suzanne Vega
  3. U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
  4. Naked In The Rain – Blue Pearl
  5. I’m Free – The Soup Dragons ft Junior Reid
  6. Hanky Panky – Madonna
  7. Thieves In The Temple – Prince
  8. Tonight – New Kids On The Block
  9. Sacrifice – Elton John
  10. Rockin’ Over The Beat – Technotronic ft Ya Kid K
1990: Phil Collins – …But Seriously

Album chart:

  1. Sleeping With The Past – Elton John
  2. I’m Breathless – Madonna
  3. Sumer Dreams – The Beach Boys
  4. The Essential Pavarotti – Luciano Pavarotti
  5. …But Seriously – Phil Collins
  6. Hot Rocks 1964-1971 – The Rolling Stones
  7. Step By Step – New Kid On The Block
  8. Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em – MC Hammer
  9. Greatest Hits – The Bangles
  10. Craig McClachlan And Check 1-2 – Craig McClachlan and Check 1-2

1992: Jeff Porcaro, drummer with Toto, dies age 38 from a heart attack after spraying his yard with insecticide. The coroner gives the cause of death as occlusive coronary artery disease caused by cocaine use.

1994: Billy Idol is admitted to hospital after a drug overdose.

1995: The city of Knin, a significant Serb stronghold, is captured by Croatian forces. On the same day, the Athletics World Championships open at Gothenburg, Sweden.

1997: Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the first world trade centre bombing in New York goes on trial.

2000: Police are called to Gary Glitter’s west London home after a crowd gathers outside and start to shout abuse. The former pop star and convicted paedophile was back in London to attend to business affairs before heading abroad again. On the same day, actor Sir Alec Guinness dies aged 86 of liver cancer.

2003: A car bomb explodes in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta outside the Marriott Hotel killing 12 and injuring 150.

2007: DNA testing on about a dozen people who claimed late soul star James Brown was their father reveal that at least two of them are telling the truth.

2008: Singer, songwriter Robert Hazard, who wrote the Cyndi Lauper hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun dies after surgery for pancreatic cancer.

2009: Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler is airlifted to hospital after falling off stage during a gig at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

2011: A rogue Polar Bear attacks and kills a British schoolboy on Svelbard, an archipelago off the coast of Norway. On the same day, NASA launches its Juno space probe from Cape Canaveral to orbit and study Jupiter.

2012: A gunman opens fire on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin killing six people before committing suicide.

2013: Keyboards player/composer George Duke dies aged 67 from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. On the same day, the world’s first bovine stem cell lab-grown burger is eaten in London.

2015: A fishing boat carrying around 600 migrants sinks off the coast of Libya. 373 are rescued. On the same day, actor George Cole dies aged 90.

2016: The Summer Olympic Games officially open in the Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2017: The UN Security Council votes to impose sanctions on North Korea for its continued missile program.

2018: Swimmer Adam Peaty breaks his own world record in 57.00 as he wins his ninth European 100m breaststroke title in Glasgow.

2019: Strikes in Hong Kong and demonstrations against Chinese policy towards the territory bring huge disruption. On the same day, Brazilian drug dealer Clauvino da Silva tries and fails to escape Rio de Janeiro jail by dressing up as his teenage daughter.

2021: Barcelona confirms Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club after 18 years. On the same day, Charlie Watts announces he will be unable to accompany the Rolling Stones on their US tour on medical advice.

BIRTHDAYS: Wanda Ventham (Carlton-Cumberbatch), actress, 87; Airto Moreira drummer, (Weather Report) 81; Joe Boyd, record producer, 80; Willie Weeks, bassist, 75; Jan Francis, actress, 75; Barbara Flyn (McMurray), actress, 74; Louis Walsh, band manager/TV personality, 65; Pat Smear (Georg Ruthenberg), guitarist (Foo Fighters) 63; David Baldacci, author, 62; Mark Strong (Marco Salussolia) actor, 59; Jennifer Finch, bassist, (L7), 56; James Gunn, director/screenwriter, 56; Marine Le Pen, French far right politician, 54; Jackie Doyle-Price MP, politician, 53; Antony Cotton, actor, 47; Wayne Bridge, footballer, 42; Jesse Williams, actor, 41; Kara Tointon, actress, 39; Ryan Bertrand, footballer, 33; Patrick Reed, golfer, 31; Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, footballer, 27; Yungbud (Dominic Harrison) singer, 25.