It happened today – this day in history – August 6

1497: Explorer John Cabot returns to Bristol from Newfoundland – the first European to do so since the Vikings.

1623: Death of Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare.

1637: Death of playwright and poet Ben Jonson aged 65.

1661: The Treaty of The Hague is signed whereby the Dutch Republic sells New Holland (Brazil) for 63 tonnes of gold to Portugal.

1675: Tsar Alexis bans foreign hair styles to those below the nobility.

1809: Birth of Alfred Tennyson in Lincs.

1825: Bolivia gains independence from Peru.

1856: The Great Bell, Big Ben, is cast in the Great Clock of Westminster.

1861: The British annex Lagos, Nigeria.

1881: Birth of bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, inventor of penicillin in Scotland.

1896: France annexes Madagascar.

1910: New York City Mayor William J Gaynor is seriously wounded during an assassination attempt.

1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia. On the same day, Serbia declares war against Germany.

1918: The Second Battle of the Marne ends.

1926: Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel in 14 hours, 39 minutes.

1930: Remains of the balloon expedition of Solamon August Andrées to the North Pole in 1897 are found at Kvit oya Spitsbergen.

1931: Death of jazz cornetist Bix (Leon Bismarck) Beiderbecke aged 29.

1932. The first Venice Film Festival opens.

1934: US troops leave Haiti after 19 years.

1937: Franco’s artillery fires on Madrid.

1940: Estonia is annexed into the Soviet Union.

1942: Churchill fires General Auchinlek as Middle-East commander.

1944: The deportation of 70,000 Jews from Lodz to Auschwitz begins.

1945: The first atomic bomb is dropped by the US on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

1948: Dutch super athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen wins the London Olympics 200m in 24.4 to become the first woman to win three individual track & field gold medals.

1961: Cosmonaut Gherman Titov is launched into orbit aboard Vostok II and spends 25 hours in space.

1962: Jamaica becomes independent after 300 years of British rule.


1963: At Studio A of the Columbia Recording Studio, New York, Bob Dylan begins recording his third album The Times They Are A-Changin – his first to feature all original songs.

1965: Pakistani soldiers cross the Line of Control into Kashmir.

1966: Muhammad Ali knocks out Brian London with a barrage of punches in Round 3 at Earls Court to retain his undisputed world heavyweight title.

1970: The Concert For Peace is held at at New York’s Shea Stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. Actis include Janis Joplin, Paul Simon, Steppenwolf and Johnny Winter. On the same day, the four-day National Jazz, Blues and Pop Festival begins at Plumpton Racecourse in Sussex featuring Family, Black Sabbath, The Groundhogs, Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, Caravan and Yes.

1971: Chay Blyth becomes the first man to sail solo around the world east to west, against prevailing winds and currents.

1972: Gary Player wins the PGA Championships at Oakland Hills.

Singles chart:

  1. School’s Out – Alice Cooper
  2. Seaside Shuffle – Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs
  3. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – The Partridge Family
  4. Puppy Love – Donny Osmond
  5. Sylvia’s Mother – Dr Hook and the Medicine Show
  6. Popcorn – Hot Butter
  7. Silver Machine – Hawkwind
  8. I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash
  9. Rock And Roll (Parts 1 and 2) – Gary Glitter
  10. Circles – The New Seekers
1972: Slade – Slade Alive

Album chart:

  1. 20 Fantastic Hits – Various Artistrs
  2. 20 Dynamic Hits – Various Artists
  3. Never A Dull Moment – Rod Stewart
  4. Greatest Hits – Simon and Garfunkel
  5. The Slider – T Rex
  6. School’s Out – Alice Cooper
  7. American Pic – Don McLean
  8. The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spidres From Mar – David Bowie
  9. Slade Alive – Slade
  10. Moods – Neil Diamond

1973: Stevie Wonder is seriously injured when the car he is riding in crashes into a truck in North Carolina leaving him in a coma for four days. On the same day, Dad’s Army actor James Beck dies from pancreatitis aged 44 and blues musician Memphis Minnie (credited as a co-writer on Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks”) dies aged 76.

1977: Spurs let 32-year-old goalkeeper Pat Jennings move to rivals Arsenal for £45,000 believing his best years are behind him. Over the next eight years he makes another 237 League appearances for the Gunners.

1978: Pope Paul VI dies from a heart attack aged 80.

1979: Marcus Hooper, 12, becomes the youngest person to swim English Channel.

1984: Carl Lewis wins the long jump (8.54m), his second of four gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics.

1987: SDP leader Dr David Owen resigns after members of his party vote to merge with the Liberals.

1989: Broadway’s longest-running musical revue “Oh! Calcutta” closes after 5959 performances. On the same day, 20 former South African political prisoners, in defiance of the restriction orders, launch a campaign against apartheid laws.

1990: Pakistan president Ghulam Ishaq Kahn dismisses Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. On the same day, the UN Security Council votes 13-0 (Cuba and Yemen abstain) to place economic sanctions against Iraq.

1991: Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web and WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.

1994: Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards books into a private clinic to be treated for nervous exhaustion.

1996: Korean Air Flight 801 crashes in Guam, killing 228 people. On the same day, fashion designer Ossie Clark dies aged 54.

2005: The Athletics World Championships open in Helsinki.

2008: Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz stages a military coup in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

2012: Mount Tongariro in New Zealand, erupts for the first time in a century. On the same day, composer Marvin Hamlisch dies aged 68.

2019: The Philippines declares a national dengue fever epidemic. On the same day, a lawyer representing 800 boy scouts identifies 350 sex abusers within the Boy Scouts of America movement, saying: “It’s the largest paedophile ring on earth”.

2020: Singer Wayne Fontana (Glyn Ellis) dies from cancer at the age of 74.

2021: Jamaican 100/200m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah wins her third track gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics as part of the Jamaican 4x100m relay team.

Geri Horner

BIRTHDAYS: Sir Chris Bonnington, mountaineer, 89; Mike Sarne, actor/director/singer, 83; John Kongos, singer-songwriter, 78; Michelle Yeoh (Choo-kheng) actress, 59; M Night (Manoj Nelliyattu) Shyamalan, director/screenwriter, 53; Geri Horner, singer (Spice Girls) 51; Vera Farmiga, actress, 50; Robin van Persie, footballer, 40; Ferne McCann, TV personality, 33.