It happened today – this day in history – August 9

48BC: Julius Ceasar defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey flees to Egypt.

681: Bulgaria is founded as a Khanate on the south bank of the Danube, after defeating the Byzantine armies of Emperor Constantine IV south of the Danube delta.

1173: Construction of the Tower of Pisa begins. It takes two centuries to complete.

1483: Opening of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

1655: Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell divides England into 11 districts.

1778: Captain James Cook reaches Cape Prince of Wales in the Bering Straits.

1803: Robert Fulton tests his steam paddle-boat on the River Seine, France. It sinks.

1810: Napoleon annexes Westphalia as part of the First French Empire.

1815: Napoleon sets sail for exile on St Helena on board British ship the Northumberland.

1842: The US-Canada border is defined by Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

1849: The Hungarian Republic is crushed by Austria and Russia.

1862: The opera “Beatrice et Benedict” by Hector Berlioz premieres in Baden-Baden.

1898: Rudolph Diesel of Germany obtains the patent for his internal combustion engine.

1902: Coronation of Edward VII.

1910: Alva Fisher patents the electric washing machine.

1915: British attack at Chanak Bair, Gallipoli.

1936: Jesse Owens is part of the American 4 x 100m relay team that wins gold in world record time (39.8) at the Berlin Olympics – his fourth gold medal of the Games.

1937: Ranger (US) easily beats Endeavour II (England) in race 4 to wrap up the 17th America’s Cup yachting series. It is the last tournament for 21 years.

1942: Dmitri Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony, dedicated to city of Leningrad is performed in the city during the siege by Nazi forces. Performed by starving musicians and broadcast to German forces by loudspeaker. On the same day, Mahatma Gandhi and 50 others are arrested in Bombay after the passing of a “quit India” motion and campaign by the All-India Congress.

1945: US forces drop an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

1958: Cliff Richard, signs a record deal with EMI records.

1960: Race riot in Jacksonville, Florida.

1962: Novelist Hermann Hesse dies aged 86.

1963: The first ever edition of music show ‘Ready Steady Go! was shown on ITV. Introduced by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan, the show features The Searchers, Brian Poole and The Tremeloes. Jet Harris, Pat Boone and Billy Fury.

1965: Singapore separates from the Federation of Malaysia.

1967: Dramatist Joe Orton is murdered aged 34 by his partner Kenneth Halliwell at their London flat. Halliwell commits suicide immediately after.

1968: At EMI Studios in Abbey Road, after the other Beatles had gone home at 2am, Paul McCartney records 25 takes of Mother Nature’s Son for the White Album. Take 24 is used with brass overdubs added later in the month.


1969: Actress Sharon Tate, pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, is found brutally murdered in her Los Angeles home, along with four other victims.

1971: New internment powers are introduced to enable authorities in Northern Ireland to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without trial.

1972: Widespread rioting breaks out in nationalist areas of Northern Ireland on the anniversary of the introduction of internment.

1973: Guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell quit Wings on the eve of the band leaving for Lagos to record the Band On The Run album.

1974: Vice President Gerald Ford is sworn in as the 38th US president following Richard Nixon’s resignation.

1979: Brighton becomes the first major resort in Britain to agree to set aside part of its seafront to nudists.

1980: Ten original Gerald Scarfe drawings for Pink Floyd’s album The Wall are stolen from the foyer of Earls Court where they were being exhibited.

1984: Daley Thompson of Great Britain wins the Olympic decathlon gold medal in Los Angeles.

1986: Queen perform to 120,000 fans at Knebworth Park, Stevenage. It is the original four-piece’s last live show.

1990: Former Manchester City manager Joe Mercer dies from Alzheimer’s disease aged 76.

1992: The last day of test cricket for David Gower. On the same day, Oscar De La Hoya of the US beats German Marco Rudolph on points to win the lightweight gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics.

Singles chart:

  1. Rhythm Is A Dancer – Snap!
  2. Barcelona – Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe
  3. Ain’t No Doubt – Jimmy Nail
  4. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
  5. Shake Your Head – Was (Not Was)
  6. This Used To Be My Playground – Madonna
  7. The Best Things In Life Are Free – Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson
  8. Just Another Day – Jon Secada
  9. Don’t You Want Me – Felix
  10. This Charming Man – The Smiths
1992: Nirvana – Nevermind

Album chart:

  1. Welcome To Wherever You Are – INXS
  2. We Can’t Dance – Genesis
  3. Stars – Simply Red
  4. The Greatest Hits 1966-1992 – Neil Diamond
  5. Dangerous – Michael Jackson
  6. Growing Up In Public – Jimmy Nail
  7. Back To Front – Lionel Richie
  8. Shepherd Moons – Enya
  9. The Definitive – Jim Reeves
  10. Nevermind – Nirvana

1994: During an Oasis gig at The Riverside in Newcastle upon Tyne, guitarist Noel Gallagher is hit in the face by a man who had jumped on the stage. Noel refused to carry on playing and after leaving the stage a mob of over 300 people attacked the band’s bus as they were leaving.

1995: Jerry Garcia, guitarist and singer with the Grateful Dead, dies aged 53 from a heart attack at a rehab clinic in San Francisco.

1996: Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of the turbojet engine, dies aged 89.

1999: Charles Kennedy wins the race to succeed Paddy Ashdown as leader of the Liberal Democrats. On the same day, Spice Girls manager Bob Herbert is killed in a car crash in Windsor. Also, Russian President Boris Yeltsin fires his Prime Minister, Sergei Stepashin, and for the fourth time, his entire cabinet.

2005: The Magic Numbers walk out of an appearance on Top of the Pops after presenter Richard Bacon introduces the band as a “big fat melting pot of talent.” They left the studio in protest at the “derogatory, unfunny remark”. On the same day, singer-songwriter Marc Cohn survives being shot in the head during an attempted car jacking as he leaves a concert in Denver.

2012: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the London Olympics in 19.32 to become the first man to win the 100/200m double in back-to-back Olympics.

2014: Michael Brown, an 18 year-old black man is shot dead by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. His death provokes nationwide protests and civil unrest.

2016: Swimmer Michael Phelps wins the men’s 200m butterfly at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics – his 20th gold medal.

2017: North Korea says it plans to fire rockets on Guam in continuing escalation of tension with the US.

2020: Widespread protests and international condemnation after a disputed presidential election in Belarus sees long time dictator Alexander Lukashenko officially win 80% of the votes but unofficially lose 60-70% to opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

2021: A herd of 14 elephants returning home from a 300-mile trek across China, forces authorities to evacuate 150,000 people out of their path.

2022: Children’s author and illustrator Raymond Briggs dies aged 88.

Anna Kendrick (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

BIRTHDAYS: Rod Laver, tennis champion, 85; Sam Elliott, actor, 79; Pete Thomas, drummer, (Elvis Costello & The Attractions) 69; Melanie Griffith, actress, 66; Michael Kors, fashion designer, 64; Eric Bana (Banadinović), actor, 55; Gillian Anderson, actress, 55; Kevin McKidd, actor/director, 50; Audrey Tatou, actress, 47; Jessica Capshaw, actress, 47; Ashley Johnson, actress, 40; Anna Kendrick, actress, 38; Willian (Borges da Silva) footballer, 35; Bill Skarsgård, actor, 33.