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: American forces drop an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
1957: Singles chart:
- All Shook Up – Elvis Presley
- Gamblin’ Man – Lonnie Donegan
- Little Darlin’ – The Diamonds
- We Will Make Love – Russ Hamilton
- Love Letters In The Sand – Pat Boone
- (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear – Elvis Presley
- Island In The Sun – Harry Belafonte
- Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers
- Around The World – Ronnie Hilton
- Lucille – Little Richard
1958: 17 year-old 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 edition of ‘Ready Steady Go! was shown on TV. Introduced by Keith Fordyce and 19 year-old Cathy McGowan, the first show featured The Searchers, Jet Harris, Pat Boone, Billy Fury and Brian Poole and The Tremeloes.
1964: Album chart:
- A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
- Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones
- Wonderful Life – Cliff Richard
- West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
- 16 Great Songs – The Bachelors
- With The Beatles – The Beatles
- Kissin’ Cousins – Elvis Presley
- Dance With The Shadows – The Shadows
- It’s The Searchers – The Searchers
- Buddy Holly Showcase – Buddy Holly
1965: Singapore separates from the Federation of Malaysia.
1967: Dramatist Joe Orton is murdered aged 34 by his partner Kenneth Halliwell at their London home. Halliwell commits suicide immediately after.
1968: The three day National Jazz & Blues Festival began at Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury On Thames featuring Deep Purple, Ten Years After, Tyrannosaurus Rex, The Nice, Traffic, Jerry Lee Lewis and Arthur Brown. On the same day, working on the White Album, after the other Beatles had gone home (2am), Paul McCartney stayed behind at EMI Studios in Abbey Road and recorded 25 takes of the basic track for the song ‘Mother Nature’s Son’.
1969: Actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, is found brutally murdered in her Los Angeles home along with four other victims.
1971: New internment powers to enable authorities in Northern Ireland to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without trial are introduced.
1972: Widespread rioting 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: Gerald Ford takes over as president of the US as Richard Nixon leaves office.
1975: Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich dies from lng cancer aged 68.
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 were stolen from the foyer of Earls Court where they were being exhibited.
1984: Daley Thompson of Great Britain scores 8,797 points to win the Olympic decathlon in Los Angeles.
1986: Queen ended their Magic European tour at Knebworth Park, Stevenage, with over 120,000 fans witnessing what would be the band’s last ever live performance with Freddie Mercury.
1990: Former Manchester City manager Joe Mercer dies from Alzheimer’s disease at 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.
1993: A five-year-old girl who was severely injured in the fighting in Bosnia is flown to Britain for treatment.
1994: During an Oasis gig at The Riverside in Newcastle upon Tyne, guitarist Noel Gallagher was 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 of The Grateful Dead dies of a heart attack at 53.
1996: Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of the turbojet engine, dies aged 89.
1999: Charles Kennedy succeeds Paddy Ashdown as leader of the Liberal Democrats. On the same day, Spice Girls manager Bob Herbert was killed in a car crash in Windsor and Russian President Boris Yeltsin fires his Prime Minister, Sergei Stepashin, and for the fourth time, his entire cabinet.
2005: The Magic Numbers walked out of an appearance on Top of the Pops when presenter Richard Bacon introduced them as having been put in a “fat melting pot of talent.” On the same day, singer/songwriter Marc Cohn survived being shot in the head during an attempted car jacking as he left a concert in Denver, Colorado.
2007: Amy Winehouse cancelled a series of European shows after being admitted to hospital suffering from “severe exhaustion”. On the same day, Baltimore’s mayor Sheila Dixon proclaimed today as the city’s official Frank Zappa Day.
2012: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the London Olympics in 19.32 to become the first to win 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.
BIRTHDAYS: Rod Laver, tennis legend, 82; Sam Elliott, actor, 76; Vic Prince, drummer (The Pretty Things) 76; Marinus Gerritsen, bassist, (Golden Earring) 74; Pete Thomas, drummer, (Elvis Costello & The Attractions) 66; Melanie Griffith, actress, 63; Michael Kors, fashion designer, 61; Gillian Anderson, actress, 52; Eric Bana, actor, 52; Kevin McKidd, actor/director, 47; Jessica Capshaw, actress, 44; Audrey Tautou, actress, 44; Anna Kendrick, actress, 35.