It happened today – this day in history – December 1

800: Charlemagne judges accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican.

1420: Henry V of England enters Paris.

1640: Portugal regains independence after 60 years of Spanish rule.

1821: Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) proclaims independence from Spain.

1824: The US House of Representatives begins to decide the outcome of election deadlock between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.

1825: Death of Tsar Alexander I of Russia.

1878: A telephone is installed in the White House.

1887: Sherlock Holmes first appears in print in “A Study in Scarlet”.

1903: “The Great Train Robbery”, the first Western film, is released.

1913: The Ford Motor Company institutes the world’s first moving assembly line for the Model T Ford.

1915: The US requests that Germany withdraw its military and naval attaches from the embassy in Washington.

1916: Virtual civil war breaks out in Greece as royalists fight Eleftherios Venizelos’ Liberal Party.

1918: The Danish parliament passes an act to grant Iceland independence under the Danish crown.

1929: Bingo is invented by Edwin S Lowe.

1934: Leningrad mayor Sergey Kirov is assassinated and Stalin uses it as an excuse to begin his Great Purge. On the same day, following a clash of heads between Sim Raleigh of Gillingham and Paul Mooney of Brighton in a Third Division South fixture the Gillingham centre-forward collapses and later that day dies in hospital from a brain haemorrhage.

1941: Emperor Hirohito signs the declaration of war.

1942: The Government unveils the Beveridge Report with plans for a welfare state offering care to all from the cradle to the grave.

1943: Winston Churchill, President Franklin D Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin make their first joint declaration against the Axis Powers from the Tehran Conference.

1944: Premiere of Prokofjev’s 8th Piano sonata.

1947: Occultist Aleister Crowley dies aged 72.

1951: Benjamin Britten’s opera “Billy Budd” premieres in London.

1953: The first edition of Playboy magazine is published with Marilyn Monroe as the centrefold.

1955: Rosa Parks is arrested by police in Montgomery, Alabama, after refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person.

1956: Hungarian boxer László Papp wins his third straight Olympic gold medal at the Melbourne Olympics. On the same day, Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser wins the women’s 100m freestyle at the Melbourne Olympics.

1959: 12 nations sign a treaty for the scientific peaceful use of Antarctica. On the same day, Bill Shankley is announced as the new manager of Liverpool.

1960: Paul McCartney and Pete Best of The Beatles are arrested then deported from Germany after being accused of arson.


1965: The government puts forward a plan to improve the lot of both farmers and consumers by encouraging intensive farming.

1972: Two people are killed and 127 injured when two car bombs explode in the centre of Dublin.

1973: Israel’s flags fly at half-mast after former Israeli statesmen David Ben-Gurion dies.

1974: Singles chart:

  1. You’re The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White
  2. Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex
  3. Juke Box Jive – The Rubettes
  4. Oh Yes! You’re Beautiful – Gary Glitter
  5. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Bachman Turner Overdrive
  6. Tell Him – Hello
  7. (Hey There) Lonely Girl – Eddie Holman
  8. My Boy – Elvis Presley
  9. Killer Queen – Queen
  10. Ire Feelings (Skanga) – Rupie Edwards
1974: Queen – Sheer Heart Attack

Album chart:

  1. Greatest Hits – Elton John
  2. Rollin’ – The Bay City Rollers
  3. Sheer Heart Attack – Queen
  4. David Essex – David Essex
  5. Country Life – Roxy Music
  6. Can’t Get Enough – Barry White
  7. Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
  8. Band On The Run – Wings
  9. Showaddywaddy – Showaddywaddy
  10. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – Genesis

1976: The Sex Pistols’ reputation is sealed when they appear on ITV’s live early evening ‘Today’ show in place of Queen, who had pulled out. Taunted by interviewer Bill Grundy who asked the band to say something outrageous, guitarist Steve Jones did, using two swear words and the rest is history. On the same day, Angola is admitted to the UN.

1982: Dentist Barney Clark gets the first artificial heart.

1986: Guinness shares plunge by £300m after the government orders an inquiry into the company’s affairs. On the same day, soul singer Lee Dorsey dies aged 61.

1987: Digging begins on the Channel Tunnel.

1988: Benazir Bhutto becomes the first female Prime Minister of a Muslim country (Pakistan).

1989: Romanian Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Nadia Comăneci arrives in New York asking for political asylum in the US. On the same day, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

1990: The last wall of rock separating the two halves of the Channel Tunnel is removed.

1991: Ukraine votes for independence from the Soviet Union.

1994: American televangelist and convicted fraudster Jim Bakker is released from jail.

1997: Jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli dies aged 89.

1998: Exxon announces a $73.7billion deal to buy Mobil, creating Exxon-Mobil, the world’s largest company.

1999: Rapper Jay-Z stabs record executive Lance “Un” Rivera at a nightclub in New York.

2009: FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d’Or.

2013: Caravan drummer and percussionist Richard Coughlan dies age 66.

2016: Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is declared King of Thailand, succeeding his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej. On the same day, the UN admits its peacekeepers were responsible for the cholera epidemic in Haiti in 2010 that killed 30,000 people. Also, French President Francois Hollande announces he will not seek a second term – the first modern French leader not to do so.

2017: President Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, pleads guilty to lying to the FBI.

2018: Tyson Fury survives two knockdowns to force a split decision draw with defending WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in LA. On the same day, violent demonstrations break out in Paris by gilet jaune protesters. Also, Nick Jonas and Proyanka Chopra marry at Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur, India.

2019: The earliest traceable patient, a 55-year-old man, develops symptoms of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. On the same day, Lewis Hamilton wins the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to claim his sixth Formula 1 World Drivers Championship. Mercedes win their sixth sstraight constructors title.

2020: Actor Elliot Page, formerly known as Ellen, reveals he is transgender.

BIRTHDAYS: Woody Allen (Allen Konisberg), writer/director/actor, 87; Sandy Nelson, drummer, 84; Lee Trevino, golfer, 83; Bette Midler, singer/actress, 78; Eric Bloom, guitarist/singer (Blue Oyster Cult) 78; John Densmore, drummer (The Doors) 78; Gilbert (Raymond) O’Sullivan, singer-songwriter, 76; Neil Warnock, football manager, 74; Julee Cruise, singer-songwriter, 66; Charlene Tilton, actress, 64; Sarah Silverman, comedian/actress, 52; Brad Delson, guitarist, (Linkin Park) 45; Riz (Rizwan) Ahmed, actor/rapper, 40; Janelle Monáe, singer-songwriter/actress, 37; Zoe Kravitz, actress/model, 34.