It happened today – this day in history – December 14

557: Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, is significantly damaged by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake.

1476: Vlad II Dracula dies in battle aged 45.

1542: Princess Mary Stuart succeeds her father James V and becomes Queen Mary I of Scotland at 6 days old.

1702: The 47 Ronin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master.

1774: In the first incident of American Revolution 400 attack Fort William and Mary, New Hampshire.

1799: George Washington, first president of the US, dies aged 66.

1812: The French invasion of Russia led by Napoleon officially ends with the French having lost as many as 530,000 troops.

1861: Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria dies.

1882: Henry Morton Stanley returns to Brussels from the Congo.

1895: Birth of George VI.

1911: Roald Amundsen’s expedition becomes the first to reach the South Pole.

1915: Jack Johnson becomes the first black world heavyweight boxing champion.

1918: David Lloyd George’s coalition Government wins a clear majority in the general election.

1920: Jack Dempsey knocks out Bill Brennan to become world heavyweight boxing champion.

1927: Iraq gains independence from Britain.

1955: The Labour party elects Hugh Gaitskell as its new leader following the resignation of Clement Attlee.

1962: Bill Wyman made his live debut with the Rolling Stones at the Tiki Tick Club in The Star and Garter Hotel, Windsor.

1971: The Pakistan Army executes an estimated 1,111 of East Pakistan’s intellectuals during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

1972: Eugene Cernan & Harrison Schmitt leave the Moon.

1980: At 2pm EST the world joins in 10 minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon.

1981: Israel annexes the Golan Heights.

2006: Co-founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun died aged 85 after suffering a fall backstage at a Rolling Stones concert tw months previously.

BIRTHDAYS: Jane Birkin, actress, 73; Cliff Willians, bassist (AC/DC) 70; Vicki Michelle, actress, 69; Mike Scott, singer/songwriter (The Waterboys) 61; Peter ‘Spider’ Stacy, musician, (The Pogues) 61; Beth Orton, singer/songwriter, 49; Toby Anstis, broadcaster, 49; Natascha McElhone, actress, 48; Miranda Hart, comedian/actress, 47; Michael Owen, former footballer, 40; Awkwafina (Nora Lum) actress/rapper, 31; Vanessa Hudgens, actress, 31.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]