It happened today – this day in history – December 2

Mick Ferris

1547: Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, who defeated the Aztec Empire and colonized large parts of Mexico, dies of pleurisy.

1697: St Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the previous building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, is consecrated.

1755: The second Eddystone Lighthouse off the south coast is destroyed by fire.

1790: The Austrian army occupies Brussels.

1802: Britain sells Suriname to The Netherlands.

1804: Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned Emperor of France in Paris.

1805: Napoleon defeats the Russians and Austrians at Austerlitz.

1812: James Madison is re-elected resident of the US.

1814: French philosopher and writer, The Marquis de Sade, dies aged 74.

1840: Gaetano Donizetti’s opera “La Favorita” premieres in Paris. On the same day, William Henry Harrison is elected president of the US.

1848: Franz Joseph I becomes Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia.

1859: Abolitionist John Brown is hanged for murder, treason, and conspiring slaves to revolt at Charles Town, Virginia. On the same day, French post-impressionist Georges Seurat is born in Paris.

1868: The government of Benjamin Disraeli resigns.

1877: Camille Saint-Saëns’ opera “Samson et Dalila” premieres in Weimar.

1883: Johannes Brahms’ 3rd Symphony in F premieres.

1900: Exiled President of the Transvaal, Paul Kruger, arrives in Germany. The Kaiser refuses to meet him.

1901: King Gillette begins selling safety razor blades.

1907: World heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Burns retains his title with a tenth round KO of Gunner Moir in Covent Garden, London. On the same day, the Association of Football Players’ and Trainers’ Union, now known as the PFA is formed.

1914: The Austrian army occupies Belgrade, Serbia.

1926: Film director Alfred Hitchcock marries Alma Reville in London.

1939: British Imperial Airways & British Airways merge to form BOAC.

1941: Mobster Louis Buchalter is sentenced to death along with his lieutenants Emanuel Weiss and Louis Capone.

1942: The world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction occurs in the world’s first nuclear reactor at the University of Chicago, overseen by Enrico Fermi.

1948: Southampton full-back Alf Ramsey makes his England debut against Switzerland at Highbury.

1954: The US pledges to defend nationalist China with the signing of a pact of mutual security. On the same day, US Senator Joseph McCarthy, famous for his crusade against communism, is censured for conduct unbecoming of a senator.

1958: The Benelux treaty is signed by Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

1959: The Malpasset Dam collapses, destroying the French town of Frejus.

1961: Fidel Castro declares he’s a Marxist and will lead Cuba to communism.


1969: Cindy Birdsong, who had replaced Florence Ballard in The Supremes, is kidnapped at knifepoint by a maintenance man working in the building she lives in. She later escapes unharmed by jumping out of his car on the San Diego freeway.

1971: Soviet space probe Mars 3 is the first craft to soft land on Mars. On the same day, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujeira, Sharjah & Umm ak Qiwain form the United Arab Emirates.

1977: A demonstration erupts outside a South African court as a magistrate rules no police are to blame for the death of the leader of the black consciousness movement, Steve Biko.

1979: Crowds attack the US embassy in Tripoli, Libya.

1982: Comedian and writer Marty Feldman dies of a heart attack aged 49.

1984: Singles Chart:

  1. The Power Of Love – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  2. I Should Have Known Better – Jim Diamond
  3. The Riddle – Nik Kershaw
  4. Sex Crime (1984) – Eurythmics
  5. Teardrops – Shakin’ Stevens
  6. I Feel For You – Chaka Khan
  7. I Won’t Run Away – Alvin Stardust
  8. Like A Virgin – Madonna
  9. We All Stand Together – Paul McCartney & The Frog Chorus
  10. Never Ending Story – Limahl
1984: Alison Moyet – Alf

Album chart:

  1. The Hits Album – Various Artists
  2. Now That’s What I Call Music 4 – Various Artists
  3. Make It Big – Wham!
  4. The Collection – Ultravox
  5. Alf – Alison Moyet
  6. Welcome To The Pleasuredome – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  7. Diamond Life – Sade
  8. Greatest Hit – Shakin’ Stevens
  9. Arena – Duran Duran
  10. Give My Regards To Broad Street – Paul McCartney

1985: Death of poet Philip Larkin aged 63.

1988: Thousands of people are feared dead after a devastating cyclone in Bangladesh.

1990: Composer Aaron Copeland dies aged 90 from respiratory failure and Alzheimer’s disease.

On TV (Sunday)


04.10The Hit Man and Her

05.10ITN Morning News


08.05Frost on Sunday

09.25The Disney Club


11.00Advent Meditation

12.00The Human Factor

12.30LWT News Weekend

13.00ITN News

Brian Walden interviews deputy leader of the Labour party, Roy Hattersley

14.00The Tunnel
The story of the planning and building of the Channel tunnel

14.55The Match

17.05Sunday Sunday

18.00The River Thames

18.30ITN News

18.35LWT News and weather


19.15Coronation Street: The First Episode
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the soap

19.50It’ll Be Alright on the Night

20.50ITN News

21.05LWT Weather

21.10Come Home Charlie and Face Them

22.25Spitting Image

22.50The South Bank Show

23.55Comics, The Ninth Art


06.00Early Morning


10.00A Week in Politics – Second Reading


11.00Owl TV

11.30Grim Tales

11.45The Astrology Show

12.00The Waltons

13.00Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

14.00Four-Mations UK

14.45Film: A Clean Sweep (1958)
Vera Watson struggles to keep her family of gamblers and spendthrifts on the straight and narrow. Comedy short starring Thora Hird.

15.20Four-Mations UK

16.15The Nat King Cole Show

16.45Answering Back

17.30News Summary and Weather

17.35Road to Avonlea

18.30The Cosby Show


20.00American Football
Buffalo Bills v Philadelphia Eagles

21.30Four-Mations UK: State of the Art

22.00Film: The National Health (1973)
In the shabby ward of a large Victorian hospital in London due for demolition, nurses Sweet, Powell and McFee, with their conniving orderly Barnet, try to cope with both the conditions and six patients with ailments and varying seriousness. Black comedy starring Eleanor Bron and Lynn Redgrave.

23.50Four-Mations UK


08.45Through the Garden Gate

09.15Celtic Quest

10.00A Vous la France!

10.25Espana Viva

10.50You and 92

11.25A Way with Numbers

11.50Help Your Child with Reading

12.05See Hear!

12.30Country File


13.05On the Record


UK Championships final.

16.50The Clothes Show
With Selina Scott, Jeff Banks, Caryn Franklin and Sheryl Simms.

17.15Schofield’s Europe

17.45The Chronicles of Narnia

18.15Sum Chance
Carol Vorderman investigates why there are 60 minutes in an hour.

18.25News and Wather

18.40Songs of Praise

19.15You Rang, M’Lord?
Comedy series by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Starring Paul Shane Jeffrey Holland and Su Pollard.


21.00House of Cards
Michael Dobbs’s satirical view of British party politics in the not-too-distant future, by award-winning dramatist Andrew Davies. Starring Ian Richardson.

22.00News and Weather




07.30King Rollo


07.55Is That a Fact?


08.30Movable Feasts

08.45Litt’l Bits


09.30Dungeons and Dragons

09.55Blue Peter Omnibus

10.40Maid Marian and Her Merry Men


11.50The O Zone

12.00Out of Westminster


13.00Film: Captains Courageous (1937)
Starring Spencer Tracy. A millionaire’s son is stranded on a humble fishing schooner.

14.50Animation Now

15.00Film: Local Hero (1983)
Starring Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert. An American oil company fixer is sent to Scotland to buy up an entire village to build a refinery.

16.45Animation Now

17.00Rugby Special

18.00The Money Programme

18.40The German Elections
David Dimbleby in Bonn and Peter Snow in Berlin report on the results of today’s German elections, the first since unification.

19.15The Trials of Life
A natural history of behaviour by David Attenborough.

20.05Not Only… But Also
Surviving sketches from the original mid 1960s series starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.


21.35Film: Club Paradise (1986)
First showing on network television. Starring Robin Williams, Peter O’Toole.

23.10The German Elections

1991: Muslim Shi’ites release American hostage Joseph Cicippio, held in Lebanon.

1993: Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is killed by police aged 44 in a shoot-out.

1995: Rogue trader Nick Leeson is sentenced to six years in prison for financial dealings which contributed to the fall of Britain’s oldest merchant bank, Barings.

1997: For only the second time in English Football League history, five players are sent off in a single game – four Bristol Rovers players and one from Wigan.

1999: The Government devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.

2003: The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins is held for two hours at JFK Airport, New York after police mistake him for a wanted man with the same name and looks.

2004: Ballerina Alicia Markova dies aged 94.

2006: Dave Mount, drummer with 70s band Mud dies in London aged 59.

2008: Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo wins his first Ballon d’Or.

2013: Reggae singer Junior Murvin, best known for the 1976 hit song Police and Thieves, dies in Jamaica aged 67.

2014: Hong Kong pro-democracy activists clash with police as they try to surround the government’s headquarters in some of the worst violence since the protests began. On the same day, saxophone player Bobby Keys, best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, dies of cirrhosis of the liver at his home in Tennessee. Also, comedian Bill Cosby resigns from the board of trustees of an American university following renewed sexual assault allegations.

2017: Egyptian lawyer Nabih al-Wahsh is sentenced to three years in prison for saying women wearing ripped jeans should be raped.

2018: Israeli police recommend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife be charged with fraud and bribery. On the same day, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari denies he has died and been replaced by a Sudanese impostor.

2019: Lionel Messi wins a record sixth Ballon d’Or.

2020: US Attorney General William Barr says there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, despite claims by Donald Trump. On the same day, former president of France, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, dies aged 94 from COVID-19.

2021: Amrican tennis legend Darlene Hard dies aged 85.

Lucy Liu (Photo: Georges Biard)

BIRTHDAYS: Connie Booth, writer/actress, 83; Tom McGuinness, guitar, (Manfred Mann/McGuinness Flint/The Manfreds), 82; Mike England MBE, footballer, 82; Rick Savage, bassist (Def Leppard) 63; Nate Mendel, bassist (Foo Fighters) 55; Lucy Liu, actress/director, 55; David Batty, footballer, 55; Monica Seles, tennis star, 50; Nelly Furtado, singer-songwriter, 45; Chris Wolstenholme, bassist, (Muse) 45; Britney Spears, singer, 42; Tal Wilkenfeld, bassist/singer-songwriter/guitarist, 37; Charlie Puth, singer-songwriter, 32.

Mick Ferris

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