It happened today – this day in history – December 2

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

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

1805: Napoleon defeats the Russians and Austrians at the Battle of Austerlitz.

1812: James Maddison is re-elected President of the US.

1814: The death of the Marquis de Sade aged 74.

1840: William Henry Harrison is elected President of the US.

1845: President James Polk announces to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.

1859: Abolitionist John Brown is hanged for murder, treason and conspiring slaves to revolt at Charles Town, Virginia.

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 with the Vienna Philharmonic.

1914: The Austrian army occupies Belgrade, Serbia.

1941: Admiral Yamamoto sends his Japanese fleet to Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.

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.

1954: The US Senate censures Joeseph McCarthy (Sen-R-Wisc) for “conduct that tends to bring Senate into dishonor & disrepute”.

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

1964: Ringo Starr’s tonsils are removed in London while The Beatles undertake a tour of Australia with stand in drummer Jimmy Nichol.

1968: President Richard Nixon names Henry Kissinger as his security advisor.

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

1982: Comedian Marty Feldman dies aged 49.

1990: The first parliamentary election is held in the newly reunified Germany. On the same day, composer Aaron Copelamd dies aged 90.

1993: Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot and killed by police.

1994: The cruise liner Achille Lauro sinks off the coast of Somalia.

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

2002: Liam Gallagher was arrested and charged with assault after he Kung-Fu kicked a police officer at the Bayerischer hotel in Munich. The singer lost his two front teeth in the brawl.

2008: Cristiano Ronaldo wins the Ballon d’Or.

2014: Death of saxophonist Bobby Keys. On the same day, Prof Stephen Hawking warns that Artificial Intelligence could be a “threat to mankind” and spell the end of the human race.

BIRTHDAYS: Rick Savage, musician, (Def Leppard) 59; Nate Mendel, bassist (Foo Fighters) 51; Lucy Liu, actress/director, 51; David Batty, former footballer, 51; Monica Seles, former tennis pro, 46; Nelly Furtado, singer/songwriter, 41′ Chris Wolstenholme, bassist (Muse) 41; Britney Spears, singer, 38; Tal Wilkenfeld, musician, 33.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]

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