It happened today – this day in history – December 29

1170: Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, is assassinated in Canterbury Cathedral.

1778: British troops occupy Savannah, Georgia.

1809: Birth of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone in Liverpool.

1813: The British burn Buffalo, New York, during War of 1812.

1835: The Treaty of New Echota is signed between the US government and representatives of a minority Cherokee political faction to cede all lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.

1845: Texas is admitted as the 28th state of the Union.

1857: Franz Liszt’s symphonic poem “Die Hunnenschlacht” premieres in Weimar.

1860: HMS Warrior, Britain’s first iron-clad warship, is launched.

1862: Invention of the bowling ball.

1890: The US 7th Cavalry massacres more than 200 captive Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

1902: “The Entertainer” is one of several piano rag compositions copyrighted by Scott Joplin.

1903: French Equatorial Africa separates into Gabon, Chad and Ubangi-Shari.

1911 Sun Yat-sen is elected as the first President of the Republic of China. On the same day, Mongolia gains independence from the Qing dynasty.

1916: Grigori Rasputin, advisor to Tsar Nicholas II is assassinated aged 47 by conservative Russian aristocrats.

1937: The constitution of Ireland is enacted and the Irish free state is named Eire.

1940: Over 10,000 bombs including the first incendiary bombs are dropped on London.

1948:The US State Department announces work on placing objects into Earth orbit.

1960: Singles chart:

  1. I Love You – Cliff Richard
  2. It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley
  3. Strawberry Fair – Anthony Newley
  4. Little Donkey – Nina and Frederick
  5. Save The Last Dance For Me – The Drifdters
  6. Poetry In Motion – Johnny Tillotson
  7. Lonely Pup (In A Christmas Shop) – Adam Faith
  8. Rocking Goose – Johnny and the Hurricanes
  9. Man Of Mystery – The Shadows
  10. My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own – Connie Francis

1962: Graham Hill wins the South African Grand Prix at Prince George Circuit in a BRM to win the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

1963: The Beatles – With The Beatles

1963: Album chart:

  1. With The Beatles – The Beatles
  2. Please Please Me – The Beatles
  3. How Do You Like It – Gerry and the Pacemakers
  4. West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
  5. Born Free – Frank Ifield
  6. Freddie And The Dreamers – Freddie and the Dreamers
  7. On Tour With The George Mitchell Minstrels – George Mitchell Minstrels
  8. Greatest Hits – The Shadows
  9. More Chuck Berry – Chuck Berry
  10. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack

1966: Working at Abbey Road studios, Paul McCartney begins work on his new song Penny Lane, recording six takes of piano.


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1967: Guitarist and singer Dave Mason quits Traffic over differences with Steve Winwood.

1970: Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller wins the Ballon d’Or.

1972: President of Sinn Féin Ruairi O Bradaigh is arrested and held under new legislation in the Republic of Ireland.

1975: Radical new legislation introducing a woman’s right to equal pay and status comes into force in the UK.

1980: Singer-songwriter Tim Hardin dies of a heroin overdose.

1981: Bayern Munich forward Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wins the Ballon d’Or.

1986: Lord Stockton, former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, dies aged 92.

1989: Vaclav Havel is selected to be president of Czechoslovakia by the country’s Federal Assembly. On the same day, riots break-out after Hong Kong decides to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese refugees.

1993: Former ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ child actor Todd Bridges is arrested for transporting methamphetamine.

1995: After the ref dropped his yellow card Paul Gascoigne of Rangers jokingly ‘books’ the ref when returning the card to him. The ref books Gascoigne for real as a result.

1998: Six die as storms batter competitors in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

2000: Arctic conditions wreak havoc on British roads, rail and air services.

2003: Comedian and game show host Bob Monkhouse dies from cancer aged 74.

2007: Radio 1 DJ Kevin Greening dies aged 44 from a heart attack after taking large quantities of cocaine, ecstacy and GHB.

2008: Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard dies aged 69.

2012: Former England cricket captain, Tony Grieg, dies aged 66.

2013: Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher suffers a serious head injury in a ski accident in the French Alps.

2016: US President Barack Obama retaliates against Russia for hacking American computer systems and trying to influence the 2016 presidential election by ejecting 35 Russian spies and imposing sanctions.

2019: Musician/songwriter Neil Innes dies aged 75.

BIRTHDAYS: Bernard Cribbins, actor, 93; Jon Voight, actor, 83; Harvey Smith, showjumper, 83; Marianne Faithfull, singer-songwriter, 75; Ted Danson, actor, 74; Yvonne Elliman, singer, 70; Patricia Clarkson, actress, 62; Jim Reid, singer-songwriter, (The Jesus and Mary Chain) 60; Mark Day, guitarist, (The Happy Mondays) 60; Martin Offiah MBE, rugby league winger, 55; Jennifer Ehle, actress, 52; Aled Jones, singer/broadcaster, 51; Jude (David) Law, actor, 49; Mekhi Phifer, actor, 47; Danny McBride, actor/writer, 45; Kieron Dyer, footballer, 43; Alison Brie (Schermerhorn), actress, 39; Danny Wagner, drummer (Greta van Fleet) 23.