It happened today – this day in history – December 3

1586: Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England from Colombia.

1828: Andrew Jackson is elected President of the US.

1854: More than 20 goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences at the Eureka Stockade.

1881: Henry Morton Stanley founds Leopoldville (now Kinshasa).

1894: Death of author Robert Louis Stephenson aged 45.

1908: Edward Elgar’s 1st Symphony in A performed by the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter, premieres in Manchester.

1910: Neon lights are displayed for the first time at the Paris Auto Show.

1912: Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria sign a weapons pact and The Naval Battle of Elli takes place in the First Balkan War.

1919: Death of artist Pierre Renoir aged 78.

1920: Turkey and Armenia agree to a peace treaty.

1926: Detective novelist Agatha Christie mysteriously disappears for 11 days.

1931: Alka Seltzer goes on sale.

1943: The Battle of Monte Cassino begins in Italy.

1944: Civil war breaks out in a newly-liberated Greece, between communists and royalists.

1946: The US asks the United Naions to order General Franco out of Spain.

1947: Tennessee Williams’ “Streetcar Named Desire” premieres in New York.

1956: Britain and France pull troops out of Egypt.

1961: Brian Epstein invited The Beatles into his office to discuss the possibility of becoming their manager. John, George and drummer Pete Best turned up late for the 4pm appointment because they had been drinking in The Grapes pub in Matthew Street and Paul didn’t go at all because, as Harrison said, he had just got up and was having a bath.

1965: Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones was knocked unconscious by an electric shock on stage at the Memorial Hall In Sacramento, California, when his guitar made contact with his microphone. On the same day, The Beatles albun Rubber Soul was released and the band set out on what would be their last UK tour.

1966: Ray Charles was given a five year suspended prison sentence and a $10,000 fine after being convicted of possessing heroin and marijuana.

1967: The first human heart transplant is performed in South Africa by Dr Christiaan Barnard on Louis Washkansky.

1969: The Rolling Stones recorded Brown Sugar at Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

1976: A giant 40ft inflatable pig could be seen floating above London, England after breaking free from its moorings. The pig, nicknamed Algie, was being photographed for the cover of the forthcoming Pink Floyd album Animals. On the same day, seven gunmen burst into Bob Marley’s Kingston home, injuring Marley his wife Rita and manager Don Taylor.

1979: A concert by The Who at The Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, turned to disaster when 11 members of the audience were trampled to death after a stampede to claim unreserved seats.

1980: Death of fascist Oswald Mosley.

1984: Union Carbide pesticide plant leaks 45 tons of toxic compounds in Bhopal, India, killing thousands. On the same day, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ by Band Aid is released.

1986: Judas Priest were sued by two families alleging that the band were responsible for their sons forming a suicide pact and shooting themselves after listening to the band’s records. The parents and their legal team alleged that a subliminal message of ‘do it’ had been included in the song Better By You, Better Than Me from the Stained Class album and alleged the command in the song triggered the suicide attempt.

1989: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George Bush declare the Cold War over.

1992: The Greek oil tanker Aegean Sea, carrying 80,000 tonnes of crude oil, runs aground in a storm while approaching La Coruña, Spain, and spills much of its cargo.

1999: NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere.

2000: Composer Hoyt Curtin died of heart failure aged 78. He wrote many of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons theme songs, including The Flintstones, Top Cat, Jonny Quest and The Jetsons.

2001: Session guitarist Grady Martin died aged 72. He was a member of the legendary Nashville A-Team, playing guitar on hits ranging from Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, Marty Robbins’ ‘El Paso’ and Loretta Lynn’s ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’..

2003: Death of actor David Hemmings

2014: Death of Ian McLagan of The Small Faces and The Faces aged 69 from a stroke.

2015: Singer Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver died aged 48. He was found in cardiac arrest on his tour bus in Bloomington, Minnesota, just before he was scheduled to go on stage.

2018: Sir David Attenborough warns the collapse of civilisation and the natural world ois n the horizon at the UN climate summit in Poland. On the same day, Luca Modric wins the Ballon d’Or.

BIRTHDAYS: Valerie Perrine, actress, 76; Ralph McTell, singer/songwriter, 75; Ozzy (John) Osbourne, singer, 71; Mike Stock, songwriter, 68; Franz Klammer, ski legend, 66; Eamon Holmes, TV presenter, 60; Julianne Moore (Julie Ann Smith), actress, 59; Daryl Hannah, actress, 59; Katarina Witt, figure skater, 54; Brendan Fraser, actor, 51; Holly Marie Combs, actress, 46; Daniel Bedingfield, singer, 40; Anna Chlumsky, actress, 39; Jenna Dewan, actress, 39; Amanda Seyfried, actress, 34; Christian Benteke, footballer, 29.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]