It happened today – this day in history – December 5

Mick Ferris

771: Charlemagne becomes the sole King of the Franks after the death of his brother Carloman.

1456: An earthquake strikes Naples, killing 35,000.

1492: Christopher Columbus discovers Hispaniola (Haiti).

1496: Jews are expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I.

1717: English pirate Blackbeard ransacks the merchant sloop “Margaret” and keeps her captain, Henry Bostock prisoner for eight hours. Bostock later provides the first description of Blackbeard’s appearance.

1791: Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dies aged 35.

1792: George Washington is re-elected as president of the USA.

1804: Thomas Jefferson is re-elected as president of the USA.

1830: Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonique Fantastique” premieres in Paris. On the same day, poet Christina Rossetti is born in London.

1832: Andrew Jackson is re-elected as president of the USA.

1837: Hector Berlioz’s “Requiem” premieres.

1848: President James K. Polk triggers the Gold Rush of 1849 by confirming the discovery of gold in California.

1870: French author Alexandre Dumas dies aged 68.

1872: The Mary Celeste is discovered mysteriously abandoned by her crew in the Atlantic Ocean.

1890: The entire version of Hector Berlioz’s epic opera “Les Troyens” premieres in Karlsruhe, 21 years after the composer’s death.

1901: Walt Disney is born in Chicago.

1914: The Italian parliament proclaims the country’s neutrality.

1917: Austro-German Forces launch an offensive against the Italians on the western end of their line, around Asiago.

1925: Hans Luther is forced to resign as Chancellor and head of the German Weimar government.

1926: French impressionist painter Claude Monet dies from lung cancer aged 86.

1932: Albert Einstein is granted a visa to enter America.

1933: Prohibition ends in the US when the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment.

1936: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan become constituent republics of the Soviet Union.

1941: A Soviet anti-offensive in Moscow drives out the Nazi army.

1945: Flight 19 the “Lost Squadron” of five torpedo bombers and 14 airmen is lost east of Florida in the Bermuda Triangle.

1947: Joe Louis beats Jersey Joe Walcott Walcott in 15 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.

1949: Ezzard Charles beats Jersey Joe Walcott Walcott for the heavyweight boxing title’

1950: Chinese forces fighting for their Korean comrades enter the North Korean capital of Pyongyang and push UN troops back. On the same day, Ezzard Charles KOs Nick Barone in Round 11 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1955: The Montgomery Improvement Association formed by Ralph Abernathy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Edgar Nixon to support the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama.


1957: New York becomes the first US city to legislate against racial or religious discrimination in housing market. On the same day, President Sukarno of Indonesia expels all Dutch people.

1958: Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) is inaugurated in the UK by the Queen when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh. On the same day, the Preston bypass, the UK’s first stretch of motorway, opens to traffic for the first time. It is now part of the M6 and M55.

Singles chart:

  1. Hoots Mon – Lord Rockingham’s XI
  2. It’s Only Make Believe – Conway Twitty
  3. It’s All In The Game – Tommy Edwards
  4. Tom Dooley – Lonnie Donegan
  5. A Certain Smile – Johnny Mathis
  6. Tea For Two Cha Cha – Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
  7. More Than Ever (Come Prima) – Malcolm Vaughan with The Mike Samms Singers
  8. Tom Dooley – The Kingston Trio
  9. High Class Baby – Cliff Richard and The Drifters
  10. Someday – Ricky Nelson

1960: Ghana drops diplomatic relations with Belgium.

1965: The Beatles played in their home town for the last time when they appeared at The Liverpool Empire.

1974: The final episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus airs on BBC TV.

1977: President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt breaks all relations with Arab hardliners Syria, Libya, Algeria and South Yemen.

1979: Ireland premier Jack Lynch resigns.

1985: TV on this day (Thursday)


06.15TV-am: Good Morning Britain
Presented by Frank Bough and Selina Scott

09.25Thames News Headlines

09.30For Schools

12.00The Giddy Game Show

12.10Puddle Lane

12.30The Sullivans

13.00News at One

13.20Thames News

13.30Falcon Crest

14.25Home Cookery Club


15.00Take the High Road

15.25Thames News Headlines

15.30Sons and Daughters

16.00The Giddy Game Show

16.10Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends

16.20Scooby Doo

16.45Murphy’s Mob

17.15Thames Sport

17.45News at 5.45

18.00Thames News



19.00Emmerdale Farm

19.30Give Us a Clue

20.00The Benny Hill Show

20.30Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer
Detective adventure starring Stacey Keach

21.30TV Eye

22.00News at Ten

22.30Cockney Darts Classic

23.15TV Movie: Nightmare (1973)


14.20Film: They Knew Mr Knight (1946)
British film drama starring Mervyn Johns

16.10Film: Spare Time (1939)
Documentary looks at how industry workers spend their time when they are not at work.


17.00Film: Barnacle Bill (1957)
Ealing comedy. Alec Guinness plays an unsuccessful Royal Navy officer and six of his maritime ancestors.

18.30Film: Night Mail (1936)
British documentary

19.00Channel Four News


20.00A Troubled Paradise

20.30On Angel’s Wings

21.30Film: Last Day of Summer (1984)
A young woman moves into a hippy commune.

22.30Waste Not? Want Not?


06.50Breakfast Time

09.20Write Now!

09.30Pages from Ceefax

10.30Play School

10.50Pages from Ceefax

12.30News After Noon

12.55Regional News

13.00Pebble Mill at One

13.45Hokey Cokey

14.00Pages from Ceefax

15.52Regional News



16.30Ulysses 31

16.55John Craven’s Newsround

17.05Blue Peter


18.00Six O’Clock News

18.35Regional news magazines

19.00Top of the Pops
Introduced by Mike Smith and Steve Wright and featuring Go West, Lionel Richie, Pet Shop Boys and Amazulu


20.00Tomorrow’s World

20.30A Question of Sport
Team captains Bill Beaumont and Emlyn Hughes with guests Ian Botham, Dennis Taylor, Ade Mafe and Paul Schockemohle. David Coleman asks the questions.

21.00Nine O’Clock News

21.25Just Good Friends
Sit com written by John Sullivan starring Paul Nicholas and Jan Francis.

22.00Question Time
Sir Robin Day’s panel this week includes The Rt Hon James Prior, Clare Short MP and John Redwood MP


23.35The Interview Game


09.36Daytime on Two

15.00Pages from Ceefax

17.25News Summary

17.30The Journey

18.00Star Trek
The Gamesters of Triskelion: Stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy

18.50Floyd on Fish

19.20Brazil, Brazil


21.00Alas Smith and Jones
Comedy series starring Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones

21.3040 Minutes

22.10Black Silk



1987: Fat Larry James, drummer, singer and leader of Fat Larry’s Band died of a heart attack aged 38.

1988: A Federal Grand Jury indicts televangelist Jim Bakker for fraud after he paid hush money to cover up an alleged rape.

1989: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher defeats Sir Anthony Meyer in the first challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party. On the same day, the French TGV train reaches a world record speed of 482.4kph.

1991: Administrators are called in to try to salvage the Maxwell business empire, which is at least £1bn in debt.

1993: Astronauts begin to repair the Hubble telescope in space. On the same day, guitarist and songwriter Doug Hopkins of the Gin Blossoms died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds age 32 a day after sneaking out of rehab in Phoenix, Arizona.

1995: Sri Lankan troops drive Tamil Tiger guerrillas out of their heartland capital of Jaffna. Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) reveal that in the weeks before his death, Robert Maxwell had removed £350m from its pension fund without authority.

2003: Coldplay singer Chris Martin marries actress Gwyneth Paltrow in California.

2005: The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect in the UK.

2006: Lyrics handwritten by Sir Paul McCartney to an early version of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer sold for $192,000 (£97,000) at an auction in New York. On the same day, Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows the government in Fiji. Also, Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy little black dress from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is auctioned for charity for a record £467,200 at Christie’s in London.

2007: A gunman opens fire with a semi-automatic rifle at an Omaha, Nebraska mall, killing eight people before taking his own life.

2008: Human remains previously found in 1991 are finally identified by Russian and American scientists as those of Tsar Nicholas II. On the same day, O J Simpson is sentenced to 33 years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery.

2010: Rihanna – Loud

2010: Album chart:

  1. Progress – Take That
  2. Olly Murs – Olly Murs
  3. Outta This World – JLS
  4. Loud – Rihanna
  5. The Gift – Susan Boyle
  6. Greatest Hits – Bon Jovi
  7. Love Live Life – N-Dubz
  8. Crazy Love – Michael Buble
  9. Endlessly – Duffy
  10. Moonlight Serenade – Andre Rieu

2012: Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck dies aged 91.

2013: Nelson Mandela dies aged 95.

2016: Malta becomes the first country in Europe to outlaw conversion therapy.

2017: Russia is banned from the next Winter Olympics in South Korea over state-sponsored doping.

2018: A letter by Albert Einstein from 1954 on the concept of religion sells for $2.9 million at Christie’s in New York.

2019: National strike in France as more than 800,000 people in 100 cities protest against proposed pension reform.

BIRTHDAYS: Jeroen Krabbé, actor, 76; José (Josep Maria) Carreras, tenor, 74; Kim Simmonds, guitarist (Savoy Brown), 73; Morgan Brittany (Suzanne Cupito) actress, 69; Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, English ski jumper, 57; Margaret Cho, comedian, 52; Sajid Javid, politician, 51; Ronnie O’Sullivan, snooker champion, 45; Paula Patton, actress, 45; Frankie Muniz, actor, 35; Anthony Martial, footballer, 25.


Mick Ferris

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