It happened today – this day in history – December 7

43BC: Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman orator and politician is assassinated in Formiae.

1598: Artist and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini is born in Naples.

1703: A huge storm hits southern England, killing thousands. The Eddystone lighthouse is destroyed and the Royal Navy loses 13 ships and around 1,500 seamen.

1732: The Royal Opera House opens in Covent Garden, London.

1761: Marie Tussaud, founder of Madame Tussaud’s wax museum is born in Strasbourg.

1783: The Theatre Royal opens in Covent Garden, London.

1787: Delaware is the first state to ratify the US constitution.

1808: James Madison is elected president of the USA.

1836: Martin van Buren is elected president of the USA.

1863: Composer Pietro Mascagni is born in Livorno, Italy.

1889: Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Gondoliers” premieres in London.

1902: Britain and Germany issue an ultimatum to Venezuela demanding that President Cipriano Castro pay claims for damages caused during his takeover of the government in 1899.

1907: Eugene Corri becomes the first referee in a boxing ring.

1909: Inventor Leo Baekeland patents the first thermo-setting plastic, Bakelite, sparking the birth of the plastics industry.

1916: David Lloyd George replaces resigning Herbert Asquith as prime minister of Great Britain.

1917: The US becomes the 13th country to declare war on Austria during the First World War.

1924: Social Democrats defeat the Nazis and Communists in the German election.

1925: Noel Coward’s “Easy Virtue” premieres in New York.

1934: Aviator Wiley Post discovers the jet stream.

1941: Japan launches a surprise attack on the US base in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, and declares it is at war with Britain and the United States.

1949: Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek flees to Taiwan.

1955: Clement Attlee resigns as leader of the Labour Party.

1960: The Ivory Coast claims independence from France.

1967: Otis Redding records (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay. The whistling, heard before the song’s fade was the singer fooling around. He had intended to return to the studio at a later date to add words in place of the whistling but died in a plane crash three days later. On the same day, The Beatles’ Apple boutique, opens its doors in Baker Street, London.

1972: Apollo 17, the final manned lunar landing mission, is launched. On the same day, Imelda Marcos, First Lady of The Philippines, is stabbed and wounded by an assailant.

1975: Archbishop Makarios returns to Cyprus. On the same day, the Indonesian army occupies East Timor. On the same day, playwright Thornton Wilder dies aged 78.


Singles chart:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  2. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate
  3. The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine – Laurel & Hardy
  4. Money Honey – The Bay City Rollers
  5. Na Na Is The Saddest Word – The Stylistics
  6. All Around My Hat – Steeleye Span
  7. This Old Heart Of Mine – Rod Stewart
  8. Show Me You’re A Woman – Mud
  9. Let’s Twist Again – Chubby Checker
  10. Imagine – John Lennon
1975: John Lennon – Shaved Fish

Album chart:

  1. 40 Greatest Hits – Perry Como
  2. A Night At The Opera – Queen
  3. 40 Golden Greats – Jim Reeves
  4. Make The Party Last – James Last
  5. Wouldn’t You Like It – The Bay City Rollers
  6. Favourites – Peters and Lee
  7. Get Right Intae Him – Billy Connolly
  8. 20 Songs Of Joy – Nigel Brooks Singers
  9. Shaved Fish – John Lennon
  10. Atlantic Crossing – Rod Stewart

1976: The UN Security Council endorses Kurt Waldheim for a second five-year term as Secretary General.

1977: Inventor of the long player record, Dr Peter Carl Goldmark is killed in a car crash aged 71.

1979: Lord Soames is named transitional governor of Rhodesia to oversee its independence.

1980: Darby Cash, frontman of punk rockers The Germs dies of an overdose aged 22.

1981: Spain becomes a member of the NATO.

1982: In Texas, Charles Brooks, Jr. becomes the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the US.

1983: Two jets collided at Madrid Airport killing 93.

1985: Writer Robert Graves dies aged 90.

1986: President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier flees Haiti.

1988: A PLO delegation led by Yasser Arafat, proclaims the State of Palestine, recognising the existence of the State of Israel for the first time. On the same day, an earthquake in Armenia kills 25,000-50,000 people and leaves up to 500,000 homeless.

1993: Violence breaks out as protesters lose a 20-year fight to save a 250-year-old chestnut tree in Wanstead from being knocked down due to construction of a link to the M11 motorway. On the same day, train passenger Colin Ferguson murders six people and injures 19 others on the Long Island Rail Road in Nassau County, New York.

1995: US space probe Galileo begins orbiting Jupiter. On the same day, Irish poet Seamus Heaney receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1997: Leeds United and Scotland football legend Billy Bremner dies at 54 from a suspected heart attack.

2001: The Taleban gives up its last Afghan stronghold of Kandahar after weeks of bombardment by US warplanes.

2005: Rigoberto Alpizar, an American Airlines passenger, who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, is shot and killed by a team of US federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.

2006: A tornado strikes Kensal Green, in north west London, seriously damaging around 150 properties.

2014: The Archbishop of Canterbury claims that he is more shocked by the plight of Britain’s hunger-stricken poor than suffering in African refugee camps.

2016: Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, dies aged 69 after a battle with cancer.

2017: Former US gymnastics physician Larry Nasser is sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges. On the same day, Cristiano Ronaldo wins the Ballon d’Or for the fifth time.

2018: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is elected the new leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party, replacing Angela Merkel.

2019: Football manager Ron Saunders dies aged 87.

BIRTHDAYS: Noam Chomsky, author/activist, 93; Ellen Burstyn, actress, 89; Stan Boardman, comedian, 84; Tom Waits, singer-songwriter, 72; Mike Nolan, singer (Bucks Fizz), 67; Claudia Brücken, singer (propaganda) 58; Jeffrey Wright, actor, 56; C. (Christopher) Thomas Howell, actor, 55; Damien Rice, singer-songwriter, 48; Nicole Appleton, singer (All Saints) 47; Dominic Howard, drummer (Muse) 44; Luke Donald, golfer, 44; Sara Bareilles, singer-songwriter, 42; John Terry, football coach, 41; Robert Kubica, racing driver, 37; Jonathan “JB” Benjamin Gill, singer, (JLS) 35; Winston Marshall, banjoist (Mumford & Sons), 33; Emily Browning, actress, 33; Nicholas Hoult, actor, 32; Chris Wood, footballer, 30.