It happened today – this day in history – February 1

1327: Teenager Edward III is crowned king of England but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer.

1587: Elizabeth I signs the death warrant of her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots.

1789: Chinese troops are driven out of the Vietnamese capital Thang Long.

1793: France declares war on Britain and The Netherlands.

1814: Lord Byron’s ‘Corsair’ sells 10,000 copies on its day of publication.

1851: Novelist Mary Shelley dies of a brain tumour aged 53.

1861: Texas secedes from the Union, precipitating the American Civil War.

1864: Prussian and Austrian forces cross into Schleswig challenging Danish control at the beginning of the Second Schleswig War.

1884: The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.

1893: Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Manon Lescaut” premieres in Turin.

1896: Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Boheme premieres in Turin.

1902: Chinese empress Tzu-hsi forbids the binding of women’s feet.

1908: King Carlos I of Portugal and his heir Prince Luis Filipe are assassinated by republican sympathisers in Lisbon.

1910: The first British labour exchange opens.

1924: Ramsey MacDonald’s incoming Labour government officially recognises the Soviet Union.

1932: Australian batsman Don Bradman scores 299 not out in the 4th Test against South Africa.

1933: The German parliament is dissolved by President Paul von Hindenburg at the request of new chancellor Adolf Hitler.

1942: The Second Norwegian government of Vidkun Quisling forms.

1943: Nazi occupiers make Vidkun Quisling puppet premier of Norway.

1945: The US Army arrives at the German defensive wall, the Siegfried Line.

1946: Trygve Lie becomes the first Secretary General of the UN.

1948: Nine Malay sultanates and two British straits settlements (Penang and Malacca) form the Federation of Malaya.

1949: RCA releases the first 45rpm single.

1951: The UN condemns the People’s Republic of China as the aggressor in Korea.

1952: A new method for tracking down users of unlicensed television sets is unveiled in the UK – TV detector vans.

1953: The entire population of Canvey Island is evacuated as violent storms wreak havoc up and down the East coast of Britain claiming hundreds of lives.

1958: The first US satellite, Explorer I, is launched.


1965: James Brown records Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag at the Arthur Smith Studios in North Carolina. On the same day, Martin Luther King and 700 demonstrators are arrested in Selma, Alabama.

1966: Death of silent film star Buster Keaton aged 70.

1968: Richard Nixon announces his candidacy for US president. On the same day, Saigon police chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executes Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém with a pistol shot to head. The execution is captured by photographer Eddie Adams and becomes an anti-war icon.

1972: Prime Minister Edward Heath announces the appointment of Lord Chief Justice Lord Widgery to undertake an inquiry into the 13 deaths on ‘Bloody Sunday’ two days earlier.

1978: Director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.

1979: Religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini makes a triumphant return to Iran after 14 years in exile. On the same day, Trevor Francis becomes the first £1million transfer with his move from Birmingham City to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.

1988: Child actor Heather O’Rourke (Poltergeist) dies aged 12 after emergency surgery for intestinal stenosis.

1989: Diana, Princess of Wales visits New York.

1991: South African President F W de Klerk says he will repeal all apartheid laws.

1994: Jeff Gillooly pleads guilty for his part in attack on American Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan; plea bargain, confesses to racketeering in exchange for testimony implicating ex-wife Tonya Harding.

1995: Richey Edwards, guitarist and lyricist with the Manic Street Preachers vanishes leaving no clues to his whereabouts. His car was found on the Severn Bridge but a body has never been found.

1998: Singles chart:

  1. Doctor Jones – Aqua
  2. You Make Me Wanna – Usher
  3. Gettin’ Jiggy With It – Will Smith
  4. Never Ever – All Saints
  5. High – The Lighthouse Family
  6. Angels – Robbie Williams
  7. Crazy Little Party Girl – Aaron Carter
  8. Mulder And Scully – Catatonia
  9. Together Again – Janet Jackson
  10. Bamboogie – Bamboo
1998: The Verve – Urban Hymns

Album chart:

  1. Urban Hymns – The Verve
  2. Life Thru A Lens – Robbie Williams
  3. All Saints – All Saints
  4. Postcards From Heaven – The Lighthouse Family
  5. Titanic – Original Soundtrack
  6. Decksanddrumsandrockandroll – Propellerheads
  7. OK Computer – Radiohead
  8. Truly: The Love Songs – Lionel Richie
  9. Let’ Talk About Love – Celine Dion
  10. White On Blonde – Texas

2003: The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board.

2004: The New England Patriots beat Carolina Panthers, 32-29 to win the Super Bowl. During the half time entertainment, Janet Jackson’s breast is exposed in a supposed wardrobe malfunction while performing a duet with Justin Timberlake.

2005: Arsenal’s English Premier League record 33-game unbeaten streak at home ends when the Gunners go down, 4-2 to Manchester United at Highbury.

2008: NASA announces that Across The Universe by The Beatles will be the first song beamed directly into space.

2009: Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is elected as the first female Prime Minister of Iceland. On the same day the Pittsburgh Steelers beat Arizona Cardinals, 27-23 to win the Super Bowl in Tampa.

2013: John Kerry succeeds Hilary Clinton as US Secretary of State.

2015: The New England Patriots beat Seattle Seahawks, 28-24 to win the Super Bowl.

2016: Myanmar’s first freely elected parliament in 50 years has its opening session in Nay Pyi Taw.

2017: British MPs vote in favour of the European Union Bill, allowing the government to begin Brexit.

2018: Dennis Edwards of The Temptations dies following a stroke aged 74.

2020: Andy Gill, founding member and guitarist of post-punk band Gang Of Four, dies aged 64.

2021: The military stages a coup in Myanmar, detaining civilian leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi.

Harry Styles

BIRTHDAYS: Garrett Morris, comedian, 87; Mike Campbell, guitarist (The Heartbreakers) 74; Sherilyn Fenn, actress, 59; Princess Stephanie of Monaco, 59; Rob Lee, footballer, 58; Brian Krause, actor, 55; Michael C Hall, actor, 54; Kevin Kilbane, footballer, 47; Jason Isbell, singer-songwriter, 45; Darren Fletcher, footballer, 40; Ronda Rousey, fighter, 37; Laura Marling, singer-songwriter, 34; Harry Styles, singer, 30.