It happened today – this day in history – February 1

1327: Teenager Edward III is crowned king of England buut 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.

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.

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

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

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.

1944: Abstract painter Piet Mondrian dies aged 71.

1946: Trygve Lie becomes 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 released the first 45rpm single.

1958: First US satellite (Explorer I) launched.

1960: Rod Laver wins his first Grand Slam title with the Australian Championship.

1963: Nyasaland (now Malawi) becomes self-governing under Hastings Banda.

1965: James Brown recorded ‘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: Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile. On the same day, Trevor Francis becomes Britain’s first £1 million soccer player when he transfers from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest.

1988: Child actor Heather O’Rourke (Poltergeist) dies aged 12.

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 of Manic Street Preachers disappeared without a trace. He has never been found and was declared dead in 2008.

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

2004: Janet Jackson’s breast is exposed during the half-time show of Super Bowl XXXVIII.

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 announced that ‘Across The Universe’ by The Beatles would be the first song beamed directly into space.

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

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.

BIRTHDAYS: Don Everly, singer/musician, 83; Mike Campbell, guitarist (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers/Fleetwood Mac) 70; Linus Roache, actor, 56; Sherilyn Fenn, actress, 55; Princess Stephanie of Monaco, 55; Lisa Marie Presley, 52; Kevin Kilbane, former footballer, 43; Darren Fletcher, footballer, 36; Laura Marling, singer/songwriter, 30; Harry Styles, singer, 26.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]