It happened today – this day in history – February 2

1141: King Stephen is captured by forces loyal to Empress Matilda at the Battle of Lincoln.

1349: At least 200 people a day were being buried in London as a result of the Black Death.

1709: British sailor Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being marooned on a desert island for five years. His story inspires the novel “Robinson Crusoe.

1731: George Frideric Handel’s opera “Poro” premieres in London.

1742: The government of Robert Walpole resigns.

1795: Joseph Haydn’s 102nd Symphony in B premieres.

1802: The first leopard in captivity is exhibited in Boston, US.

1823: Gioachina Rossini’s opera “Semiramide” premieres in Venice.

1829: Jonathan Martin sets fire to York Cathedral.

1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War. The US acquires Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona for $15 million.

1852: The first public men’s toilet in Britain opens in Fleet Street, London.

1878: Greece declares war on Turkey.

1901: Queen Victoria’s funeral takes place in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

1920: Estonia declares independence from Russia.

1922: James Joyce’s “Ulysses” is published in Paris on his 40th birthday.

1933: Two days after becoming German chancellor, Adolf Hitler dissolves the German Reichstag.

1935: The polygraph is used for the first time on criminals later convicted of assault in Wisconsin.

1940: Frank Sinatra makes his singing debut in Indianapolis with Tommy Dorsey’s big band.

1948: US President Harry Truman urges congress to adopt a civil rights program.

1949: Gold champion Ben Hogan is seriously injured in a car accident.

1957: Elizabeth Taylor, 24, marries for the third time to producer Mike Todd, 47.

1959: Buddy Holly’s final performance at Clear Lake, Iowa.

1961: Singles chart:


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  1. Are You Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley
  2. Pepe – Duane Eddy
  3. Poetry In Motion – Johnny Tillotson
  4. Sailor – Petula Clark
  5. Portrait Of My Love – Matt Monro
  6. Your Sixteen – Johnny Burnette
  7. Counting Teardrops – Emile Ford and the Checkmates
  8. I Love You – Cliff Richard
  9. Rubber Ball – Bobby Vee
  10. Buona Sera – Acker Bilk

1962: Eight of nine planets align for the first time in 400 years.

1965: Joe Orton’s “Loot” premieres in Brighton.

1969: Yoko Ono divorces Tony Cox and is granted custody of their daughter Kyoko, although Cox disappears abroad with the child. On the same day, horror legend Boris Karloff (William Pratt) dies aged 81.

1969: The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet

Album chart:

  1. Best of – The Seekers
  2. The Beatles (White Album) – The Beatles
  3. Yellow Submarine – The Beatles
  4. Diana Ross and The Supremes Join The Temptations – Diana Ross and The Supremes/The Temptations
  5. The Graduate – Simon and Garfunkel
  6. The Sound Of Music – Original Soundtrack
  7. Beggars Banquet – The Rolling Stones
  8. Greatest Hits – The Supremes
  9. Hair – Original London Cast
  10. British Motown Chartbusters Vol 2 – Various Artists

1970: Death of philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell aged 97.

1971: Idi Amin ousts Milton Obote and appoints himself President (dictator) of Uganda.

1972: Angry demonstrators burn the British Embassy in Dublin to the ground in protest at the shooting dead of 13 people in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday.

1973: Keith Emerson injures his hands when his piano rigged to explode as a stunt, detonates prematurely during an Emerson Lake and Palmer concert in San Francisco. On the same day, New Zealand cricket all-rounder Sir Richard Hadlee makes his Test debut.

1979: Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious dies aged 21 of a heroin overdose in New York while awaiting trial for the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

1986: The Dalai Lama meets Pope John Paul II in India.

1987: Author Alistair MacLean dies aged 64.

1989: F W de Klerk replaces P W Botha as South Africa’s National Party leader.

1990: South African president F W de Klerk lifts the 30-year ban on leading anti-apartheid group the African National Congress.

1993: Vaclav Havel becomes the first president of an independent Czech Republic, after the split with Slovakia.

1995: British tennis legend Fred Perry dies aged 85. On the same day, actor Donald Pleasence dies aged 75.

1996: Film star and dancer Gene Kelly after a stroke, aged 83.

2005: Boxer Max Schmeling dies aged 99.

2008: French Republic President Nicolas Sarkozy marries supermodel/singer Carla Bruni at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

2014: Skinny Puppy sends the US government an invoice after finding out their music was used as torture device in Guantanamo Bay. On the same day, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of a suspected drug overdose aged 46. Also, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos, 42-8 to win the Super Bowl and vioence breaks out in the Ukraine after parliament passes legislation that outlaws protest.

2019: Singer R Kelly is arrested after turning himself in on ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, including with three minors.

2020: The Kansas City Chiefs beat San Francisco 49ers, 31-20 to win the Super Bowl in Florida. On the same day, Joaquin Phoenix wins a BAFTA for his performance in the film “Joker”. Rennee Zellwegger wins for playing Judy Garland in “Judy”.

BIRTHDAYS: Sir David Jason, actor, 81; Graham Nash, singer-songwriter (The Hollies/CSN) 79; Derek Shulman, singer/musician (Gentle Giant) 74; Brent Spiner, actor, 72; Duncan Bannatyne, entrepreneur, 72; Alphonso Johnson, bassist, 70; Ken Bruce, broadcaster, 70; Christie Brinkley, model, 67; Shakira (Ripoll), singer-songwriter, 44; Christine Lampard, TV presenter, 42; Gemma Collins, reality TV star, 40; Melody Gardot, singer-songwriter, 36; Gemma Arterton, actress, 35; Gerard Piqué (Bernabeu), footballer, 34; Paul Mescal, actor, 25.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]