It happened today – this day in history – February 2

Mick Ferris

1349: By this date 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: Handel’s opera “Poro” premieres in London.

1742: The government of Robert Walpole resigns.

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

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

1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War: 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: Hitler dissolves the German Reichstag.

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.

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

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

1969: Death of actor Boris Karloff (William Pratt) aged 81.

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 on ‘bloody sunday’.

1973: Test debut of champion New Zealand cricket all-rounder Sir Richard Hadlee.

1979: Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose in New York City while on $50,000 bail awaiting trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.

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

1990: South African President F W de Klerk promises to free Nelson Mandela and legalizes the ANC & 60 other political organisations.

1993: Songwriter Willie Nelson agreed to pay $9 million of the $16.7 million he owed the Internal Revenue Service. On the same day, Vaclav Havel becomes the first president of an independent Czech Republic, after the split with Slovakia.

1996: Death of actor and dancer Gene Kelly after a stroke, aged 83.

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

2014: Skinny Puppy sent 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.

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

BIRTHDAYS: David Jason, actor, 80; Graham Nash, singer/songwriter, 78; Derek Shulman, singer (Gentle Giant), 73; Brent Spiner, actor, 71; Ken Bruce, broadcaster, 69; Christie Brinkley, model, 66; Charlie Heather, drummer (The Levellers) 56; Steve Firth, bassist (Embrace) 54; Shakira (Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll ), singer/songwriter, 43; Christine Lampard, broadcaster, 41; Melody Gardot, singer/songwriter, 35.


Mick Ferris

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