It happened today – this day in history – February 3

1377: Mass execution of population (between 2,500 and 5,000) of Cesena, Italy, by Breton troops of Giovanni Acuto under the command of Robert, Cardinal of Geneva, acting as the legate of Pope Gregory XI.

1451: Sultan Mehmed II, the Conqueror, inherits the throne of the Ottoman Empire.

1547: Ivan The Terrible marries Anastasia Romanova.both aged 17.

1809: Composer Felix Mendelssohn is born in Hamburg, Germany.

1844: Premiere of Hector Berlioz’s “Carnaval Romain” in Paris.

1863: Samuel Clemens first uses the pen name Mark Twain in a Virginia City newspaper, the “Territorial Enterprise”.

1915: The Turkish and German armies reach the Suez Canal.

1917: The US liner Housatonic is sunk by German submarine, on the same day that US President Woodrow Wilson breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany.

1919: The Bolshevik army is defeated in a series of clashes with the White Russians, who are fighting to reclaim the government after the 1917 revolution.

1924: Death of former US President Woodrow Wilson aged 67.

1931: New Zealand’s worst natural disaster, the Hawke’s Bay earthquake, kills 256 and injures thousands, devastating Napier and the Hawke’s Bay region.

1942: The first Japanese air raid on Java.

1944: US troops capture the Marshall Islands.

1945: Almost 1,000 Flying Fortresses drop 3,000 tons of bombs on Berlin.

1959: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens And The Big Bopper die when their small aircraft crashes in snow shortly after take-off from Clear Lake, Iowa.

1960: Harold Macmillan outrages South African politicians with a speech in Cape Town warning of a “wind of change” in Africa.

1962: US President John F Kennedy bans all trade with Cuba except for food and drugs.

1966: The Soviet Luna 9 makes the first controlled landing of a space probe on the Moon.

1967: Record producer Joe Meek shoots his landlady Violet Shenton and then shoots himself at his flat in London.


1968: The Beatles start work on their new single, the Paul McCartney song Lady Madonna at EMI Studios, Abbey Road in St John’s Wood, London.

1969: Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O’Neill announces the dissolution of the Stormont parliament and the holding of new elections.

1971: A series of house searches by the British Army in Catholic areas of Belfast, incites rioting and gun battles.

1972: The Winter Olympic Games open in Sapporo, Japan.

1978: Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat arrives in Washington DC to discuss the Middle East peace process with US President Jimmy Carter.

1985: Singles chart:

  1. I Know Him So Well – Elaine Page and Barbara Dickson
  2. Love And Pride – King
  3. I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  4. Solid – Ashford and Simpson
  5. 1999/Little Red Corvette – Prince
  6. Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen
  7. Atmosphere – Russ Abbot
  8. Shout – Tears For Fears
  9. Since Yesterday – Strawberry Switchblade
  10. Close (To The Edit) – Art Of Noise
1985: Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA

Album chart:

  1. Agent Provocateur – Foreigner
  2. Hits Out Of Hell – Meat Loaf
  3. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
  4. Alf – Alison Moyet
  5. The Barbara Dickson Songbook – Barbara Dickson
  6. Eliminator – Z Z Top
  7. Make It Big – Wham!
  8. The Age Of Consent – Bronski Beat
  9. 20/20 – George Benson
  10. The Very Best Of.. – Chris De Burgh

1986: The Pope meets Mother Teresa in Calcutta and visits her home for the sick and dying.

1988: Nurses across the UK take part in a day of industrial action to secure more money for themselves and the NHS.

1992: Pearl Jam play their first date in the UK at The Esplanade Club in Southend, to 300 people.

1993: The Federal trial begins of four police officers charged with civil rights violations in videotaped beating of Rodney King begins in Los Angeles.

1998: A NATO aircraft kills 20 people at the Italian ski resort of Cavalese by severing their cable car line.

1999: Soul singer Gwen Guthrie dies of cancer aged 48.

2007: A Baghdad market bombing kills at least 135 people and injures a further 339.

2016: Lord Lucan’s death certificate is granted, 42 years after he disappeared following the murder of nanny Sandra Rivett.

2019: Wreckage from the light aircraft carrying Cardiff City’s record signing Emiliano Sala is discovered on the seabed of the English Channel.

BIRTHDAYS: Blythe Danner, actress, 78; Dave Davies, guitarist (The Kinks) 74; Melanie Safka, singer-songwriter, 74; Morgan Fairchild (Patsy Ann McClenny), actress, 71; Nathan (Joseph) Lane, actor/writer, 65; Lee Ranaldo, guitarist, (Sonic Youth) 65; Joachim Löw, German football manager, 61; Maura Tierney, actress, 56; Warwick Davis, actor, 51; Isla Fisher, actress, 45; Amal Clooney, civil rights lawyer, 43; Bridget Regan, actress, 39; Jame DeGale, boxer, 35.