It happened today – this day in history – February 4

211: Roman Emperor Septimus Severus dies, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta.

1194: Ransom is paid to Leopold of Austria for the release of Richard I after two years as a captive.

1494: Birth of French satirist Francois Rabelais.

1503: Death of Queen Elizabeth, consort of Henry VII.

1783: An earthquake in Calabria, Italy, kills 50,000.

1789: The first US electoral college chooses George Washington as president.

1794: The French National Convention proclaims an end to slavery.

1797: An earthquake in Quito, Ecuador kills 41,000.

1859: One of the oldest known copies of the Bible, “The Codex Sinaiticus” (Sinai Bible), is seen in Egypt by Constantin von Tischendorf who takes the manuscript home with him.

1861: Jefferson Davis is elected President of the Confederacy in the American Civil War.

1865: Robert E Lee is named general-in-chief of Confederate forces.

1902: Aviator Charles Lindbergh is born in Detroit.

1920: The first flight from London to South Africa departs and takes six weeks to arrive.

1932: The Winter Olympic Games open in Lake Placid, New York.

1933: German President Paul von Hindenburg limits freedom of the press

1938: Adolf Hitler seizes control of the German army and puts Nazis in key posts.

1945: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin meet at Yalta in the Crimea to discuss the final phase of World War II.

1948: Sri Lanka declares independence from Britain. On the same day, Len Shackleton moves from Newcastle to Sunderland for a record £20,050 transfer fee.

1949: Failed assassination attempt on Shah of Persia.

1950: The British Empire Games open in Auckland, New Zealand.

1955: Singles chart:

  1. Mambo Italiano – Rosemary Clooney and the Mellomen
  2. The Fingr Of Suspicion – Dickie Valentine with the Stargazers
  3. Softly Softly – Ruby Murray
  4. Shake, Rattle and Roll – Bill Haley and his Comets
  5. Mr Sandman – Dickie Valentine
  6. Give Me Your Word – Tennessee Ernie Ford
  7. Heartbeat – Ruby Murray
  8. No One But You – Billy Eckstine
  9. The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane – The Ames Brothers
  10. The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane – Dean Martin

1957: The first electric portable typewriter goes on sale in the US.

1961: The Angola War of Independence begins.

1968: Working at Abbey Road, The Beatles record the John Lennon song Across The Universe. John and Paul decide the song needs some falsetto harmonies so they invite two girl fans into the studio to sing backup. This version eventually appears long after the break up of the band on the Past Masters Vol II album.

1969: The Palestine National Congress appoints Yasser Arafat chairman of the PLO.

1971: Rolls Royce declares bankruptcy. On the same day, Lieutenant-General Vernon Erskine-Crum becomes General Officer Commanding the British Army in Northern Ireland.

1974: Eight off duty soldiers, two young children and a driver are killed in an IRA bomb blast on a bus travelling to an army base in North Yorkshire. On the same day, heiress Patty Hearst is kidnapped from her apartment in California by the urban terror group, the Symbionese Liberation Army.


1975: Swing songwriter and saxophonist Louis Jordan dies aged 66.

1976: The Winter Olympic Games open in Innsbruck, Austria. On the same day, Hua Guofeng becomes Premier of the People’s Republic of China.

1980: New York nightclub Studio 54 closes down.

1982: On the day before his 47th birthday, rock star Alex Harvey dies of a heart attack in Zeebrugge while waiting to take a ferry back to England.

On TV (Thursday)


09.30For Schools; Physics in Action

12.30The Sullivans

13.00News at One

13.20Thames News

13.30Take the High Road

14.00After Noon Plus

14.45Love Among the Artists

15.45How’s Your Father?


16.20Little House on the Prairie

17.15Emmerdale Farm

17.45News at 5.45

18.00Thames News

18.30Thames Sport

19.00Does the Team Think?

19.30Film: The Medusa Touch (1978)
Supernatural thriller starring Richard Burton

21.30TV Eye

22.00News at Ten

22.30Danger UXB

23.30Parents and Teenagers


09.05For Schools, Colleges


12.30News After Noon and Weather

12.57Regional News

13.00Pebble Mill at One

13.45King Rollo

13.50Stop -Go!

14.00You and Me

14.15For Schools, Colleges



15.53Regional News

15.55Play School

16.20Secret Squirrel


16.40Huckleberry Finn and His Friends

17.05John Craven’s Newsround

17.10Blue Peter
with Simon Groom, Sarah Greene and Peter Duncan

17.40Evening News and Weather


19.00Tomorrow’s World
The latest from the world of science and technology presented by Judith Hann, Kieran Prendiville, Su Ingle and Peter Macann

19.25Top of the Pops
John Peel introduces OMD, Jets, Soft Cell, XTC, Christopher Cross, Kraftwerk, Theatre of Hate and Zoo.

20.05Wildlife on One
Encounter Underground narrated by David Attenborough

20.30Goodbye Mr Kent

21.00Nine o’Clock News and Weather

starring Trevor Eve as private detective Eddie

22.20Question Time
Robin Day and his guests The Rt Hon Norman Fowler MP, Alex Kitson MP, Margo MacDonald and David Penhaligon take questions from an audience in Scotland

23.20The European Ice Figure Skating Championships
from Lyons, France

23.50News Headlines and Weather


11.00Play School


12.00Open University

15.55Muggeridge: Ancient and Modern

16.50They’re Playing My Tune
Rosalind Davison explains why a well-worn copy of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline is the only record she has been able to listen to for the last three years.

16.55The World Land Speed Record

17.40All Creatures Great and Small
From the books by James Herriot. Siegfried and James’s plans for an evening out, and Tristan’s plans for an evening in, come surprisingly unstuck. Starring Robert Hardy, Peter Davison and Carol Drinkwater.

18.35Ennal’s Point

19.20News Summary

19.25History on Your Doorstep

19.50The Shogun Inheritance
Japan and the legacy of the Samurai

20.30Russell Harty
Medium Doris Stokes makes her national TV debut before an audience in Manchester.

21.00Call My Bluff
Arthur Marshall, Sue Cook and Peter Davison face Frank Muir, Joanna Lumley and Tim Rice. Hossted by Robert Robinson.

21.30Forty Minutes
The George Formby Story

22.10Rhythm on Two
The Band of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards


23.30The Old Grey Whistle Test
With the Edgar Winter Band and Soft Cell in the studio and a vintage clip of Heads, Hands and Feet. Introduced by Anne Nightingale and David Hepworth.

1983: Singer Karen Carpenter dies aged 32 of a cardiac arrest caused by anorexia.

1985: Twenty countries sign a UN treaty outlawing torture – the US refuses.

1987: Death of pianist Liberace (Władziu Valentino Liberace) aged 67.

1988: Thousands of seamen at major British ports continue to strike after their union the NUS calls for an end to their industrial action.

1996: Former Milli Vanilli member Rob Pilatus is hospitalised after being hit him over the head with a baseball bat in Hollywood while attempting to steal a car.

1998: An earthquake in northern Afghanistan leaves thousands dead. On the same day, 1998: Microsoft CEO Bill Gates gets a pie thrown in his face in Brussels.

1999: Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city.

2003: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro.

2004: Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room.

2007: A Razorlight gig in Lyon is halted mid-set because of an altercation between singer Johnny Borrell and bassist Carl Dalemo. On the same day, the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17 to win the Super Bowl in Miami.

2009: Lux Interior, (Erick Lee Purkhiser) singer and founding member of The Cramps dies aged 62.

2013: Reg Presley (Ball) lead singer with The Troggs and writer of the song Love Is All Around, dies aged 71.

2014: Same-sex marriage is legalized in Scotland.

2016: Singer-songwriter Van Morrison is knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. On the same day, singer-songwriter and leader of Earth Wind and Fire, Maurice White dies after suffering from MS for years.

2017: Black Sabbath (minus original drummer Bill Ward) play their final gig at the NEC in Birmingham.

2018: The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots, 41-33 tp win the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.

2020: Brian Wilson asks fans to boycott a Beach Boys concert at Safari Club International’s annual convention in Reno, Nevada, which would feature the touring group led by co-founder Mike Love and a keynote speech by Donald Trump Jr. Animal rights activists described the convention as one of the world’s largest gatherings for trophy hunters and a celebration of the “senseless killing” of hundreds of animals.

2021: The first successful face and double hand transplant announced performed on a 22 year-old man in New York.

2022: The Winter Olympics open in Beijing.

2022: Adele – 30

Album chart:

  1. Amazing Things – Don Broco
  2. Dawn FM – The Weeknd
  3. Moments – Jamie Webster
  4. = – Ed Sheeran
  5. 30 – Adele
  6. Sour – Olivia Rodrigo
  7. See Through Blue – Scarlet Rebels
  8. Between Us – Little Mix
  9. The Zealot Gene – Jethro Tull
  10. Night Call – Years & Years
Natalie Imbruglia

BIRTHDAYS: John Steel, drummer (The Animals) 82; Alice Cooper, (Vincent Furnier), rock singer-songwriter, 75; Phil Ehart, drummer/manager (Kansas) 72; Tim Booth, vocals (James) 63; Clint Black, country artist, 61; John Gordon Sinclair, actor, 61; James Murphy, singer-songwriter (LCD Soundsystem), 53; Rob Cordry, actor/comedian, 52; Dara O’Briain, comedian/writer, 51; Oscar De La Hoya, boxer, 50; Natalie Imbruglia, actress/singer, 48; Kimberly Wyatt, singer/dancer (Pussycat Dolls) 41.