It happened today – this day in history – February 5

1597: A group of early Japanese Christians, known as the 26 Martyrs, are crucified in Nagasaki by the new government of Japan for being seen as a threat to Japanese society.

1649: The Prince of Wales is proclaimed King Charles II of Great Britain by the Covenanter Parliament of Scotland.

1782: The British garrison in Menorca surrenders to the French and Spanish fleet as part of the American Revolutionary War.

1788: Birth of Robert Peel, founder of the Conservative Party and founder of the modern police force.

1811: Prince George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, is appointed as Prince-Regent after his father King George III is recognized as insane due to mental illness.

1865: Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia, in the American Civil War.

1870: The first motion picture is shown to a theatre audience in Philadelphia.

1887: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Otello” premieres at La Scala in Italy.

1900: The US and the UK sign a treaty for the Panama Canal. On the same day, British troops under Gen Buller occupy Vaal Krantz, Natal.

1914: Birth of author William S Burroughs.

1918: Separation of church and state begins in the USSR.

1919: The film studio United Artists is founded by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D W Griffith.

1922: Reader’s Digest magazine is first published.

1924: The Royal Greenwich Observatory begin broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal or the “BBC pips”.

1927: Buster Keaton’s film The General premieres in New York.

1931: Malcolm Campbell sets world land speed record speed of 246.08 mph driving his Blue Bird car at Daytona Beach, Florida.

1936: “Modern Times”, directed by, written by and starring Charlie Chaplin is released.

1938: The British Empire Games open in Sydney, Australia.

1940: Glenn Miller and his Orchestra record “Tuxedo Junction”.

1945: US troops under General Douglas MacArthur enter Manilla.

1953: The rationing of confectionery in Britain ends after 10 years.

1957: Five thousand fans are at Southampton as Bill Haley arrives from New York on the liner Queen Elizabeth for his debut UK concert tour.

1962: French President Charles de Gaulle calls for Algeria’s independence.


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1967: The Beatles film part of the promo clip for Penny Lane around the Royal Theatre, Stratford, east London.

1968: A trawler from Hull sinks off the coast of Iceland with all hands on board – the third in as many weeks.

1971: Apollo 14 lands on the moon. Alan Shepard and Edward Mitchell walk on the surface for four hours.

1972: In a Fourth Round FA Cup replay Southern League Hereford United defeat First Division Newcastle United 2-1 on a mud-soaked pitch thanks to an 86th minute wonder goal from Ronnie Radford and an extra time winner from Ricky George.

1974: British miners strike in reaction to the three-day week.

1976: Bill Haley and his Comets saxophonist Rudy Pompilli dies of lung cancer aged 52.

1982: Budget airliner Laker Airways collapses owing £270 million to banks and other creditors.

1994: A Serbian mortar bomb explodes in the main market square in Sarajevo killing 68 and wounding 200 people.

1996: Sainbury and Safeway begin stocking the first genetically modified food. The tomato puree had been produced from tomatoes which had the rotting gene removed.

1997: O J Simpson is found liable in the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson in a civil court action.

2004: Twenty-three Chinese people drown when a group of 35 cockle-pickers are trapped by rising tides in Morecambe Bay.

2006: The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10 to win the Super Bowl in Detroit.

Singles chart:

  1. Nasty Girl – Notorious B.I.G./Diddy/Nelly
  2. Run It – Chris Brown ft Juelz Santana
  3. Boys Will Be Boys – The Ordinary Boys
  4. Check On It – Boyonce ft Slim Thug
  5. You Spin Me Round – Dead Or Allive
  6. Say Say Say (Waiting 4 U) – Hi Tack
  7. That’s My Goal – Shayne Ward
  8. When The Sun Goes Down – Arctic Monkeys
  9. All Time Love – Will Young
  10. JCB Song – Nizlopi
2006: Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not

Album chart:

  1. Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys
  2. Keys To The World – Richard Ashcroft
  3. Back To Bedlam – James Blunt
  4. Keep On – Will Young
  5. Stars Of CCTV – Hard Fi
  6. Employment – Kaiser Chiefs
  7. Veneer – Jose Gonzalez
  8. From Daniel With Love – Daniel O’Donnell
  9. The Back Room – Editors
  10. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson

2008: The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru to The Beatles and developer of transcendental meditation, dies aged 90.

2012: The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, 21-17 to win the Super bowl in Indianapolis.

2013: The House of Commons votes in favour of same-sex marriage.

2015: Gary Glitter is convicted of child sex abuse charges in London.

2017: The New England Patriots featuring quarterback Tom Brady defeat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28 to win the Super Bowl in Houston, Texas.

2019: Pope Francis admits for the first time that clerics have sexually abused nuns.

2020: The US Senate votes to acquit President Donald Trump 52-48 on charges of abuse of power and 53-47 on obstruction of Congress. On the same day, actor Kirk Douglas (Issur Danielovitch) dies aged 103.

BIRTHDAYS: Barrett Strong, songwriter, 80; Michael Mann, director, 78; Al Kooper (Kuperschmidt), musician/producer, 77; Charlotte (Tessa) Rampling, 75; Christopher Guest, director/actor, 73; Barbara Hershey, actress, 73; Tom Wilkinson, actor, 73; Sven-Göran Eriksson, football manager, 73; Russell Grant, astronomer, 70; Jennifer Jason Leigh (Jennifer Leigh Morrow), actress, 59; Laura Linney, actress, 57; Duff (Michael) McKagan, bassist (Guns N’ Roses) 57; José María Olazábal, golfer, 55; Michael Sheen, actor, 52; Ben Ainslie, Olympic yachtsman, 44; Carlos Tevez, footballer, 37; Cristiano Ronaldo (dos Santos Aveiro), footballer, 36; Jeremy Sumpter, actor, 31; Neymar (da Silva Santos Júnior), footballer, 29.