It happened today – this day in history – February 7

1301: Edward of Caernarion (later Edward II) becomes the first English Prince of Wales.

1613: Michail Romanov, aged 16, becomes Tsar of Russia.

1688: Birth of Maria Louise van Hessen-Kassel, Princess of Orange and ancestor of all currently reigning monarchs in Europe.

1783: The Great Siege of Gibraltar launched by France and Spain against the British colony during American War of Independence is lifted after 3 years and 7 months.

1812: Lord Byron makes his maiden speech in the House of Lords. On the same day, Charles Dickens is born in Portsmouth.

1845: The Portland Vase, thought to date to the 1st century BC is shattered into more than 80 pieces by a drunken visitor to the British Museum.

1856: The Colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the 1st piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.

1900: British troops vacate Vaal Krantz, Natal.

1914: Charlie Chaplin debuts his character The Tramp in the film “Kid Auto Races at Venice”.

1928: The first solo flight from England to Australia takes off from Croydon, piloted by Australian aviator Bert Hinkler.

1950: Senator Joe McCarthy finds “communists” in US State Department.

1959: Buddy Holly was buried in Lubbock, Texas. On the same day, blues artist Guitar Slim died of pneumonia aged 32.

1962: President Kennedy begins a blockade of Cuba by banning all Cuban imports and exports.

1964: Pan Am flight 101 was greeted by over 5,000 screaming fans as it arrived at New York’s JFK airport, bringing The Beatles to the US for the first time.

1969: The Who recorded Pinball Wizard at Morgan Studios, London.

1971: Switzerland votes for national women’s suffrage in a referendum.

1974: Grenada gains independence from Britain. On the same day, Prime Minister Edward Heath calls for a ‘snap’ general election in the midst of a protracted miners’ strike and The Symbionese Liberation Army claims responsibility for the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst.

1979: Stephen Stills became the first rock performer to record on digital equipment in Los Angeles’ Record Plant Studio.

1985: Singer Matt Monro (Terence Parsons) died from liver cancer.

1986: Haiti president Jean-Claude Duvalier flees to France.

1991: The IRA launches a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street during a cabinet meeting.

1992: The Maastricht Treaty is signed by 12 countries from the European Community (EC) to create the European Union (EU).

1995: Graham Gooch and Mike Gatting retire from test cricket.

1998 The 18th Winter Olympic Games open in Nagano, Japan.

1999: Crown Prince Abdullah becomes the King of Jordan on the death of his father, King Hussein.

2000: Rapper Big Punisher (better known by his stage name Big Pun), died of a heart attack, aged 28, weighing 50 stone.

2005: Britain’s Ellen MacArthur becomes the fastest person to sail solo around the world taking 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes 33 seconds,

2014: The 22nd Winter Olympic Games open in Sochi, Russia.

2018: White House aide Rob Porter resigns in wake of physical abuse allegations by ex-wives.

2019: France recalls its Italian ambassador from Rome after Italian deputy PM Luigi Di Maio meets with yellow vest protesters.

BIRTHDAYS: Alan Lancaster, bassist (Status Quo) 71; Brian Travers, musician (UB40) 61; James Spader, actor, 60; David Bryan, musician (Bon Jovi) 58; Eddie Izzard, actor/comedian, 58; Garth Brooks, country singer, 58; Deborah Bonham, singer, 58; Chris Rock, comedian, 54; Danny Goffey, drummer (Supergrass) 46; Wes Borland, guitarist (Limp Bizkit) 45; Ashton Kutcher, actor, 42; Louisa Lytton, actress, 31.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]