It happened today – this day in history – February 9

1540: The first recorded race meet in England at Roodee Fields, Chester.

1554: Sir Thomas Wyatt is is defeated and his rebellion against Queen Mary crushed.

1555: The Bishop of Gloucester John Hooper is burned at the stake for heresy.

1742: Sir Robert Walpole becomes First Earl of Orford.

1788: Austria declares war on Russia.

1801: France and Austria sign the Peace of Luneville.

1822: Haiti invades the newly founded Dominican Republic.

1825: John Quincy Adams is elected president of the America by the House of Representatives.

1881: Death of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky aged 59.

1886: US President Grover Cleveland declares a state of emergency in Seattle because of anti-Chinese violence.

1893: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Falstaff” premieres in Milan.

1895: Volleyball is invented by W G Morgan in Massachusetts.

1900: Dwight Davis establishes the Davis Cup in Tennis.

1923: Birth of author and poet Brendan Behan in Dublin.

1932: The US airship Columbia crashes during a storm.

1940: Joe Louis beats Arturo Godoy in 15 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.

1941: British troops conquer El Agheila.

1943: Japanese troops evacuate Guadalcanal.

1950: US Senator Joe McCarthy accuses more than 200 staff in the State Department of being Communists as he begins his anti red crusade.

1964: The Beatles make their nationwide US TV debut on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ for a record 73 million viewers. Crime rates dropped dramatically as three quarters of American adults watched them.

1966: The Government announces that a Fast Reactor will be built at Dounreay power station in Scotland. On the same day, singer/actress Sophie Tucker dies aged 79.


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1967: Canadian conductor Percy Faith died aged 67.

1969: The first flight of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

1971: Apollo 14 returns to Earth.

1972: Wings began a UK college tour with a gig in Nottingham. The band would turn up unannounced and social secretaries would find themselves fave to fave with Paul McCartney asking if they could play that night.

1979: Trevor Francis becomes the first £1m British footballer moving from Birmingham City to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.

1981: Rock n roll pioneer Bill Haley is found dead at his home in Harlingen, Texas from a heart attack, aged 55.

1983: Champion racehorse Shergar, winner of the 1981 Epsom Derby, is kidnapped from stables in Co Kildare, Ireland.

1984: Death of Yuri Andropov, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, aged 69.

1986: Singles chart:

  1. When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going – Billy Ocean
  2. Borderline – Madonna
  3. System Addict – Five Star
  4. Eloise – The Damned
  5. Living In America – James Brown
  6. The Sun Always Shines On TV – A-Ha
  7. Only Love – Nana Mouskouri
  8. The Captain Of Her Heart – Double
  9. Starting Together – Su Pollard
  10. How Will I Know – Whitney Houston
1986: Madonna – Like A Virgin

Album chart:

  1. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  2. Hunting High And Low – A-Ha
  3. World Machine – Level 42
  4. Island Life – Grave Jones
  5. The Broadway Album – Barbra Streisand
  6. Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston
  7. Be Yourself Tonight – Eurythmics
  8. Rocky IV – Original Soundtrack
  9. Like A Virgin – Madonna
  10. The Dance Hits Album – Various Artists

1993: Broadcaster Bill Grundy dies of a heart attack aged 69.

1995: Briton Michael Foale and the first African-American astronaut, Bernard Harris, walk in space as part of a NASA experiment. On the same day, Irish music and dance show “Riverdance” opens in Dublin starring Michael Flatley.

1996: The IRA declares the end of its 18 month ceasefire shortly followed by a large bomb explosion in London’s Canary Wharf.

1997: Singer Brian Connolly of The Sweet dies of kidney and liver failure aged 51. On the same day, Delta blues singer and guitarist Jack Owens dies aged 92.

1998: Failed assassination attempt on Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.

2002: Death of Princess Margaret aged 71.

2006: Former West Ham United manager Ron Greenwood CBE, dies from Alzheimer’s disease aged 84.

2018: The Winter Olympic Games open in Pyongyang, South Korea.

2020: The fastest supersonic New York to London journey is made by a British Airways Boeing 747-436 in four hours and 56 minutes. On the same day, the South Korean film “Parasite” becomes the first non English film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Also, Storm Ciara makes landfall in northern Scotland bringing widespread wind and flooding.

BIRTHDAYS: Barry Mann (Imberman), songwriter, 82; Dame Janet Suzman, actress, 82; Brian Bennett, drummer (The Shadows) 81; Carole King, singer-songwriter, 79; Joe Pesci, actor, 78; Mia (María de Lourdes Villiers) Farrow, actress, 76; Joe Ely, country artist, 74; Gordon Strachan, footballer/manager, 64; Holly Johnson, singer (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) 61; Dave Rotheray, guitarist (The Beautiful South) 58; Darren Ferguson, football manager, 49; Charlie Day, actor/comedian/screenwriter, 45; Tom Hiddlestone, actor, 40; Michael B Jordan, actor, 34 Rose Leslie (Harrington), actress, 34.