It happened today – this day in history – January 10

49BC: Julius Caesar defies the Roman Senate and crosses the Rubicon, signalling the start of civil war which would lead to his appointment as Roman dictator for life.

1475: Stephen III of Moldavia defeats the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vaslui.

1642: Charles I and his family flee London for Oxford.

1806: The Dutch in Capetown surrender to the British.

1810: The French church annuls the marriage of Napoleon to the Empress Josephine.

1833: Premiere of Felix Mendelssohn’s cantata “Die Erste Walpurgisnacht” in Berlin.

1839: Tea from India first arrives in the UK.

1840: Beginning of the Penny Post in Britain.

1861: Florida secedes from the Union in the American Civil War.

1863: The first underground railway opens in London,. The Metropolitan Railway connects Paddington, Euston and Kings Cross to the City.

1889: The Ivory Coast is declared a protectorate of France.

1900: Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener reach Capetown during the Second Boer War.

1901: The Texas oil boom begins with the discovery of oil at Spindletop, Beaumont.

1902: Although it has professed its neutrality in the Boer War, German Chancellor von Bulow joins others in attacking British actions in South Africa.

1914: Yuan Shih-k’ai, president of the new Chinese republic, dissolves parliament and prepares a constitution of his own design: he will set himself up as dictator, preparatory to an attempt to make himself emperor.

1916: Members of Pancho Villa’s revolutionary army take 17 US mining engineers from a train and shoot 16 of them in retaliation for US President Woodrow Wilson’s recognition of the Carranza government in Mexico.

1917: Suffragettes protest outside The White House.

1920: The Inauguration of the League of Nations is held in Paris.

1927: Fritz Lang’s film “Metropolis” premieres in Berlin.

1928: The Soviet Union orders the exile of Leon Trotsky.

1936: Actors Mary Pickford ad Douglas Fairbanks divorce after 15 years.

1941: The Greek army captures the small Aromanian settlement of Kleisoura.

1942: Actress Ava Gardner marries Mickey Rooney.

1943: The Soviets launch an offensive against German forces near Stalingrad.

1944: British troops conquer Maungdaw, Burma.


1946: The UN General Assembly meets for the first time in London. On the same day, the US Army bounces the first radar signal off the Moon.

1949: RCA introduces the 45rpm record.

1951: The UN headquarters opens in New York.

1954: A BOAC Comet jet airliner crashes into the Mediterranean 20 minutes after taking off from Rome on the last leg of a flight from Singapore to London.

1956: Elvis Presley records Heartbreak Hotel during his first recording session for RCA Records. His usual band of Scotty Moore and Bill Black is augmented for the song by pianist Floyd Cramer.

1957: Harold Macmillan becomes prime minister following the sudden resignation of Sir Anthony Eden.

1961: Author Dashiell Hammett dies aged 66.

1964: The Rolling Stones record the Buddy Holly song Not Fade Away at Olympic Studios, London. On the same day, Panama severs diplomatic relations with US.

1969: Sweden becomes the first Western country to recognise North Vietnam.

1971: The IRA carry out a ‘punishment attack’, tarring and feathering four men accused of criminal activities in Belfast. On the same day, fashion designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel dies aged 87.

1976: Blues artist Howlin’ Wolf, (Chester Burnett), dies aged 66 from cancer.

1984: The US re-establishes full diplomatic relations with The Vatican after almost 117 years.

1985: Eight people die and dozens are injured when an explosion destroys a block of flats in Putney. On the same day, the Sinclair C5 electric tricycle drives into a safety row on its first day on the road. Also, Daniel Ortega is inaugurated as President of Nicaragua.

1994: The trial begins in the US of Lorena Bobbitt, who cut off her abusive husband’s penis. On the same day, Ukraine agrees to give up its large nuclear arsenal.

1996: King Hussein of Jordan makes his first public visit to Tel Aviv, Israel.

1999: Singles chart:

  1. Praise You – Fatboy Slim
  2. Tragedy – Steps
  3. You Should Be – Blockster
  4. Chocolate Salty Balls – Chef
  5. Goodbye – The Spice Girls
  6. When You’re Gone – Bryan Adams ft Mel C
  7. Believe – Cher
  8. Rescue Me – Ultra
  9. End Of The Line – Honeyz
  10. Up To The Wildstyle – Porn Kings ft DJ Supreme
1999: Madonna – Ray Of Light

Album chart:

  1. I’ve Been Expecting You – Robbie Williams
  2. Ladies And Gentlemen: The Best Of – George Michael
  3. Talk On Corners – The Corrs
  4. Step One – Steps
  5. Where We Belong – Boyzone
  6. You’ve Come A Long way Baby – Fatboy Slim
  7. Ray Of Light – Madonna
  8. The Best Of 1980-1990 – U2
  9. The Best Of – M People
  10. Life Thru A Lens – Robbie Williams

2001: A large piece of the chalk cliff at Beachy Head collapses into the sea.

2005: Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden dies from colon cancer aged 66.

2013: Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival (and immortalised as “Funky Claude” in the Deep Purple song Smoke On The Water, dies aged 76.

2016: David Bowie dies from liver cancer aged 69.

2017: British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth, the first journalist to report on the outbreak of the Second World War after discovering German troops amassing on the border with Poland, dies aged 105.

2018: Guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke from the classic Ace Of Spades Motorhead line-up dies aged 67.

2019: Canadian astronomers report fast radio bursts of probable extragalactic origin.

BIRTHDAYS: Ronnie Hawkins, singer, 87; Sir Rod Stewart, singer, 77; Aynsley Dunbar, drummer, 76; Donald Fagen, singer-songwriter/keyboards (Steely Dan) 74; George Foreman, boxer, 73; Pat Benatar (Giraldo), singer, 69; Michael Schenker, guitarist, (UFO) 67; Don Letts, director/ musician (Big Audio Dynamite), 66; Shawn Colvin, singer-songwriter, 64; Brad Roberts, vocals/guitarist (Crash Test Dummies) 58; Jemaine Clement, musician/actor/comedian (Fight of the Conchords) 48; Ian Poulter, golfer, 46; Jared Kushner, advisor to Donald Trump, 41; Abbey Clancy (Crouch), model, 36; Mason Mount, footballer, 23.