It happened today – this day in history – January 12

1723: Handel’s opera “Ottone” premieres at the King’s Theatre London.

1816: France decrees that the Bonaparte family be excluded from the country forever.

1913: After using other pseudonyms over the years, Josef Dzhugashvili signs himself as Stalin (“man of steel”) in a letter to the newspaper Social Democrat.

1915: The US House of Representatives rejects a proposal to give women the right to vote.

1940: Soviets bomb cities in Finland.

1944: Churchill and de Gaulle begin a two-day wartime conference in Marrakesh.

1945: The Soviets begin a large offensive against the Nazis in Eastern Europe.

1948: The first supermarket in the UK opens in Southesea.

1950: The USSR re-introduces the death penalty for treason, espionage and sabotage.

1951: Boxer Ezzard Charles defeats Lee Oma by a TKO in round 10 to win the heavyweight title.

1959: Motown is founded by Berry Gordy as Tamla Records.

1967: The Louisville, Kentucky, draft board refuses exemption for boxer Muhammad Ali.

1976: Crime writer Agatha Christie dies aged 85.

1980: Bjorn Borg wins his first ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title, beating Vitas Geralaitis at Madison Square Garden.

1987: Prince Edward resigns from his Royal Marines training.

1989: Ex-dictator of Uganda Idi Amin is expelled from Zaire.

1991: Congress gives President George Bush authority to wage war on Iraq.

1995: Murder trial against O J Simpson begins in LA.

2003: Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees died aged 53 in Miami, Florida following a heart attack during abdominal surgery.

2010: An earthquake devastates Haiti, killing approximately 160,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince.

2017: Death of author William Peter Blatty aged 89.

BIRTHDAYS: Des O’Connor, singer/TV personality, 88; Michael Aspel, former TV presenter, 87; Maggie Bell, singer, 75; Kirstie Alley, actress, 59; Howard Stern, radio personality, 66; Blixa Bargeld, musician (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds/Einsturzende Neubaten), 61; Oliver Platt, actor, 60; Guy Chambers, songwriter, 57; Jeff Bezon, founder of Amazon, 56; Rob Zombie, musician/director 55; Racheal Harris, actrress, 52;Zack de la Rocha, singer/rapper (Rage Against The Machine) 50; Melanie Chisholm, singer (Spice Girls) 46; Pixie Lott, singer, 29; Zayne Malik, singer, 27, Ella Henderson, singer, 24.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]