It happened today – this day in history – January 19

Mick Ferris
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1419: Rouen surrenders to Henry V in the Hundred Years’ War.

1547: Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, is executed in the Tower of London for treason.

1668: Louis XIV and Emperor Leopold I sign a treaty dividing Spain.

1736: Inventor James Watt is born in Greenock, Scotland.

1746: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite troops occupy Stirling.

1806: Britain re-occupies the Cape of Good Hope following victory in the Battle of Blaauwberg.

1809: Writer Edgar Allen Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts.

1812: The Duke of Wellington orders British soldiers of the Light and third divisions to storm Ciudad Rodrigo after a ten-day siege during the Peninsula War.

1825: Ezra Daggett and nephew Thomas Kensett patent food storage in tin cans.

1829: Premiere of Goethe’s “Faust, Part 1”.

1839: Aden is conquered by the British East India Company.

1853: Premiere of Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Il Trovatore” in Rome.

1861: Georgia secedes from the Union during the American Civil War.

1883: The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison begins service at Roselle, New Jersey.

1893: Henrick Ibsen’s play “The Master Builder” premieres in Berlin.

1915: The first German Zeppelin air raid attack on Britain takes place over Norfolk.

1917: A munitions factory in West Ham explodes, killing 73 people.

1927: Britain decides to send troops to China.

1937: Billionaire Howard Hughes sets the record for a transcontinental air flight at 7hrs 20m 25sec.

1941: British troops occupy Kassalaf in Sudan.

1955: The board game Scrabble goes on sale.

1963: The Beatles make their first national TV appearance in the UK on ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ with a recording of them performing Please Please Me.

1966: The daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, becomes the first woman prime minister of India.


1967: The Beatles begin recording A Day In The Life at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, St John’s Wood.

1971: Tracks from The Beatles’ White Album (including Helter Skelter), are played in the courtroom at the Sharon Tate murder trial to find out if any songs could have influenced Charles Manson and his followers to commit murder.

1973: A super tug is sent to protect British trawlers from Icelandic patrol boats as the dispute over cod fishing rights intensifies.

1975: Singles chart:

  1. Ms Grace – The Tymes
  2. Never Can Say Goodbye – Gloria Gaynor
  3. The Bump – Kenney
  4. Streets Of London – Ralph McTell
  5. Down Down – Status Quo
  6. Help Me Make It Through The Night – John Holt
  7. Morning Side Of The Mountain – Donny and Marie Osmond
  8. Are You Ready To Rock – Wizzard
  9. January – Pilot
  10. Stardust – David Essex
1975: Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells

Album chart:

  1. Greatest Hits – Elton John
  2. Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
  3. Greatest Hits – Simon and Garfunkel
  4. The Singles 1969-73 – The Carpenters
  5. Band On The Run – Wings
  6. Can’t Get Enough – Barry White
  7. The Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
  8. David Essex – David Essex
  9. His Greatest Hits – Engelbert Humperdinck
  10. Cop Yer Whack For This – Billy Connolly

1977: The world’s largest crowd gathering – the Hindu Kumbh Mela in India attracts a then record 15 million people.

1983: Klaus Barbie, SS chief in Lyon during the Second World War, is arrested in Bolivia.

1988: Disabled writer Christopher Nolan, who cannot move or speak, wins the Whitbread Book of the Year prize for his autobiography Under The Clock. On the same day, Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe manager Doc McGhee pleads guilty to importing more than 40,000lb of marijuana into the US from Colombia via a shrimp boat.

1990: Police in Johannesburg armed with batons and dogs break up a demonstration against rebel cricketers led by England’s Mike Gatting, who are defying a ban on playing in South Africa.

1993: Fleetwood Mac re-form to perform at Bill Clinton’s inauguration.

1995: Jean-Claude Juncker is sworn in as premier of Luxembourg.

1997: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat returns to Hebron after more than 30 years and joins celebrations over the handover of the last Israeli-controlled West Bank city.

1998: Singer-songwriter Carl Perkins dies aged 65 from throat cancer.

2000: Actress Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood star and inventor of a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during the Second World War, dies aged 86.

2001: American twin girls at the centre of an internet adoption scandal are seized from a hotel in north Wales and taken into care. British couple Alan and Judith Kilshaw claim they paid $8,000 to adopt the girls. On the same day, Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escapes from Puente Grande maximum-security prison near Guadalajara by bribing prison guards and hiding in a laundry cart.

2006: Soul singer, Wilson Pickett dies of a heart attack aged 64.

2007: Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink is assassinated in front of his newspaper’s office by 17 year-old Turkish ultranationalist Ogün Samast. On the same day, former Mamas and the Papas singer Denny Doherty dies aged 66.

2013: Four climbers are killed by an avalanche in Glencoe, Scotland. On the same day, calcium deposits are discovered on Mars by NASA’s Curiosity Rover. Also, Lance Armstrong admits to doping in all seven of his Tour de France victories.

2015: Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride dies from cancer aged 60.

2017: Alanis Morissette’s former business manager, Jonathan Schwartz, admits stealing over £5.7m from the singer and other celebrities. On the same day, Adama Barrow is sworn in as President of Gambia. Also, Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is extradited to the US to face trial for his leadership of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

2019: Drummer Ted McKenna, formerly of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, dies aged 68 during a routine operation for a hernia.

BIRTHDAYS: Tippi (Nathalie) Hedren, actress, 91; Michael Crawford, actor, 79; Dolly Parton, singer-songwriter, 75; Dennis Taylor, snooker champion, 72; Francis Buchholz, bassist (The Scorpions) 71; Dewey (Lee) Bunell, singer-songwriter/guitarist, 69; Katey Sagal, actress, 67; Simon Rattle, conductor, 66; Mickey Virtue, keyboards, (UB40) 64; Caron Wheeler, singer (Soul II Soul) 58; Martin Bashir, journalist, 58; John Bercow, former politician, 58; Stefan Edberg, tennis star, 55; Steve Staunton, footballer, 52; Wiley (Richard Cowie), rapper/producer, 42; Jenson Button, Formula 1 champion, 41; Tommy Fleetwood, golfer, 30.

Mick Ferris

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