It happened today – this day in history – January 2

17: Death of the Roman poet Ovid.

1570: Ivan the Terrible’s march to Novgorod begins.

1757: British troops occupy Calcutta.

1776: Austria ends the use of interrogation by torture.

1815: Romantic poet Lord Byron marries Anne Isabella Milbanke by special licence in County Durham.

1830: Birth of writer Henry Kingsley in Northants.

1833: Britain seizes control of Falkland Islands in South Atlantic.

1839: Louis Daguerre take the first photograph of the Moon.

1843: Richard Wagner’s opera “The Flying Dutchman” premieres in Dresden.

1881: Premiere of Camille Saint-Saëns’ 3rd Concerto in B.

1885: General Wolseley receives the last distress signal of General Gordon in Khartoum.

1903: US President Theodore Roosevelt shuts down the post office in Indianola Mississippi, for refusing to accept its appointed postmistress because she was black.

1905: Japanese troops capture Port Arthur from Russia.

1913: Mahatma Gandhi leaves the Tolstoy Farm in Transvaal, South Africa.

1920: Russian scientist and sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov is born in Petrovichi.

1923: The Ku Klux Klan launches a surprise attack on a black residential area in Rosewood, Florida, killing eight.

1926: The first issue of the music magazine Melody Maker goes on sale.

1933: Don Bradman holds off England’s hostile pace bowling to score an unbeaten 103 leading Australia to a 111-run victory in the 2nd ‘Bodyline’ Test in Melbourne. On the same day, US troops leave Nicaragua.

1935: The trial begins of Bruno Hauptmann for the kidnap and murder of the Lindbergh baby.

1939: A crowd of 118,567 at Ibrox for the ‘Old Firm’ match between Rangers and Celtic is still the highest attendance for a League match in Britain. Rangers won 2-1.

1941: German bombing severely damages Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.

1942: The 28 nations at war with the Axis powers pledge not to make separate peace deals. On the same day, Japanese troops occupy Manila in The Philippines.

1947: Mahatma Gandhi begins a march for peace in East Bengal.


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1955: The President of Panama, Jose Antonio Remon is assassinated.

1957: Gene Fullmer wins the world middleweight boxing title with a 15-round unanimous decision over Sugar Ray Robinson at Madison Square Gardens in New York.

1960: Senator John F Kennedy announces his candidacy for the US Presidency.

1965: Ayub Khan is elected President of Pakistan.

1968: Dr Christiaan Barnard performs the second ever heart transplant operation on Philip Blaiberg in South Africa. On the same day, Cecil Day-Lewis is appointed Poet Laureate by HM The Queen.

1969: Australian media magnate, Rupert Murdoch, beats off a rival bid to win control of the News of the World newspaper group. On the same day, filming begins at Twickenham studios of The Beatles rehearsing. The project intends to show the band preparing and recording their next album – without any overdubs – with the finale, their first live performance since August 1966. Things didn’t quite work out that way.

1971: A crush of Glasgow Rangers fans on Stairway 13 at Ibrox stadium in the final minutes of the ‘old firm’ clash with Celtic results in 66 deaths. On the same day, after Blackpool thrash West Ham 4-0 in the FA Cup, manager Ron Greenwood pushes to sack skipper Bobby Moore, Brian Dear, Jimmy Greaves and Clyde Best from the club when he finds they were drinking in a nightclub the previous evening. Instead they receive bans and fines but the relationship between manager and captain is never the same.

1972: Mariner 9 begins mapping the surface of Mars. On the same day, Britain’s Virginia Wade wins the Australian Open Women’s Tennis title, beating Evonne Goolagong 6-4, 6-4.

1974: Country singer, actor and radio presenter Tex Ritter dies of a heart attack while trying to bail a member of his band from a jail in Nashville.

1977: Singles chart:

  1. When A Child Is born – Johnny Mathis
  2. Under The Moon Of Love – Showaddywaddy
  3. Portsmouth – Mike Oldfield
  4. Money Money Money – ABBA
  5. Living Next Door To Alice – Smokie
  6. Somebody To Love – Queen
  7. Dr Love – Tina Charles
  8. Don’t Give Up On Us – David Soul
  9. Grandma’s Party – Paul Nicholas
  10. Lean On Me – Mud
1977: ABBA – Arrival

Album chart:

  1. A Day At The Races – Queen
  2. 20 Golden Greats – Glen Campbell
  3. Arrival – ABBA
  4. Greatest Hits – Showaddywaddy
  5. Disco Rocket – Various Artists
  6. Greatest Hits – ABBA
  7. Hotel California – The Eagles
  8. Songs In The Key Of Life – Stevie Wonder
  9. 20 Golden Guitar Greats – Bert Weedon
  10. Greatest Hits – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

1979: Sid Vicious goes on trial in New York accused of murdering his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

1980: Steel workers hold their first national strike for more than 50 years over a pay dispute. On the same day, singer Larry Williams is found dead from a gunshot wound to his head in his Los Angeles home, aged 45.

1981: Singer David Lynch of The Platters dies from cancer.

1983: Comedian Dick Emery dies aged 65.

1996: The first convoy of American combat troops arrives in Northern Bosnia to try and keep the peace between Bosnian Serbs and Muslims.

1997: Guitarist Randy California (Wolfe) of Spirit drowns aged 45 while rescuing his 12-year old son who had been sucked into a riptide in the surf off Hawaii.

2003: 50 Cent is arrested by police in New York after guns are found in his vehicle.

2016: Saudi Arabia executes 47 alleged terrorists, including Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

2019: Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic becomes the most expensive American soccer player when he signs for Chelsea for £58million.

BIRTHDAYS: Dabney Coleman, actor, 90; Kerry Minnear, keyboardist/cellist (Gentle Giant), 74; Francois Pienaar, South African rugby captain, 55; Cuba Gooding Jr, actor, 54; Christy Turlington, model, 53; Taye (Scott) Diggs, actor, 51; Lucy Davis, actress, 49; Dax Shepard, actor/writer/director, 47; Suranne Jones, actress, 43; Kate Bosworth, actress/model, 39.