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 second ‘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.


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 intended to be 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.

Singles chart:

  1. I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing – The New Seekers
  2. Ernie The Fastest Milkman In The West – Benny Hill
  3. Jeepster – T. Rex
  4. Softly Whipering I Love You – The Congregation
  5. Soley Soley – Middle of the Road
  6. Theme From Shaft – Isaac Hayes
  7. Something Tells Me – Cilla Black
  8. Sleepy Shores – The Johnny Pearson Orchestra
  9. Now Matter How I Try – Gilbert O’Sullivan
  10. I Just Can’t Help Believing – Elvis Presley
1971: John Lennon – Imagine

Album chart:

  1. Electric Warrior – T. Rex
  2. Bridge Over Troubleed Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  3. Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
  4. Teaser And The Firecat – Cat Steveens
  5. A Nod’s As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse – The Faces
  6. Everey Picture Tells A Story – Rod Stewart
  7. Motown Chartbusters Vol 6 – Various Artists
  8. Imagine – John Lennon
  9. Words And Music – Benny Hill
  10. Tapestry – Carole King

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.

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.

2021: Donald Trump says to Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger: “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” in a recording released by the Washington Post.

2023: Former Earth Wind and Fire drummer Fred White dies aged 67.

BIRTHDAYS: Dabney Coleman, actor, 92; Kerry Minnear, keyboardist/cellist (Gentle Giant), 76; Derek Parkin, footballer, 76; Siobhan Finneran, actor, 58; Francois Pienaar, South African rugby captain, 57; Cuba Gooding Jr, actor, 56; Christy Turlington, model, 55; Taye (Scott) Diggs, actor, 53; Lucy Davis, actress, 51; Dax Shepard, actor/writer/director, 49; Suranne Jones, actress, 45; Kate Bosworth, actress/model, 41