It happened today – this day in history – January 24

41: Claudius becomes Roman Emperor on the assassination of his nephew Caligula by the Praetorian Guard.

1121: Henry I marries his second wife Adeliza of Louvain at Windsor Castle.

1328: Edward III marries Philippa of Hainault in York Minster.

1568: In The Netherlands, the Duke of Alva declares William of Orange an outlaw.

1644: The Parliamentary army wins the Battle of Nantwich in Cheshire during the English Civil War.

1679: Charles II disbands Parliament.

1839: Charles Darwin is elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

1848: James Marshall finds gold in Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, which leads to the California Gold Rush.

1862: The Romanian principality arises under King Alexander Cuza with Bucharest as its capital.

1874: Modest Mussorgsky’s opera “Boris Godunov” premieres in St Petersburg.

1875: Premiere of Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Danse Macabre”, which has since been used as the theme for the 1990s BBC series Jonathan Creek and the 2020 Netflix series Ratched.

1900: Boers take on the British Army at the Battle of Tugela-Spionkop.

1908: Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell publishes “Scouting for Boys” as a manual for self-instruction in outdoor skills and self-improvement. The book becomes the inspiration for the Scout Movement.

1916: The Military Service Bill, calling for conscription of men for war services, passes in the House of Commons.

1924: St Petersburg is renamed Leningrad.

1925: Release of Alfred Hitchcock’s first film as director – The Pleasure Garden.

1936: Albert Sarraut becomes Prime Minister of France.

1939: An earthquake in Concepcion, Chile, kills 30,000.

1941: British troops march into Abyssinia.

1943: Adolf Hitler orders German troops at Stalingrad to fight to the death.

1944: Allied troops occupy Nettuno, Italy.

1956: Plans to build a “new town” in the Barbican area of London left devastated by the war are considered at a public inquiry.

1958: After warming to 100,000,000 degrees, two light atoms are bashed together to create a heavier atom, resulting in the first man-made nuclear fusion.

1960: Algeria uprising against French president Charles De Gaulle.

1961: Screen icon Marilyn Monroe divorces playwright Arthur Miller.

1962: The Beatles sign a management deal with Brian Epstein saying he would ger 25 per cent of the band’s gross earnings.

1965: Sir Winston Churchill dies aged 90.


1966: Over 100 passengers are killed when an Air India Boeing-707 plane crashes into Mont Blanc.

1969: Students protesting at the installation of steel security gates at the London School of Economics go on the rampage with crowbars, pickaxes and sledgehammers. On the same day, Northern Ireland Deputy Prime Minister Brian Faulkner resigns in protest at the lack of ‘strong government’ on the part of PM Terence O’Neill.

1971: Singles chart:

  1. My Sweet Lord – George Harrison
  2. Grandad – Clive Dunn
  3. The Pushbike Song – The Mixtures
  4. Ride A White Swan – T. Rex
  5. Apeman – The Kinks
  6. I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5
  7. I Hear You Knocking – Dave Edmunds
  8. Amazing Grace – Judy Collins
  9. Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys – The Equals
  10. Cracklin’ Rosie – Neil Diamond
1971: Led Zeppelin III

Album chart:

  1. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  2. Greatest Hits – Andy Williams
  3. Motown Chartbusters Vol 4 – Various Artists
  4. All Things Must Pass – George Harrison
  5. Led Zeppelin III – Led Zeppelin
  6. Tumbleweed Collection – Elton John
  7. In Rock – Deep Purple
  8. Air Conditioning – Curved Air
  9. McGuinness Flint – McGuinness Flint
  10. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Andy Williams

1972: Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi is found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since 1945, unaware that the Second World War had ended.

1974: The Commonwealth Games open in Christchurch, New Zealand.

1975: Larry Fine of The Three Stooges dies aged 72.

1976: New Kettering Town player-manager and chief executive Derek Dougan signs a four-figure deal with Kettering Tyres for the first ever shirt sponsorship in football. On the same day, Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher win Golden Globes for their roles in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

1977: Five labour lawyers are murdered by fascists in Madrid during the Spanish transition to democracy.

1982: San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21 to win the Super Bowl.

1983: Director George Cukor dies aged 83.

1984: Apple Inc unveils the Macintosh PC.

1986: Trade and Industry Secretary Leon Brittan becomes the second cabinet minister to resign over the Westland helicopter affair. On the same day, Voyager 2 makes the first fly-by of the planet Uranus. Also, sci-fi author and founder of the Church of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard dies aged 74.

1989: Serial killer Ted Bundy is executed aged 42 in the electric chair.

1990: The Commonwealth Games open in Auckland, New Zealand.

1993: Turkish journalist and writer Uğur Mumcu is assassinated by a car bomb in Ankara.

2001: Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson resigns from the cabinet over a passports-for-cash scandal.

2003: The US Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation.

2004: Actress Selma Blair marries Ahmet Zappa at Carrie Fisher’s mansion in Beverly Hills.

2005: Country singer Lynn Anderson is arrested for shoplifting after being caught stealing a Harry Potter DVD from a New Mexico supermarket and punching a police officer during her arrest.

2006: Actor Chris Penn dies aged 40.

2009: Boxing commentator Reg Gutteridge dies aged 84.

2011: 35 die and 180 are injured in a bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.

2017: President Donald Trump withdraws the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. On the same day, drummer Butch Trucks from The Allman Brothers Band dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head aged 69.

2018: Former US Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar is sentenced to up to 175 years in prison after being found guilty of molesting over 150 girls. On the same day, singer-songwriter Mark E Smith of The Fall dies aged 60 from cancer.

BIRTHDAYS: Bamber Gascoigne, TV presenter/author, 86; Ray Stevens, singer-songwriter, 83; Aaron Neville, singer, 81; Neil Diamond, singer-songwriter, 81; Moon Jai-in, President of South Korea, 69; Jools Holland, pianist/TV presenter, 67; Adrian Edmondson, comedian/actor, 65; Vic Reeves (Jim Moir) comedian/actor, 63; Nastassja Kinski, actress, 61; Mary Lou Retton, Olympic gymnast, 54; Matthew Lillard, actor, 52; Beth Hart, singer-songwriter, 50; Ed Helms, actor, 48; Kristen Schaal, comedian/actress, 44; Mischa Barton, actress, 36; Luis Suarez, footballer, 35.