It happened today – this day in history – January 26

1340: England’s Edward III is proclaimed king of France.

1531: Lisbon is hit by and earthquake killing 30,000.

1666: France declares war on England and Munster.

1697: Isaac Newton receives Jean Bernoulli’s 6 month time-limit problem and solves it before going to bed that same night.

1736: Stanislaw I of Poland abdicates.

1788: Captain Arthur Phillip and British colonists hoist the Union Flag at Sydney Cove, New South Wales, now celebrated as Australia Day.

1790: Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutte” premieres in Vienna.

1823: Death of Edward Jenner, father of immunology.

1837: Michigan becomes the 26th state of the US.

1841: Hong Kong is proclaimed a sovereign territory of Britain.

1875: The electric dental drill is patented by George F Green.

1905: The world’s largest diamond, the 3,106-carat Cullinan, is found in South Africa.

1907: John Millington Synge’s “Playboy of Western World” opens in Dublin. It is judged as immoral and causes riots.

1926: John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of television in his laboratory in London.

1934: Nazi Germany and Poland sign a 10-year non-aggression treaty.

1939: Filming begins on Gone With The Wind. On the same day, Franco’s troops conquer Barcelona.

1945: Soviet forces reach Auschwitz concentration camp.

1968: Pink Floyd played their first gig without Syd Barrett at Southampton University. He had been waiting at the side of the road to be picked up and the band van drove past without him.

1969: Margaret Court wins the inaugural Australian Open Women’s tennis title, beating Billie Jean King.

1977: Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green was committed to a mental hospital following an incident when he threatened his accountant Clifford Adams with an air rifle when he was trying to deliver a £30,000 royalty cheque to him.

1980: Mary Decker becomes the first woman to run a mile in under 4½ minutes.

1982: For the first time since the 1930s, the unemployed figure in the UK rises above 3 million.

1998: President Bill Clinton says: “I want to say one thing to the American people; I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

2003: Billy Joel was airlifted to hospital after his car smashed into a tree in The Hamptons, New York.

2004: John Lydon was one of ten contestants to take part in the latest I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.

2005: Condoleezza Rice is sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State, the first African American woman to hold the post.

2019: Death of composer Michel Legrand aged 86.

BIRTHDAYS: Scott Glenn, actor, 79; Corky (Laurence) Laing, drummer (Mountain) 72; David Strathairn, actor, 71; Lucinda Williams, singer/songwriter 67; Eddie Van Halen, guitarist, 65; Anita Baker, singer, 62; Ellen DeGeneris, comedian/TV host, 62; Jazzy B (Beresford Romeo) musician (Soul2Soul) 57; Andrew Ridgley, 57; Jose Mourinho, Spurs manager, 57; Cameron Bright, actor, 27; Tyger Drew-Honey, actor, 24.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: