It happened today – this day in history – January 29

1594: Mathematician John Napier predicts end of the world in 1688 or 1700.

1728: John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera” premieres in London.

1781: Mozart’s opera “Idomeneo” premieres in Munich.

1814: Russia and Prussia are defeated by France in the Battle of Brienne.

1820: Death of George III aged 81 after years of mental illness.

1834: President Andrew Jackson orders first use of US troops to suppress a labour dispute.

1845: Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “The Raven” is published.

1856: The Victoria Cross is established to acknowledge valour in the face of the enemy.

1860: Playwright Anton Chekhov is born in Russia.

1862: Birth of composer Frederick Delius in Bradford.

1863: American soldiers slaughter hundreds of Native Americans at the confluence of the Bear River and Beaver Creek in present day Idaho.

1880: Comedy actor W C Fields (William Claude Dukenfield), is born in Philadelphia.

1888: Poet Edward Lear dies aged 75.

1892: The Coca-Cola Company is incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia.

1916: Paris is bombed by German Zeppelins.

1917: British submarine K13 sinks in Gaire Loch, Scotland.

1925: David Lloyd George becomes leader of the Liberal Party.

1942: First broadcast of “Desert Island Discs” on BBC radio. Presenter Roy Plomley’s first guest is comedian Vic Oliver.

1943: New Zealand cruiser Kiwi collides with Japanese submarine I-1 at Guadalcanal.

1944: 285 German bombers attack London.

1947: Arthur Miller’s play “All My Sons” premieres in New York.

1949: Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland recognise Israel.

1951: Film star Elizabeth Taylor divorces Conrad Hilton.

1957: Graham Greene’s “The Potting Shed” premieres in New York.

1958: Actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward marry in Las Vegas.


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1959: Dense fog brings road, rail and air transport in many parts of England and Wales to a virtual standstill.

1961: Bob Dylan achieves his dream of meeting his idol Woody Guthrie. Guthrie, on weekend release from hospital where he is being treated for Huntington’s Chorea. He gives Dylan a card which says: ‘I ain’t dead yet’.

1964: The Beatles spend the day at Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris for their only EMI recording session outside the UK where they record vocals in German for the songs She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand and Can’t Buy Me Love. On the same day, the Winter Olympic Games open in Innsbruck, Austria. Also, film star Alan Ladd dies from an accidental overdose aged 50.

1968: After a Doors gig in Las Vegas, singer Jim Morrison taunts a security guard in the parking lot by pretending to smoke a joint, resulting in a fight. The police arrest Morrison and charge him with vagrancy, public drunkenness, and failure to possess sufficient identification.

1976: A series of IRA bombs explode in the West End of London.

1977: Comedian Freddie Prinze shoots himself aged 22.

1979: Schoolgirl Brenda Spencer kills two people and wounds nine others when she fires from her house across the street into the entrance of San Diego’s Grover Cleveland Elementary School. When asked why she did it, she answers: “I don’t like Mondays”, which prompts Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats to write the song of the same name.

1980: Comedian Jimmy Durante dies aged 86.

1984: Singles chart:

  1. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  2. Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
  3. That’s Livin’ Alright – Joe Fagin
  4. Radio Ga Ga – Queen
  5. Break My Stride – Matthew Wildr
  6. (Feels Like) Heaven – Fiction Factory
  7. Pipes Of Peace – Paul McCartney
  8. Here Comes The Rain Again – Eurythmics
  9. The Killing Moon – Echo & The Bunnymen
  10. Wonderland – Big Country
1984: Eurythmics – Touch

Album chart:

  1. Touch – Eurythmics
  2. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  3. Milk And Honey – John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  4. No Parlez – Paul Young
  5. An Innocent Man – Billy Joel
  6. Now That’s What I Call Music – Various Artists
  7. Can’t Slow Down – Lionel Richie
  8. Under A Blood Red Sky – U2
  9. Pipes Of Peace – Paul McCartney
  10. The Crosing – Big Country

1985: Oxford University snubs Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher by refusing her an honorary degree.

1987: The president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino, puts down a rebellion against her government in Manila.

1992: Blues singer-songwriter Willie Dixon dies of heart failure.

1995: The San Francisco 49ers beat the San Diego Chargers, 49-26 to win the Super Bowl.

1996: French President Jacques Chirac says France will no longer test nuclear weapons.

2001: Thousands of student protesters in Indonesia storm parliament and demand that President Abdurrahman Wahid resign due to alleged involvement in corruption scandals.

2003: Wilmslow solicitor Sally Clark is cleared by the Court of Appeal of murdering her two sons after serving more than three years of a life sentence.

2009: Singer-songwriter John Martyn dies aged 60.

2015: Poet and singer-songwriter Rod McKuen dies aged 81.

2018: Toronto police arrest landscaper Bruce McArthur for murder after the remains of at least five people are found in potted plants.

2019: Toronto landscaper Bruce McArthur admits in court to the murder of eight gay men. On the same day, actor Jussie Smollett suffers a suspected racist and homophobic attack in Chicago . Also, singer, songwriter James Ingram dies after a long battle with brain cancer aged 66.

2021: Nigerian farmers win a landmark case against Shell at the Court of Appeal of the Hague. Shell is held accountable for oil spills and ordered to carry out a clean-up in the Delta region.

2022: Women’s tennis No1 Ashleigh Barty wins the Australian Open.

2023: Motown songwriter Barratt Strong dies aged 81.

Oprah Winfrey

BIRTHDAYS: Germaine Greer, author, 85; Katharine Ross, actress, 84; Tony Blackburn, DJ, 81; Andrew Loog Oldham, producer/manager, 80; Tom Selleck, actor, 79; Bettye LaVette (Betty Jo Haskins), singer-songwriter, 78; Marc Singer, actor, 76; Jody Scheckter, motor racer, 73; Tim Healy, actor 72; Louie Perez, guitarist (Los Lobos), 71; Oprah Winfrey, TV host/actress, 70; Greg Louganis, Olympic diver, 64; Dave Baynton-Power, drummer, (James) 63; Eddie Jackson, bassist, (Queensryche) 63; Anna Ryder Richardson, TV presenter/interior designer, 60; Roddy Frame, singer-songwriter (Aztec Camera), 60; Ed Burns, actor, 56; Heather Graham, actress, 54; Sara Gilbert, actress, 49; Adam Lambert, singer, 42; Rag’n’Bone Man (Rory Graham) singer-songwriter, 39; Giovanna Fletcher, podcaster/author, 39; Laura Coombs, footballer 33.