It happened today – this day in history – January 5

1066: Death of Edward the Confessor.

1463: French poet Francois Villon is banished from Paris.

1500: Duke Ludovico Sforza reconquers Milan.

1531: Pope Clemens VII forbids Henry VIII from remarrying.

1719: Britain, Hannover, Saxony-Poland and Austria sign an anti-Prussian Russian pact.

1757: French King Louis XV survives an assassination attempt.

1781: A British naval expedition led by US general and turncoat Benedict Arnold, burns Richmond, Virginia.

1846: The US House of Representatives votes to stop sharing Oregon Territory with the UK.

1886: Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” is published.

1900: Irish leader John Edward Redmond calls for a revolt against British rule.

1916: Austria-Hungary launches an offensive against Montenegro.

1919: The German Workers’ Party, a precursor to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi), forms.

1922: Polar explorer Ernest Shackleton dies from a heart attach aged 47.

1930: Bonnie Parker meets Clyde Barrow for the first time.

1933: Work begins on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On the same day, former US President Calvin Coolidge dies aged 60.

1939: Aviator Amelia Earhart is declared dead after disappearing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.

1941: British and Australian troops conquer Bardia, Libya. On the same day, aviator Amy Johnson dies aged 37 after bailing out of her aircraft as it crashed into the Thames near Herne Bay.

1953: Samuel Beckett’s “En Attendant Godot” (Waiting For Godot) premieres in Paris.

1968: Jimi Hendrix is jailed for one day in Stockholm on drink charges after going berserk and destroying everything in his hotel room.

1969: The USSR’s Venera 5 launched for the first successful landing on another planet – Venus.

1972: President Nixon signs a bill for NASA to begin research on a manned space shuttle.


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1973: Mali and Niger break off diplomatic relations with Israel.

1976: Ten Protestant men are shot dead as they return home from work in a mini-bus in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland. On the same day, Cambodia is renamed Democratic Kampuchea.

1979: Jazz double bassist, pianist and composer Charles Mingus dies aged 56.

1981: Peter Sutcliffe confesses to the murder of 13 women and being the Yorkshire Ripper.

1986: Singles chart:

  1. West End Girls -Pet Shop Boys
  2. Saving All My Love For You – Whitney Houston
  3. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
  4. Hit That Perfect Beat – Bronski Beat
  5. The Sun Always Shines On TV – A-Ha
  6. Dress You Up – Madonna
  7. Girlie Girlie – Sophia George
  8. Walking In The Air – Aled Jones
  9. I’m Your Man – Wham!
  10. Saturday Love – Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal
1986: Grace Jones – Island Life

Album chart:

  1. Now That’s What I Call Music 6 – Various Artists
  2. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  3. Like A Virgin – Madonna
  4. Hits 3 – Various Artists
  5. The Singles Collection – Spandau Ballet
  6. Promise – Sade
  7. World Machine – Level 42
  8. The Greatest Hits Of 1985 – Various Artists
  9. Island Life – Grace Jones
  10. Songs From The Big Chair – Tears For Fears

1993: A tanker carrying 85,000 tonnes of crude oil runs aground in hurricane force winds off the Shetland Islands.

1998: Singer-songwriter, producer, and politician Sonny Bono is killed in a skiing accident at a resort near Lake Tahoe, aged 62. On the same day, vandals decapitate Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue.

2001: A report reveals that former GP Harold Shipman had potentially killed up to 300 patients.

2002: Atomic Kitten’s Kerry Katona marries Westlife singer Brian McFadden in Ireland.

2003: Politician Roy Jenkins dies aged 82.

2004: Kinks singer Ray Davies is shot in the leg while chasing a mugger in New Orleans.

2006: Politician Lord Merlyn-Rees dies aged 85.

2010: Producer Willie Mitchell dies aged 81.

2015: Film actress Cameron Diaz marries Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden in Beverly Hills and promptly announces her retirement from acting.

2016: Donald Fagen, founder of Steely Dan, is charged with assaulting his wife. Fagen, was accused of pushing Libby Titus into a marble window frame, knocking her to the ground, at their Manhattan apartment.

2019: Eric Haydock, original bass player with The Hollies and one of the first musicians in Britain to use a Fender Bass VI six-string bass, dies age 75.

2020: Iran pulls out of the 2015 nuclear deal to limit its enrichment or uranium. On the same day, Chinese professor Zhang Yongzhen publishes the first SARS-CoV-2 genome map online, allowing health professionals worldwide to identify COVID-19.

BIRTHDAYS: Robert Duvall, actor, 90; Juan Carlos I, former king of Spain, 83; Jan Leeming, newsreader, 79; Diane Keaton, actress, 75; Chris Stein, guitarist/songwriter (Blondie) 71; Pamela Sue Martin, actress, 68; Clancy Brown, actor, 62; Vinnie Jones, actor/footballer, 56; Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner), singer, 52; Troy Van Leeuwen, guitarist (Queens Of The Stone Age) 51; Bradley Cooper, actor/director, 46; January Jones, actress, 43; Suki (Alice) Waterhouse, model 29.