It happened today – this day in history – January 8

871: Ethelred I of Wessex and his brother Alfred the Great defeat the invading Danish army at the Battle of Ashdown.

1297: Monaco gains its independence.

1324: Death of explorer Marco Polo aged 69.

1642: Astronomer Galileo Galilei dies aged 77.

1705: Handel’s first opera “Almira” premieres in Hamburg.

1708: A Spanish armada headed by the San Jose and loaded with gold is sunk after the British fleet attacks off the coast of Colombia.

1734: George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante premieres at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

1746: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite troops occupy Stirling.

1790: US President George Washington delivers the first ever State Of The Union address.

1800: The Austrians defeat the French in Second Battle of Novi.

1815: The Battle of New Orleans is fought even though the War of 1812 had ended on Christmas Eve, as none of the forces knew.

1824: Writer Wilkie (William) Collins is born in London.

1902: New York state assemblyman Francis G Landon gets a bill passed to make men turning around on the street and “looking at a woman in that way” a criminal act.

1916: ANZAC forces withdraw from the Gallipoli Peninsula after Ottoman forces successfully defend access to Constantinople.

1917: Austria-Hungarian troops conquer Forlani, Italy.

1940: Bacon, butter and sugar is rationed in Britain.

1941: Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, dies aged 83.

1959: General Charles de Gaulle is proclaimed first President of the new Fifth Republic of France.

1961: The French people vote to grant Algeria its independence in a referendum after seven years of guerilla war.


1966: Georges Pompidou is re-elected prime minister of France.

On TV (Saturday):

13.00World of Sport
featuring table tennis, wrestling and racing from Sandown Park
17.05Sports Results Service
17.15Thank Your Lucky Stars
with Cilla Black, The Walker Brothers, Twinkle and The Mindbenders
18.05The Beverly Hillbillies
Comedy series starring Buddy Ebsen.
Gerry Anderson puppet adventure
19.30The Big Valley
20.25The Arthur Haynes Show
21.00Court Martial
22.05Armchair Theatre
23.05On the Braden Beat
23.35Interpol Calling

12.40Notice Board
12.45Grandstand featuring motocross and boxing
17.15Juke Box Jury
Katie Boyle, Paul Jones, Peter Murray and Dee Dee Warwick pass judgement on the week’s new singles releases with presenter David Jacobs.
17.45The News And The Weather
17.50Doctor Who
The TARDIS lands in ancient Egypt at the Great Pyramid. The Daleks also arrive in pursuit. Starring William Hartnell.
18.15The Munsters
Comedy series starring Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster.
18.40Dixon Of Dock Green
19.25Film: Dakota Lil (1950)
US Secret Service agent Tom Horn (George Montgomery) combats a dangerous gang of train robbers in the Wyoming badlands.
20.50The Benny Hill Show
21.35The News And Sport
21.50The Spies

15.30 – 17.05Film: Pandora And The Flying Dutchman (1951)
Romance starring Ava Gardner and James Mason
19.30Rugby Special
20.15Pure Gingold
Featuring Hermione Gingold
20.50The Staffordshire Rebels
21.35Tonight In Person: The Voice and Sound of Africa
Featuring Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela
22.05Match Of The Day
Highlights from Arsenal v Liverpool with Kenneth Wolstenholme
22.50News Summary
22.55Late Night Line-Up

1973: Judge John Sirica begins the trial of the Watergate burglars in Washington, D.C.

1975: Judge Sirica orders the release of Watergate’s John W. Dean III, Herbert W. Kalmbach and Jeb Stuart Magruder from prison.

1989: A Boeing 737 crashes onto the M1 motorway at Kegworth near East Midlands airport, killing 46 people.

Singles chart:

  1. Especially For You – Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan
  2. Crackers International (EP) – Erasure
  3. Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry
  4. Good Life – Inner City
  5. Suddenly – Angry Anderson
  6. Four Letter Word – Kim Wilde
  7. Loco In Acapulco – The Four Tops
  8. She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Caniballs
  9. All She Wants Is – Duran Duran
  10. Baby I Love Your Way/ Freebird – Will To Power
1989: Michael Jackson – Bad

Album chart:

  1. The Innocents – Erasure
  2. Kylie – Kylie Minogue
  3. The Legendary Roy Orbison – Roy Orbison
  4. Greatest Hits – Fleetwood Mac
  5. The Greatest Hits Collection – Bananarama
  6. Bad – Michael Jackson
  7. Private Collection – Cliff Richard
  8. Watermark – Enya
  9. Money For Nothing – Dire Straits
  10. Kick – INXS

1990: Actor Terry Thomas (Thomas Hoar-Stevens) dies of Parkinsin’s disease aged 78.

1991: One person dies and hundreds are injured when a commuter train crashes into buffers at Cannon Street station, London. On the same day, Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark is found dead from a drug overdose at his Chelsea flat.

1992: US President George Bush vomits on the Japanese prime minister’s lap during a reception.

1996: Former French president Francois Mitterrand dies aged 79.

1997: Kevin Keegan resigns as manager of Newcastle United.

2001: The child killers of toddler James Bulger, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, are granted new identities and lifetime anonymity by a judge.

2004: RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by the Queen.

2011: Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is fatally shot at a grocery store.

2016: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announces the recapture of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, six months after his escape from prison. On the same day, Soul singer Otis Clay dies aged 73.

2017: Singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt dies at the age of 75.

2020: Iran launches a missile strike on American troops in Irbil and Al Asad bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani. On the same day, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce they are stepping back as senior royals, leaving Britain and will work towards becoming financially independent.

BIRTHDAYS: Larry Storch, actor, 99; Dame Shirley Bassey, singer, 85; Carolina Herrera, fashion designer, 83; Lee Jackson, bassist (The Nice) 79; Robbie Krieger, guitarist, (The Doors) 76; Ron Sexsmith, singer-songwriter, 58; R (Robert) Kelly, singer-songwriter, 53; Sean Paul, singer, 49; Genevieve Padalecki, actress, 41; Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea, 38; David Silva, footballer, 36; Cynthia Enviro, actress, 35.