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 independence.

1324: Death of explorer Marco Polo aged 69.

1642: Astronomer Galileo Galilei dies at 77.

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

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

1790: US President George Washington delivers the first state of the union address.

1877: Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle with the US Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).

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

1904: Pope Pius X banned low cut dresses in the presence of churchmen.

1918: Mississippi becomes 1st state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, authorizing the prohibition of alcohol.

1926: Abdulaziz Ibn Saud becomes King of Nejd and Hejaz; forerunner of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

1935: Elvis Presley is born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

1940: Britain rations bacon, butter and sugar.

1941: Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the British Boy Scout movement, dies at 83.

1954: On his 19th birthday, Elvis Presley pays $4 to a Memphis studio and records his first two songs, “Casual Love” & “I’ll Never Stand in Your Way”.

1958: Cuban revolutionary forces capture Havana.

1959: Charles de Gaulle is inaugurated as president of France’s Fifth Republic.

1990: Death of comic actor Terry Thomas at 78.

1991: Steve Clark, guitarist with Def Leppard, was found dead at his Chelsea flat.

1992: George Bush is taken ill at a reception and vomits on the Japanese prime minister’s lap.

1996: A Los Angeles court found Robert Hoskins guilty of five counts of stalking, assault and making terrorist threats to Madonna. On the same day, former French president Francois Mitterand dies aged 79.

2000: Police foiled a £1 million kidnap plot to snatch Victoria Beckham and her baby son.

2016: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announces the recapture of drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, six months after he escaped prison.

BIRTHDAYS: Shirley Bassey, singer, 83; Lee Jackson, bassist (The Nice) 77; Robbie Krieger, guitarist (The Doors) 74; Steve Garvey, bassist (The Buzzcocks) 62; R Kelly, singer, 51; Sean Paul, singer, 47; Kim Jong Un, Leader of North Korea, 37; David Silva, footballer, 34.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]