- It happened today – this day in history – October 17 - 17/10/2021
- It happened today – this day in history – October 16 - 16/10/2021
- Tributes flood in after death of Sir David Amess MP - 15/10/2021
251: The Battle of Abrittus is won by the Goths against the Romans.
1200: Sunglasses are invented in China.
1535: Sir Thomas More goes on trial in London charged with treason.
1690: The Battle of The Boyne: the army of Protestant King William III defeats deposed Roman Catholic King James II in Ireland.
1782: Prime Minister Charles Watson Wentworth, second Marquis of Rockingham, dies in an influenza epidemic aged 52.
1798: Napoleon’s fleet reaches Alexandria, Egypt.
1804: Birth of novelist George Sand (Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dudevant) in Paris.
1823: The United Provinces of Central America gain independence from Mexico.
1831: Admiral James C Ross reaches the magnetic North Pole.
1863: The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Confederate General Robert E Lee’s northward advance is halted.
1867: The Dominion of Canada is formed, comprising the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario & Quebec.
1873: Prince Edward Island becomes the seventh Canadian province.
1898: Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders charge up San Juan Hill.
1903: The inaugural Tour de France begins in Montgeron, Paris. On the same day, aviator Amy Johnson is born in Hull.
1904: The third modern summer Olympic Games open in St Louis, USA.
1905: Albert Einstein introduces his theory of special relativity.
1908: The SOS distress signal becomes the worldwide standard for help.
1913: Serbia and Greece declare war on Bulgaria.
1916: First day of the Battle of the Somme: the British Army suffers its worst day, losing 19,240 men.
1920: French superstar Suzanne Lenglen beats Dorothea Chambers 6-3, 6-0 to win the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles title.
1921: Suzanne Lenglen beats Elizabeth Ryan 6-2, 6-0 for her third straight Wimbledon singles title. On the same day, the Communist Party of China is founded and Chen Duxiu elected as leader.
1925: French composer Erik Satie dies aged 59.
1932: Helen Wills Moody beats fellow American Helen Jacobs 6-3, 6-1 for her fifth of eight Wimbledon Ladies Singles titles.
1933: The German nazi regime declares that married women shouldn’t work.
1937: Spanish bishops support Franco and his fascist movement.
1942: German troops conquer Sebastopol.
1959: Heinrich Lubke is elected President of West Germany.
1960: Fidel Castro nationalizes Esso, Shell and Texaco in Cuba. On the same day, Ghana becomes a republic.
1963: Former Foreign Office official Harold “Kim” Philby is confirmed as the third man in the Burgess and Maclean Soviet spy case. On the same day, The Beatles record their next single She Loves You / I’ll Get You, at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London, in less than four hours..
1967: The first British colour TV broadcast, on BBC 2.
1969: The investiture of HRH Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle. On the same day, John Lennon and Yoko Ono aere involved in a car accident in Golspie, Scotland. Both need hospital treatment. Lennon later has the car crushed into a cube and exhibited on his lawn at Tittenhurst Park.
1970: British Home Secretary Reginald Maudling visits Northern Ireland and is reported as saying: “For God’s sake bring me a large Scotch. What a bloody awful country!”
1972: The first Gay Pride march in England takes place.
1973: Singles chart:
- Skweeze Me Pleeze Me – Slade
- Welcome Home – Peters and Lee
- Rubber Buets – 10cc
- Life On Mars – David Bowie
- Albatross – Fleetwood Mac
- Snoopy Vs The Red Baron – The Hotshots
- Born To Be With You – Dave Edmunds
- Groover – T. Rex
- Take Me To The Mardi Gras – Paul Simon
- Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) – George Harrison
- That’ll Be The Day – Various Artists
- Living In The Material Wirld – George Harrison
- And I Love You So – Perry Como
- We Can Make It – Peters and Lee
- There Goes Rhymin’ Simon – Paul Simon
- Aladdin Sane – David Bowie
- 1967-1970 (Blue Album) – The Beatles
- 1962-1966 (Red Album) – The Beatles
- Touch Me – Gary Glitter
- Clockwork Orange – Original Soundtrack
1974: General Augusto Pinochet becomes president and dictator of Chile. On the same day, Isabel Peron succeeds husband Juan as President of Argentina and Monmouthshire is renamed Gwent and becomes part of Wales.
1976: Portugal grants autonomy to Madeira.
1977: Britain’s Virginia Wade wins the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles title, defeating Betty Stove of The Netherlands 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
1979: Sony introduces the Walkman, the first popular portable cassette player.
1980: Steve Ovett breaks Sebastian Coe’s world record for the mile (3:48.8) in Oslo.
1981: Rushton Moreve, bassist with Steppenwolf, is killed in motorcycle accident in Santa Barbara, California, aged 32. He co-wrote their hit ‘Magic Carpet Ride’.
1987: Geoffrey Collier, former head of securities at Morgan Grenfell, one of the City’s top investment bankers, receives the first conviction for insider dealing.
1989: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner marries playmate Kimberly Conrad.
1994: The chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat, returns to the Gaza Strip after 27 years in exile.
1996: Actress and model Margaux Hemingway commits suicide aged 41.
1997: Hong Kong is handed back to China after more than 150 years of British control. On the same day, the Nevada Athletic Commission suspends Mike Tyson indefinitely and withholds the $20m purse for biting Evander Hoyfield’s ear during their heavyweight title fight on June 28 and film star Robert Mitchum dies aged 79.
1998: Barbra Streisand marries actor James Brolin in Malibu.
1999: The Scottish Parliament is officially opened by The Queen on the day powers are transferred from the old Scottish Office in London to the new devolved Scottish Executive in Edinburgh. On the same day, Singer Guy Mitchell, (Albert George Cernik) dies aged 72., and reggae singer Dennis Brown dies aged 42.
2000: Eight year-old schoolgirl Sarah Payne is abducted in West Sussex. (Her body is discovered on July 17). On the same day, actor Walter Matthau dies aged 79 and the Oresund Bridge, connecting Sweden and Denmark, opens for traffic.
2002: The International Criminal Court is established to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
2004: The Cassini-Huygens probe reaches Saturn and sends back the closest photographs yet of the planet’s rings. On the same day, film star Marlon Brando dies aged 80.
2005: Singer Renaldo “Obie” Benson of The Four Tops dies aged 69 from lung cancer. On the same day, singer-songwriter Luther Vandross dies aged 54 two years after suffering a major stroke.
2006: Legendary England fast bowler Fred Trueman dies aged 75.
2007: Smoking is banned in all public indoor spaces in England, with the ban already in force in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
2008: Guitarist Mel Galley (Trapeze/Whitesnake), dies aged 60 from cancer of the oesophagus.
2009: Sir Cliff Richard is ordered by the local council to demolish a £30,000 conservatory at his home in Surrey as it contravenes planning rules. On the same day, actor Karl Malden dies aged 97 and actress Mollie Sugden dies aged 86.
2011: Model Kate Moss marries guitarist Jamie Hince in Southrop, Glos. On the same day, journalist Maria Shriver divorces Hollywood icon Arnold Schwarzenegger after 25 years of marriage following the discovery that he had fathered a child with the family’s nanny.
2012: Spain crush Italy, 4-0 to retain their European Championship title in Kiev, Ukraine.
2013: Demonstrations occur across Egypt with 15 million people calling for the resignation of President, Mohammed Morsi. On the same day, Croatia becomes the 28th member of the European Union.
2015: The US and Cuba announce an agreement to re-open embassies and establish full diplomatic ties. On the same day, Sir Nicholas Winton, banker and humanitarian who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust, dies aged 106 and singer Val Doonican dies aged 88.
2016: Islamic militants storm a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 20 hostages and 2 police in country’s worse terror attack.
2018: French gangster Redoine Faid escapes the Sud-Francilien prison in Réau, by helicopter.
2019: Japan resumes commercial whaling after a break of more than 30 years.
BIRTHDAYS: Leslie Caron, actress/dancer, 90; Susan Maughan (Teller), singer, 83; Geneviève Bujold, actress, 79; Terry Wharton, footballer, 79; Jeff Wayne, composer, 78; Deborah Harry, singer-songwriter (Blondie) 76; John Farnham, singer-songwriter, 72; Fred Schneider, singer, (The B52s) 70; Trevor Eve, actor, 70; Dan Aykroyd, actor/screenwriter, 69; Alan Sunderland, footballer, 68; Evelyn King, singer, 61; Carl (Frederick Carlton) Lewis, athlete, 60; Roddy Bottum, keyboardist (Faith No More) 58; Carl Fogarty, motorcycle racer, 56; Pamela Anderson, actress, 54; Missy (Melissa) Elliott, singer-songwriter/rapper/record producer, 50; Claire Forlani, actress, 50; Sufjan Stevens, musician, 46; Kellie Bright (Stocker), actress, 45; Ruud van Nistelrooy, Dutch footballer, 45; Patrick Kluivert, Dutch footballer, 45; Thomas Sadoski, actor, 45; Liv Tyler, actress, 44; Clemency Burton-Hill, journalist, 40; Léa Seydoux (-Fornier de Clausonne), actress, 36; Daniel Ricciardo, racing driver, 32.