- Fire in Westcliff - 31/07/2021
- Dispersal order in Basildon as car meet moves again - 31/07/2021
- Couple suffer stab wounds in Tilbury - 31/07/2021
48BC: Julius Ceasar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey near the city of Dyrrachium (in what is now Albania).
138: Death of Roman emperor Hadrian aged 62.
988: The city of Dublin is founded on the banks of the River Liffey.
1040: Lady Godiva rides naked on horseback through Coventry, according to legend, to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes.
1099: Death of El Cid (Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar) , Castilian nobleman and military leader, aged 59.
1212: A fire burns most of London to the ground.
1460: Richard of York defeats Henry VI at Northampton during the War of the Roses.
1520: Henry VIII and Charles V of France sign the Treaty of Calais.
1553: Lady Jane Grey, daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, is proclaimed Queen of England, succeeding Edward VI, who proclaimed his half-sisters illegitimate. She reigns for nine days.
1584: William of Orange is assassinated at 51 in his home in Delft, Holland.
1645: Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army defeats the Royalists at the Battle of Langport in Somerset.
1652: England declares war on The Netherlands.
1739: George II authorises the Admiralty Board to seek maritime reprisals against Spain during the War of Jenkin’s Ear.
1746: Bonnie Prince Charlie flees in disguise to the Isle of Skye.
1778: Louis XVI of France declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain.
1806: The Vellore Mutiny is the first instance of a mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company.
1830: Birth of artist Camille Pissarro on The Virgin Islands.
1834: Birth of artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler in Massachusetts.
1850: Millard Fillmore is sworn in as President of US following the death of Zachary Taylor.
1856: Birth of physicist Nikola Tesla in what is now Croatia.
1871: Birth of novelist Marcel Proust in Paris.
1873: French poet Paul Verlaine wounds Arthur Rimbaud with a pistol.
1890: Wyoming becomes the 44th state of the US and the first with women’s suffrage.
1898: Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) marries fellow revolutionary Nadezhda “Nadya” Krupskaya in Shushenskoye.
1903: Birth of sci-fi author John Wyndham in Warks.
1913: Romania declares war on Bulgaria.
1919: President Woodrow Wilson personally delivers the Treaty of Versailles to the US Senate.
1923: All non-fascist parties in Italy are dissolved.
1924: Denmark takes Greenland as Norway ends its claim.
1925: Indian spiritual master Meher Baba begins his silence of 44 years.
1926: Bobby Jones wins the US Open.
1934: Franklin D Roosevelt becomes the first sitting US President to visit South America when he arrives in Colombia.
1938: Howard Hughes flies around the world in 91 hours.
1940: The Luftwaffe, attacks shipping convoys off the south-east coast of England at the start of the .Battle of Britain.
1941: Death of jazz pianist Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton aged 56.
1942: Himmler orders the sterilization of all Jewish women in Ravensbruck Camp.
1943: British, Canadian and American troops invade Sicily.
1947: Muhammad Ali Jinnah is recommended as the first Governor General of Pakistan by Prime Minister of the UK, Clement Atlee.
1953: Ben Hogan wins the British Open at Carnoustie. His only appearance.
1958: The first parking meters are installed in England.
1960: The Soviet Union beats Yugoslavia, 2-1 to win the UEFA European Championship in Paris.
1962: Martin Luther King Jr is arrested during a demonstration in Georgia.
1971: Lee Trevino wins his first British Open Championship. On the same day, 101 people are killed in a failed assassination attempt on King Hassan II of Morocco.
1973: The Bahamas declares Independence from the UK. On the same day, John Paul Getty III, grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, is kidnapped in Rome by Italian gangsters.
1975: Cher files for divorce from Gregg Allman, 10 days after their marriage.
1976: A chemical factory in Seveso, near Milan, explodes covering the surrounding area in dioxin. On the same day, one American and three British mercenaries are executed in Angola following a trial.
1978: Bill Wyman was knocked unconscious after falling from the stage during a Rolling Stones concert at the Coliseum, St Paul, Minnesota. On the same day, following a bloodless military coup in Mauritania, President Moktar flees and legendary snooker champion Joe Davies dies aged 77.
1979: Chuck Berry was sentenced to five months in jail after being found guilty of tax evasion.
1980: Alexandra Palace burns down for a second time.
1984: Derek and The Dominoes drummer Jim Gordon was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering his mother. Although the court accepted that Gordon had acute schizophrenia, he was not allowed to use an insanity defence because of changes to California law.
1985: The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior is blown up in Auckland harbour, New Zealand, by French agents. On the same day, Playboy and Penthouse magazines publish nude pictures of Madonna.
1987: Legendary producer and record company executive John Hammond died aged 77. Among many others, Hammond discovered Billie Holiday and Bruce Springsteen.
1989: Death of Mel Blanc, voice of Bugs Bunny and Fred Flintstone, die aged 81.
1991: Boris Yeltsin is sworn in as the first elected President of the Russian Federation.
1992: The US Major Soccer League folds after 14 seasons. On the same day, former British hangman Albert Pierrepoint dies aged 87.
1996: The battered bodies of Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan are found near their home in Kent. Nine year-old Josie suffers serious head injuries but survives.
1997: The trial begins of British au pair Louise Woodward, charged with the murder of eight-month-old Matthew Eappen while he was in her care in his home in Newton, Massachusetts.
1999: The US beats China, 5-4 on penalties to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Pasadena.
2000: Figures released by the government claim one in four households in Britain now use the internet. On the same day, a leaking southern Nigerian petroleum pipeline explodes, killing about 250 villagers scavenging gasoline.
2002: Peter Paul Rubens’ painting The Massacre of the Innocents is sold for £49.5million at auction by Sotheby’s.
2008: The drum skin used on the cover of The Beatls’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album sold for £541,250 ($1m) at Christie’s Memorabilia auction in London.
2010: Actress Emily Blunt marries actor John Krasinski in Italy.
2011: News of the World publishes its last edition after 168 years in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
2015: Actor Omar Sharif (Michel Dimitri Shalhoub) dies aged 83.
2016: Cliff Richard instructed lawyers to make formal legal complaints to South Yorkshire Police and the BBC over their handling of a police raid on his home in 2014. On the same day, Portugal beat France 1-0 to win the UEFA European Championship and Andy Murray beats Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 for his second Wimbledon singles title.
2017: NASA’s Juno spacecraft makes closest ever pass over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot at 9,000km overhead.
2018: The final four boys and their coach are rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave, Thailand after being trapped there for 18 days by monsoon flooding. On the same day, Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo joins Italian champions Juventus in a deal worth £99.2m.
2019: British ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch resigns after his secret emails calling the US president “inept” were published.
BIRTHDAYS: Mavis Staples, singer, 81; Virginia Wade, tennis star, 75; John Motson, football commentator, 75; Arlo Guthrie, singer-songwriter, 73; Sunil Gavaskar, Indian batsman, 71; Ludmilla Tourischeva, Russian gymnast, 68; Neil Tennant, singer-songwriter, (Pet Shop Boys) 66; Frank Stapleton, former footballer, 64; Béla Fleck, banjo player, 62; Fiona Shaw, actress, 62; Martyn P Casey, keyboardist (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds) 60; John Simm, actor, 50; Jason Orange, singer (Take That) 50; Peter Serafinowicz, comedian/actor, 48; Sophia Vergara, actress, 48; Imelda May (Clabby), singer-songwriter, 46; Chiwetel Ejiofor, actor, 46; Jessica Simpson, singer, 40.