It happened today – this day in history – July 2

1214: The Battle of La Roche-aux-Moines (Angers), part of King John of England’s attempt to reclaim Normandy from France.

1566: Death of astrologist Nostradamus (Michel de Nostre-Dam) aged 62 (wonder if he saw that one coming).

1578: Martin Frobisher sights Baffin Island.

1644: Parliamentary forces under Lords Fairfax and Manchester defeat royalists led by Prince Rupert at the Battle of Marston Moor.

1681: The Earl of Shaftesbury is arrested for high treason.

1687: James II disbands parliament.

1743: Death of Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, Prime Minister of Great Britain.

1823: The end of Portuguese rule in Brazil, with the final defeat of the Portuguese crown loyalists in the province of Bahia.

1843: An alligator falls from sky during a thunderstorm in Charleston, South Carolina.

1881: US President James Garfield is shot by speech writer Charles J Guiteau after he is turned down for an ambassador post. Garfield dies 79 days later.

1900: Jean Sibelius’ “Finlandia” premieres in Helsinki. On the same day, the first flight LZ-1, of a dirigible airship designed by Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin at Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.

1901: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid rob a train of $40,000 at Wagner, Montana.

1916: Lenin says imperialism is caused by capitalism on the day a Russian offensive is launched in Armenia.

1921: Bill Tilden beats South African Brian Norton 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 to win the Wimbledon Men’s Singles title. On the same day, in boxing’s first million dollar gate ($1.7m), world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey KOs Frenchman Georges Carpentier in round 4 of his thirrd title defence before a crowd of 91,000 in New Jersey.

1926: US Army Air Corps is created.

1927: Helen Wills Moody defeats Lilí Álvarez 6-2, 6-4 for her first Wimbledon title.

1928: Parliament reduces the age women can vote to 21 – the same as men.

1937: Aviators Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan disappear flying over the Pacific Ocean.

1938: Helen Wills Moody beats Helen Jacobs 6-4, 6-0 to win the Wimbledon Women’s Singles title.

1940: Indian independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose is arrested and detained in Calcutta.

1941: Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” premieres in London.

1948: Henry Cotton wins the British Open golf tournament.

1949: Louise Brough beats fellow American Margaret Osborne duPont 10-8, 1-6, 10-8 for the second of three straight Wimbledon titles.

1954: Czech Jaroslav Drobný beats Ken Rosewall of Australia 13-11, 4-6, 6-2, 9-7 for his only Wimbledon Men’s Singles title. On the same day England batsman Denis Compton scores career best 278 in 287 mins in second Test win over Pakistan at Nottingham.

1955: Louise Brough beats Beverly Fleitz 7-5, 8-6 for her fourth Wimbledon singles title.

1956: Elvis Presley records Lieber and Stoller’s Hound Dog at RCA Studios, New York with The Jordanaires on backing vocals for the first time. Take 31 is the performance used.

1961: Author Ernest Hemingway commits suicide aged 61.

1962: Jimi Hendrix is honourably discharged from the 101st Airborne Paratroopers, after breaking his ankle during his 26th parachute jump. On the same day, Cuban leader Fidel Castro visits Moscow.

1964: President Lyndon B Johnson signs the US Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Act. On the same day, Cilla Black records Lennon & McCartney’s song It’s For You with Paul McCartney on piano.

1966: Billie Jean King beats Maria Bueno 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 for her first Wimbledon title.

1969: Working on The Beatles’ Abbey Road album at EMI Studios, Paul McCartney records the vignette Her Majesty, which was originally placed between Mean Mr Mustard and Polythene Pam in the running order before being cut completely from the album. Instead of throwing the tape away, the engineer spliced it onto the end of the master tape after a sizeable gap. When the band heard it on the playback, they decided to keep it. Later that day, Paul, George and Ringo record 15 takes of Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight. John was in hospital following a car crash in Scotland the day before. On the same day, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell leave the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

1970: Police seize a large cache of arms in west London.

1971: Freddie Mercury plays his first gig with Queen at Surrey College. On the same day, in an all-Australian final Evonne Goolagong beats Margaret Court 6-4, 6-1 for her first Wimbledon Women’s Singles title.

1972: American pole vaulter Bob Seagren breaks the world record for the fourth and final time with 5.63m in Oregon. On the same day, two Catholic civilians are shot and killed in Belfast by loyalist paramilitaries.


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1973: Hollywood star Betty Grable dies of lung cancer aged 56.

1976: Chris Evert beats Evonne Goolagong Cawley of Australia 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 for her second Wimbledon Women’s Singles title. On the same day, North and South Vietnam are formally reunified.

1977: Bjorn Borg beats Jimmy Connors 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 for the second of five consecutive Wimbledon singles titles. On the same day, novelist Vladimir Nabokov dies aged 78.

1979: Sony introduces the Walkman, the first portable audio cassette player.

1982: Nicky “Topper” Headon, drummer with The Clash, is remanded on bail, charged with stealing a bus stop from the Fulham Road.

1983: Martina Navratilova beats Andrea Jaeger 6-0, 6-3 for the fourth of nine Wimbledon singles titles.

1985: Andrei Gromyko is appointed president of the USSR.

1988: Steffi Graf beats Martina Navratilova 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 at Wimbledon for the third leg of her Golden Slam.

1989: Steve Cauthen wins the Irish Derby on Old Vic to become the first jockey in history to sweep the world’s four major derbies (Kentucky, Epsom, French, Irish).

1990: 1,426 pilgrims are trampled to death after a panic in a tunnel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

1991: Axl Rose causes a riot during a Guns N’ Roses gig at the Riverpoint Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights after leaping into the crowd to remove a camera from a fan. On the same day, Donald Trump proposes to Marla Maples and gives her a 7.5 carat diamond ring.

1992: The IRA admits killing three men, said to be informers, found by the army at different roadsides in south Armagh.

1993: Death of Herman Munster actor Fred Gwynne aged 66.

1994: Colombian soccer defender Andrés Escobar is shot aged 27 on his return home after scoring an own goal against the US which dismissed his country from the World Cup.

1997: Death of Hollywood icon James Stewart aged 89.

1998: “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” the second book in the series is published in the UK.

1999: Author of The Godfather, Mario Puzzo, dies aged 78.

2000: France beat Italy 2-1 in extra time to win the European Championship in Rotterdam.

Singles chart:

  1. The Real Slim Shady – Eminem
  2. Gotta Tell You – Samantha Mumba
  3. Spinning Around – Kylie Minogue
  4. Yellow – Coldplay
  5. Sandstorm – Darude
  6. Uncle John From Jamaica – The Vengaboys
  7. You See The Trouble With Me – Black Legend
  8. Summer Of Love – Lonyo
  9. Babylon – David Gray
  10. It Feels So Good – Sonique
2000: Tom Jones – Reload

Album chart:

  1. Alone With Everybody – Richard Ashcroft
  2. The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem
  3. Play – Moby
  4. White Ladder – David Gray
  5. 7 – S Club 7
  6. Reload – Tom Jones
  7. The Greatest Hits – Whitney Houston
  8. Rise – Gabrielle
  9. The Man Who – Travis
  10. Supernatural – Santana

2001: Liverpool Airport at Speke is renamed John Lennon Airport.

2002: Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world non-stop in a balloon.

2005: Live8 concerts are held in 10 cities across the world to pressure the G8 conference to eradicate Third World debt. The specially reformed Pink Floyd line-up of David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Rick Wright and Nick Mason headline the UK show. On the same day, Venus Williams beats fellow American Lindsay Davenport 4-6, 7-6, 9-7 for the third of her five Wimbledon Ladies’ singles titles.

2006: Michael Schumacher wins the US Formula 1 Grand Prix for the fifth time, becoming the first driver in any series to win five races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

2007: Lyricist Hy Zaret, who wrote the words for the song Unchained Melody, dies aged 99.

2008: The gravestone of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis is stolen from Macclesfield Cemetery.

2010: Death of author Beryl Bainbridge aged 77.

2011: Petra Kvitová wins her first Grand Slam title beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 for the Wimbledon Ladies’ singles title.

2014: Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is charged with corruption by criminal prosecutors.

2018: British divers discover 12 boys and their coach alive in Tham Luang Nang Non cave, Thailand after being trapped for nine days by monsoon flooding. On the same day, Alan Longmuir of The Bay City Rollers dies aged 70 after contracting an illness while on holiday in Mexico.

2019: Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen is the first woman to be nominated to lead the European Commission with France’s Christine Lagarde nominated to lead the European Central Bank.

BIRTHDAYS: Tom Springfield (Dionysius O’Brien), musician/songwriter, 87; Dee Palmer, musician/arranger (Jethro Tull) 84; Baron (Kenneth) Clarke of Nottingham, politician, 81; Peter Cruickshank, bassist (The Groundhogs) 76; Larry David, writer/actor/comedian, 74; Saul Rubinek, actor, 73; Roy Bittan, pianist (The E Street Band), 72; Pete Briquette, bassist (The Boomtown Rats) 67; Jerry Hall (Murdoch), model/actress, 66; Mark Kermode, film critic, 58; Sue Devaney (Barber) actress, 54; Peter Kay, comedian/writer/director, 48; Carl Froch, boxer, 44; Paul Danan, actor, 43; Ashley Tisdale, actress/singer, 36; Lindsay Lohan, actress, 35; Alex Morgan, footballer, 32; Danny Rose, footballer, 31; Margot Robbie, actress, 31.