It happened today – this day in history – July 21

365: An earthquake in Crete followed by a tsunami around the Eastern Mediterranean allegedly destroys Alexandria.

1403: Henry IV defeats a rebel army led by Henry “Harry Hotspur” Percy of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury.

1545: The first landing of French troops onto the coast of the Isle of Wight during the French invasion.

1588: First engagement between the English fleet and the Spanish Armada off the Eddystone Rocks.

1796: Scottish poet Robert Burns dies aged 37.

1798: Napoleon Bonaparte wins Battle of Pyramids in Egypt (Battle of Embabeh) against Mamluk rulers, wiping out most of the Egyptian army.

1831: Belgium gains independence from The Netherlands.

1861: The Confederates win the Battle of Bull Run, first major battle of the US Civil War near Manassas, Virginia.

1865: In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown.

1866: A cholera epidemic kills hundreds in London.

1897: The Tate Gallery opens in London.

1899: Birth of author Ernest Hemingway in Oak Park, Illinois.

1904: Camille Jenatzy sets the world auto speed record at 65.79mph.

1917: Socialist Alexander Kerensky becomes Russian Prime Minister.

1920: Irish Nationalist and Loyalists reinforced by British Auxiliaries and troops engage in street fighting over Irish independence.

1921: US Colonel William Mitchell demonstrates how bombs dropped from planes can sink a captured German battleship.

1940: The Soviet Union annexes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.

1941: Heinrich Himmler orders the building of Majdanek concentration camp in Poland.

1942: Mae West divorces vaudeville performer Frank Wallace after 31 years of marriage .

1944: General Koiso becomes Premier of Japan. On the same day, Field Marshal Günther von Kluge warns Hitler of the impending collapse f the German front in Normandy.

1951: The Dalai Lama returns to Tibet.

1960: Francis Chichester arrives in New York aboard Gypsy Moth II, setting a record of 40 days for a solo Atlantic crossing.

1961: The launch of Mercury 4.

1962: 160 civil right activists are jailed after demonstration in Albany, Georgia.

1963: Jack Nicklaus wins the PGA Championship in Dallas.

1966: Gemini X returns to Earth.

Singles chart

  1. Getaway – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
  2. Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
  3. Out Of Time – Chris Farlowe
  4. River Deep Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner
  5. Nobody Needs Your Love – Gene Pitney
  6. Black Is Black – Los Bravos
  7. I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love – Petula Clark
  8. Bus Stop – The Hollies
  9. Love Letters – Elvis Presley
  10. With A Girl Like You – The Troggs

1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to step onto the Moon’s surface followed by Buzz Aldrin. Without Armstrong’s unmatched skill as a pilot, they would not have landed successfully and without Aldrin’s ability to improvise they would not have got off the moon again after he dealt with a broken switch by jamming his pen into it moments before take off. On the same day, The Beatles began work on the John Lennon song “Come Together” at EMI Studios in Abbey Road.

1970: The Aswan High Dam opens in Egypt.

1972: Within the space of 75 minutes, the Provisional IRA explodes 22 bombs in Belfast.

1973: Canned Heat, Nazareth, The Edgar Broughton Band, Groundhogs, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Medicine Head and Chuck Berry appeared at Buxton Festival in Derbyshire.

1974: Thousands of Greek-Cypriots in London protest about the disputed government in Cyprus. On the same day, the US House Judiciary approves two Articles of Impeachment against President Richard Nixon and Eddy Merckx of Belgium wins the Tour de France for the fifth time.

Album chart:

  1. Band On The Run – Wings
  2. Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
  3. Caribou – Elton John
  4. The Singles 1969-73 – The Carpenters
  5. Another Time Another Place – Bryan Ferry
  6. Diamond Dogs – David Bowie
  7. The Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
  8. Journey To The Centre Of The Earth – Rick Wakeman
  9. And I Love You So – Perry Como
  10. Remember Me This Way – Gary Glitter
1974: Band On The Run – Wings

1976: Christopher Ewart-Biggs, British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, and his secretary Judith Cook are assassinated in Dublin by a car bomb planted by the Provisional IRA.

1977: The Sex Pistols made their first appearance on Top of the Pops, miming to “Pretty Vacant”.

1978: General Juan Pereda stages a military coup in Bolivia. President Hugo Banzer flees.

1979: Seve Ballesteros wins the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s.

1980: Jean-Claude Droyer climbs Eiffel Tower in 2hrs 18 mins.

1982: Flagship of the British taskforce to the Falklands, HMS Hermes, arrives back in Portsmouth.

1985: Sandy Lyle wins the British Open. On the same day, Bernard Hinault of France wins the Tour de France.

1989: Mike Tyson KOs Carl Williams in 1min 33secs for the heavyweight boxing title.

1990: Roger Waters performs “The Wall” where the Berlin Wall once stood, featuring Van Morrison, Marianne Faithfull and Garth Hudson and Levon Helm of The Band amongst others.

1994: Tony Blair becomes leader of the Labour Party.

1998: Astronaut Alan Shepherd, the first American in space, dies from leukemia aged 74.

2002: Record producer Gus Dudgeon was killed aged 59 in a car accident near Reading, together with his wife Sheila. On the same day, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher clinches his fifth Formula 1 World Drivers Championship with six races remaining.

2004: TV theme and film soundtrack composer Jerry Goldsmith died after a long battle with cancer aged 75.

2005: Disaster is narrowly avoided on London Underground and a bus in Bethnal Green when faulty explosives result in just detonators exploding in abandoned rucksack bombs. On the same day, English blues singer Long John Baldry dies aged 64.

2007: Music mogul Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne, died in a Los Angeles nursing home at the age of 81. On the same day, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final installment of the series, is published worldwide and sells 11 million copies in 24 hours.

2008: Amy Winehouse’s husband, Blake Fielder-Civil was jailed for 27 months for attacking a pub landlord in Hoxton and perverting the course of justice. On the same day, Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadžić is arrested in Serbia.

2011: NASA’s Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis.

2013: Phil Mickelson wins the British Open at Muirfield. On the same day, Chris Froome of Great Britain wins the 100th Tour de France.

2017: Much lambasted White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigns after opposing the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci.

BIRTHDAYS: Norman Jewison, director, 94; John Lowe, darts champion, 75; Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) 72; John Lovitz, actor, 63; Ali Landry, actress, 47; Damian Marley, musician, 42; Josh Hartnett, actor, 42; Justin Bartha, actor, 42; Titus Bramble, former footballer, 39; Paloma Faith, singer/actress, 39.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]