It happened today – this day in history – July 23

636: Arabs gain control of most of Palestine from the Byzantine Empire.

1148: Crusaders attack Damascus.

1745: Charles Edward Stuart, “the Young Pretender”, lands at Eriskay Island, The Hebrides.

1793: The Prussians conquer Mainz.

1798: Napoleon captures Alexandria, Egypt.

1812: Napoleon fights Tsar Alexander I in the Battle of Mogilev.

1834: HMS Beagle anchors in the Bay of Valparaiso.

1840: Union Act passed by British Parliament, uniting Upper & Lower Canada.

1868: The All England Lawn Tennis Club is founded as The All England Croquet Club.

1885: Former US President and Union general Ulysses S Grant, dies aged 63.

1888: John Boyd Dunlop applies to patent the pneumatic tyre. On the same day, mystery writer Raymond Chandler is born in Chicago.

1892: Birth of Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari Makonnen) Emperor of Ethiopia.

1900: The Canadian government reviews immigration policy, prohibiting criminals and paupers from landing in Canada.

1904: The ice cream cone is created during the St Louis World Fair.

1914: Austria-Hungary presents an ultimatum to Serbia; demanding acceptance within 48 hours.

1920: British East Africa is renamed Kenya and becomes a British crown colony.

1921: The Chinese communist party forms.

1922: Firmin Lambot of Belgium wins the Tour de France.

1929: The Fascist government in Italy bans the use of foreign words.

1931: France announces it can’t afford to send a team to 1932 LA Olympics.

1942: Adolf Hitler orders the German Army to advance on Stalingrad.

1944: The Soviet Army marches into Lublin, Poland. On the same day, US troops occupy Pisa, Italy.

1945: Marshal Philippe Petain, leader of the French Vichy collaborationist regime during the Second World War goes on trial.

1954: Singles chart:

  1. Cara Mia – David Whitfield with Mantovani and his Orchestra
  2. Little Things Mean A Lot – Kitty Kallen
  3. Secret Love – Doris Day
  4. Wanted – Al Martino
  5. Idle Gossip – Perry Como
  6. Three Coins In The Fountain – Frank Sinatra
  7. The Little Shoemaker – Petula Clark
  8. Wanted – Perry Como
  9. Such A Night – Johnnie Ray
  10. The Happy Wanderer – The Obernkirchen Children’s Choir

1955: Donald Campbell drives Bluebird K7 to a new water speed record at Ullswater – 202.32 mph.

1957: Industrial action by bus drivers turns violent with strike breakers attacked by pickets.

1959: US vice president Richard Nixon begins a visit to the USSR.

1964: Egyptian munition ship “Star of Alexandria” explodes at dockside in Bone, Algeria, killing 100.

1966: England beat Argentina in the quarter final of the World Cup at Wembley with Geoff Hurst, in for injured Jimmy Greaves, scoring the only goal. Argentine captain Antonio Ratin is sent off in an ill tempered match in which even Bobby Charlton gets the only booking of his career as the referee loses control and England manager Alf Ramsey refuses to allow his players to swap shirts at the end of the game, calling them “animals”. On the same day, Hollywood star Montgomery Clift is found dead in his bathtub aged 45.


1967: Race riot in Detroit. 43 people die. On the same day, the first successful liver transplant is carried out on 19 month-old Julie Rodriguez at the University of Colorado.

1968: Working at EMI studios, Abbey Road, The Beatles record the John Lennon song Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey for the White Album. On the same day, 11 people die in a race riot in Cleveland, Ohio.

1970: Qaboos bin Said al Said becomes Sultan of Oman after overthrowing his father, Sa’id ibn Taimur. On the same day, a ban on parades and public processions until January 1971 is announced by the Stormont government in Northern Ireland.

On TV Today (Thursday)


14.00Racing from Sandown Park

Robert Harbin demonstrates the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding





18.02Japan ’70

18.30Peyton Place

18.55Never Mind the Quality – Feel the Width
Comedy series about tailors starring John Bluthal and James Lynch

19.25Film: My Geisha (1962)
starring Shirley MacLaine, Edward G. Robinson, Yves Montand

21.30This Week
A look at the news behind the news

22.00News at Ten

Weekly look at films and the people who make them. Michael Parkinson introduces clips from new releases and old favourites

23.00Music Hall
with guests Barbara Feldon, Norman Wisdom and Judy Carne


12.50Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol


13.30Watch with Mother
The Herbs

13.45News and weather

13.53The Commonwealth Games
from Edinburgh

18.35National News and Weather


19.00The Doctors

19.20Top of the Pops
Jimmy Savile introduces Mungo Jerry, Marmalade, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Ruffin and Shirley Bassey

20.00The Expert Drama series starring Marius Goring


21.10Commonwealth Games
Events from the sixth day of competition

22.00Nairn’s Europe
Ian Nairn contrasts the urban civic style of Britain and the continent.

22.3024 Hours
Presented by Ludovic Kennedy with the latest news in pictures


23.17Decimal Shop


11.00Play School



20.00Not a Word
Word game

20.30The Money Programme

21.10W. Somerset Maugham

22.00Jazz Scene
from Ronnie Scott’s Club with The Thelonious Monk Quartet, The Stephane Grappelli Quartet and The Clarke-Boland Big Band

22.50News Summary and Weather

22.55Line-Up: Thursday
with Joan Bakewell

1973: US President Richard Nixon refuses to release tapes of conversations in the White House relevant to the Watergate investigation.

1974: The military government in Greece collapses after seven years and former prime minister Constantine Karamanlis is invited to return.

1977: Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham is charged with assault after a concert at the Oakland Coliseum in California. Bonham and band manager Peter Grant, with the help of bodyguard John Bindon roughed up a security employee at the venue who had chastised Grant’s son.

1982: The International Whaling Commission votes for total ban on commercial whaling from 1985. On the same day, actor Vic Morrow and two child actors are killed in a helicopter crash during filming on the set of “Twilight Zone: The Movie”.

1984: A government report finds a cancer cluster near the nuclear plant at Sellafield in Cumbria.

1986: Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.

1989: Greg LeMond of the USA wins the Tour de France.

1994: The International Astronomical Union names an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter after Frank Zappa, who had died the previous December.

1995: Britain sends 1,200 troops to the besieged Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. On the same day, the comet Hale-Bopp is discovered.

1996: Rob Collins, keyboard player with The Charlatans dies in a car crash, aged 29.

1999: Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Al-Hassan is crowned King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the death of his father.

2000: Tiger Woods wins the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s. On the same day, the Tour de France finishes without a winner after the disqualification of drugs cheat Lance Armstrong.

2001: Paul McCartney and Heather Mills announce their engagement.

2005: Bomb attacks in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh leave 88 dead.

2006: Tiger Woods wins his second consecutive and third overall British Open.

2010: One Direction is formed during the X Factor by Simon Cowell.

2011: Singer Amy Winehouse is found dead aged 27 at her home in Camden.

2012: Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, dies of pancreatic cancer aged 61.

2014: The Commonwealth Games open in Glasgow.

2015: NASA’s Kepler mission announces the discovery of the most Earth-like planet yet – Kepler-452b, which is 1,400 light years from Earth. On the same day, the US Supreme Court rejects a petition by Bill Cosby against a civil case of his alleged sexual assault of 15-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.

2017: Chris Froome of Britain wins his fourth Tour de France. On the same day, England beat India by nine runs at Lords to win the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

2019: Boris Johnson is chosen by the Conservative Party to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister.

2021: Olivia Rodrigo – Sour

2021: Album chart:

  1. All Over The Place – KSI
  2. Sour – Olivia Rodrigo
  3. Faith – Pop Smoke
  4. Sob Rock – John Mayers
  5. Planet Her – Doja Cat
  6. Greatest Hits – Queen
  7. Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
  8. Divide – Ed Sheeran
  9. 50 Years: Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac
  10. Inside (The Songs) – Bo Burnham

BIRTHDAYS: Madeline Bell, singer, 80; Andy Mackay, saxophonist/oboeist (Roxy Music) 76; David Essex (Cook) singer/actor, 75; Janis Siegel, singer (Manhattan Transfer), 70; Graham Gooch, cricketer, 69; Dennis Greaves, guitar/vocals (Nine Below Zero) 65; Jo Brand (Bourke) comedian, 65; Martin Gore, musician/songwriter (Depeche Mode) 61; Woody Harrelson, actor, 61; Eriq La Salle, actor, 60; Andy Townsend, footballer, 59; Slash, (Saul Hudson), guitarist (Guns n Roses) 57; Shawn Levy, director/writer/actor, 54; Alison Krauss, singer/fiddler, 51; Marlon Wayans, actor/comedian/writer, 50; Fran Healy, singer/songwriter/guitarist (Travis) 49; Kathryn Hahn (Sandler), actress, 49; Michelle Williams, singer (Destiny’s Child) 42; Paul Wesley (Paweł Wasilewski), actor, 40; Daniel Radcliffe, actor, 33; Danny Ings, footballer, 30.