It happened today – this day in history – July 24

1411: The Battle of Harlaw, one of the bloodiest battles in Scotland, takes place.

1534: Jacques Cartier lands in Canada and claims it for France.

1567: Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate and her one-year-old son becomes King James VI of Scots, later James I of Great Britain.

1673: Edmund Halley enters Queen’s College, Oxford, as an undergraduate.

1692: The French defeat William III of England at Steinkirk.

1704: English and Dutch troops occupy Gibraltar.

1758: George Washington is elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses representing Frederick County.

1783: Georgia becomes a protectorate of tsarist Russia. On the same day, Venezuelan political and military leader Simon Bolivar is born in Caracas.

1802: French author Alexandre Dumas is born in Aisne.

1823: Slavery is abolished in Chile.

1847: Brigham Young and his Mormon followers arrive at Salt Lake City, Utah.

1851: Window tax is abolished in Britain.

1862: Former US President Martin Van Buren dies aged 79.

1866: Tennessee becomes the first Confederate state readmitted to the Union.

1883: Captain Matthew Webb, the first recorded person to swim the English Channel, drowns in the Niagra River.

1886: China takes the British protectorate of Burma.

1897: Aviator Amelia Earhart is born in Kansas.

1900: Race riot in New Orleans.

1904: Henri Cornet of France wins the Tour de France.

1905: Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany sign the Björkö Treaty, whereby each country agrees to come to the other’s defence if attacked by European powers.

1908: In London, American Johnny Hayes wins the Olympic marathon in a Games record 2:55:18.4 after Dorando Pietri of Italy is disqualified for receiving assistance before the finish line.

1911: Explorer Hiram Bingham discovers Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas.

1917: The trial of Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod) begins in Paris for allegedly spying for Germany.

1919: Race Riot in Washington DC.

1927: The Menin Gate war memorial is unveiled at Ypres.

1935: The first greetings telegram sent in Britain.

1941: Nazis kill the entire Jewish population of Grodz, Lithuania.

1943: The RAF begins bombing Hamburg.

1944: Soviet forces liberate Majdanek concentration camp in Poland.

1952: The film High Noon, starring Gary Cooper, is released.

1956: Brendan Behan’s “Quare Fellow” premieres in London.

1959: Russia’s prime minister Nikita Khrushchev and American vice-president Richard Nixon have a tense battle of words over, of all things, a kitchen display at an American exhibition in Moscow.

1961: A US commercial plane is hijacked to Cuba, marking the beginning of a trend.


1964: The Rolling Stones are banned from playing in Blackpool (lasting for 44 years) after a riot breaks out at the Empress Ballroom when Keith Richards kicks a yob in the mouth for spitting at the group.

1967: The Beatles meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whose lecture on Transcendental Meditation they had gone to hear at the Hilton Hotel in London. On the same day, all four Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein sign a petition printed in The Times newspaper calling for the legalisation of marijuana. Also, the Chinese army and air force/fleet suppress an uprising in Wuhan and race riots break out in Detroit and Maryland while the first modern hospice, St Christopher’s, founded by Dr Cicely Saunders, is founded in London.

1969: British lecturer Gerald Brooke is returned to London after four years in a Soviet jail for smuggling anti Soviet leaflets. On the same day, working alone at EMI Studios,, during sessions for the Abbey Road album, Paul McCartney records a demo of his new song Come and Get It. The Beatles don’t use it and he gives the song to Apple signing Badfinger. Earlier in the day, the band had recorded the John Lennon songs Here Comes The Sun King and Mean Mr Mustard, which were played as one continuous song.

1970: International Law Tennis Association institutes the nine-point tie break rule to come in at six games all except the final set.

1974: The US Supreme Court orders President Nixon to surrender tape recordings of White House conversations about Watergate.

1975: Fashion designer Georgia Armani and Sergio Galeotti found Giorgio Armani S.p.A. in Milan.

1980: Peter Sellers dies after suffering a massive heart attack aged 54.

1981: Mohammed Ali Rajai is elected president of Iran.

1984: American Baptist minister and civil rights activist Rev C.L. Franklin (father of singer Aretha Franklin) dies. He had been in a coma since 1979 after being shot by burglars at his home in Detroit.

1985: French DGSE officers Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart are arrested and charged with murder over the bombing of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior.

1986: The Commonwealth Games open in Edinburgh.

TV on this day (Thursday)

06.15TV-am: Good Morning Britain
09.25Lost Kingdoms
09.55The Shapes We Live With
10.10Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors
10.30Island Wildlife
11.20Courageous Cat
11.30About Britain
12.00Tales from Fat Tulip’s Garden
12.10Puddle Lane
12.30The Sullivans
13.00News at One
13.20Thames News
14.25Home Cookery Club
14.30Something to Treasure
15.00Take the High Road
15.25Thames News Headlines
15.30Sons and Daughters
16.00Tales from Fat Tulip’s Garden
16.10The Moomins
16.20Nature Trail
16.45Under the Same Sky
17.15Silver Spoons
17.45News at 5.45
18.00Thames News
19.00Emmerdale Farm
19.30Give Us a Clue
Series starring Dennis Waterman and George Cole

21.00Troubles and Strife
22.00News at Ten
22.27Thames News Headlines
23.30Burning the Phoenix

10.00Teletext Pages
14.15Their Lordships’ House
14.30Film: Dry Rot (1956)
British comedy starring Sid James, Brian Rix and Peggy Mount

16.10Film: Lucky Stars (1925)
Silent comedy short starring Harry Langdon

16.30Dancin’ Days
17.00Film: When Comedy Was King (1959)
Anthology of scenes from silent comedies

18.301986 Tour de France
19.00Channel Four news
20.00All the Prime Minister’s Men
21.00Gardeners’ Calendar Roadshow
23.30Arlott in Conversation with Mike Brearley

06.50Breakfast Time
09.20Pages from Ceefax
10.30Play School
10.50Cricket: First Test
The Cornhill Insurance Test: England v New Zealand from Lord’s

13.05News After Noon
13.20Regional News
13.25Little Misses and the Mister Men
13.40Cricket: First Test
16.12Regional News
16.15Laurel and Hardy
16.20Dastardly and Mutt ley
16.30Wacky Races
16.35Dungeons and Dragons
17.00John Craven’s Newsround
17.10Duncan Dares
17.35Regional news magazines
18.00Six O’Clock News
18.30XIII Commonwealth Games
The opening ceremony from Edinburgh

21.00Nine O’Clock News
22.00Film: Dirty Harry (1971)
Thriller starring Clint Eastwood


06.55Open University
09.00Pages from Ceefax
16.10Cricket: First Test
18.10Harold Lloyd
18.30The Classic Western: Two Rode Together (1961)
James Stewart and Richard Widmark

20.20Brass Tacks
21.00The Travel Show
Comedy detective series starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis.

22.20Making Waves
23.40Cricket: First Test

1987: Former deputy chair of the Conservative Party and novelist Jeffrey Archer is awarded record libel damages of £500,000 plus costs of up to £700,000 against the Daily Star following a front page story alleging he had paid to have sex with a prostitute.

1990: US warships in the Persian Gulf are placed on alert after Iraq masses nearly 30,000 troops near its border with Kuwait.

1994: Miguel Induráin of Spain wins the Tour de France.

Singles chart:

  1. Love Is All Around – Wet Wet Wet
  2. I Swear – All 4 One
  3. (Meet) The Flintstones –The B52s
  4. Crazy For You – Let Loose
  5. Regulate – Warren G and Nate Dogg
  6. Run To The Sun – Erasure
  7. Searching – China Black
  8. Shine – Aswad
  9. Swamp Thing – The Grid
  10. Everything Is Alright (Uptight) – C J Lewis
1994: Mariah Carey – Music Box

Album chart:

  1. End Of Part One: Their Greatest Hits – West Wet Wet
  2. Voodoo Lounge – The Rolling Stones
  3. Music For The Jilted Generation – The Prodigy
  4. The Very Best Of – The Eagles
  5. Happy Nation – Ace Of Base
  6. God Shuffled His Feet – The Crash Test Dummies
  7. Music Box – Mariah Carey
  8. Same As It Ever Was – House Of Pain
  9. Greatest Hits – Whitesnake
  10. The Very Best Of – ELO

1995: Southampton goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, Wimbledon keeper Hans Segers and Aston Villa striker John Fashanu were charged with conspiracy to fix matches after an expose in The Sun newspaper. All three are cleared after two trials.

2000: Loyalist paramilitary hitman Michael Stone is released from the Maze prison in Northern Ireland as part of the Good Friday Agreement after serving one year of a 684-year sentence for six murders and five attempted murders.

2001: An Iranian warship in the Caspian Sea threatens a BP oil exploration ship off the coast of Azerbaijan.

2002: A garden centre was sued over claims it killed a collection of the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s prized koi fish. Mercury’s former partner, Mary Austin who inherited the Japanese koi collection claimed 84 fish died when the electricity powering a temporary pond was accidentally turned off by a worker from Clifton Nurseries, of Maida Vale.

2005: Bad Beat singer Patrick Sherry dies after a stage dive goes wrong during a gig at The Warehouse in Leeds.

2008: Pete Doherty of The Libertines pleads guilty to causing criminal damage after smashing a photographer’s camera in Somerset. He was ordered to pay £918.27 in compensation.

2010: Death of snooker champion Alex “Hurricane” Higgins.

2011: Diego Forlán scores twice as Uruguay beat Paraguay, 3–0 to win the Copa America in Buenos Aires.

2012: Four barrels containing 248 human foetuses are found in Sverdlovsk, Russia. On the same day, John Dramani becomes President of Ghana after the death of President John Atta Mills.

2014: Duran Duran take legal action against a US company charged with running their fan club over unpaid revenues. On the same day, Fuad Masum is elected President of Iraq and Reuven Rivlin is sworn in as President of Israel while more than 10,000 Palestinians protest against Israel’s operation in Gaza – two Palestinians are killed after Al-Aqsa Brigades members fire at Israeli forces.

2016: Chris Froome of Britain wins the Tour de France.

2017: President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, says he did not collude with Russia after meeting with Senate investigators.

2018: Singer Demi Lovato is hospitalised after a drug overdose in Los Angeles.

2019: Special counsel Robert Mueller reports to the US Senate that Donald Trump was not exonerated of obstruction of justice and that Russia interfered in US election to benefit Trump. On the same day, Facebook agrees to pay a $5 billion fine, the largest ever for violating consumer privacy, to the US Federal Trade Commission.

BIRTHDAYS: Ruth Buzzi, comedian/actress, 85; Chris Sarandon, actor, 79; Robert Hays, actor, 74; Lynval Golding, guitarist (The Specials/Fun Boy Three) 70; Lynda Carter, actress, 70; Larry Gott, guitarist (James) 64; Jim Leighton, goalkeeper, 63; Joe McGann, actor, 63; Kerry Dixon, footballer, 60; Martin Keown, footballer/pundit, 55; Kristin Chenoweth, actress/singer, 53; Jennifer Lopez, singer/actress, 52; Patty Jenkins, director, 50; Danny Dyer, actor, 44; Rose (Mary) Byrne, actress, 42; Summer Glau, actress, 40; Elisabeth Moss, actress, 39; Anna Paquin (Moyer), actress , 39; Mara Wilson, actress, 34; Emily Bett Rickards, actress, 30; Bindi Irwin, TV presenter, 23.