It happened today – this day in history – July 24

1148: Louis VII of France lays siege to Damascus during the Second Crusade.

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 Niagara 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 is 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.

1968: Singles chart:

  1. I Pretend – Des O’Connor
  2. Money Money – Tommy James and the Shondells
  3. Baby Come Back – The Equals
  4. Macarthur Park – Richard Harris
  5. Yummy Yummy Yummy – The Ohio Express
  6. The Son Of Hickory Holler’s Tramp – O C Smith
  7. Yesterday Has Gone – Cupid’s Inspiration
  8. Fire! – The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
  9. This Guy’s In Love With You – Herb Alpert
  10. Mrs Robinson – Simon and Garfunkel

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: The International Lawn 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 Georgio 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.

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.

1995: Southampton goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, Wimbledon keeper Hans Segers and Aston Villa striker John Fashanu are 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 is 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 is 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 Brigade 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.

2020: Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue

2020: Album chart:

  1. Brightest Blue – Ellie Goulding
  2. Legends Never Die – Juice Wrld
  3. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon – Pop Smoke
  4. Rough And Rowdy Ways – Bob Dylan
  5. Gaslighter – The Chicks
  6. Closer – Joy Division
  7. Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas
  8. Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent – Lewis Capaldi
  9. House Of Noise – Massive Wagons
  10. Fine Line – Harry Styles

2021: Comedian Jackie Mason dies aged 93.

2022: Joni Mitchell makes a surprise appearance, joining Brandi Carlile at the Newport Folk Festival for her first public performance in 19 years. On the same day, actor David Warner dies aged 80 from lung cancer.

BIRTHDAYS: Ruth Buzzi, comedian/actress, 87; Chris Sarandon, actor, 81; Robert Hays, actor, 76; Lynval Golding, guitarist (The Specials/Fun Boy Three) 72; Lynda Carter, actress, 72; Larry Gott, guitarist (James) 66; Jim Leighton, goalkeeper, 65; Joe McGann, actor, 65; Kerry Dixon, footballer, 62; Martin Keown, footballer/pundit, 57; Kristin Chenoweth, actress/singer, 55; Jennifer Lopez, singer/actress, 54; Patty Jenkins, director, 52; Danny Dyer, actor, 46; Rose (Mary) Byrne, actress, 44; Summer Glau, actress, 42; Elisabeth Moss, actress, 41; Anna Paquin (Moyer), actress, 41; Mara Wilson, actress, 36; Emily Bett Rickards, actress, 32; Bindi Irwin, TV presenter, 25.