- Fire in Westcliff - 31/07/2021
- Dispersal order in Basildon as car meet moves again - 31/07/2021
- Couple suffer stab wounds in Tilbury - 31/07/2021
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.
1949: Fausto Coppi of Italy wins the Tour de France.
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: A riot breaks out at a Rolling Stones gig at The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool when Keith Richards kicks a member of the audience who was spitting at the band in the mouth. The band is banned from playing in Blackpool for 44 years.
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/air force/fleet repress 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:
- I Pretend – Des O’Connor
- Mony Mony – Tommy James & The Shondelles
- Baby Come Back – The Equals
- MacArthur Park – Richard Harris
- Yummy Yummy Yummy – The Ohio Express
- Son Of Hickory Holler’s Tramp – O C Smith
- Yesterday Has Gone – Cupid’s Inspiration
- Fire – The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
- This Guy’s In Love With You – Herb Alpert
- Mrs Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel
1969: British lecturer Gerald Brooke is returned to London after four years in jail in the USSR for smuggling anti-Soviet leaflets. On the same day, Paul McCartney records a demo of his new song ‘Come and Get It’ at EMI Studios in Abbey Road. He subsequently gives the song tp the band Badfinger. Also, the band recorded ‘Here Comes The Sun King’ and ‘Mean Mr Mustard’.
1970: International Law Tennis Association institutes the nine-point tie break rule to come in at six games all except the final set.
1972: Bobby Ramirez drummer with Edger Winter’s White Trash is killed after becoming involved in a brawl in a Chicago bar.
1974: The US Supreme Court orders President Nixon to surrender tape recordings of White House conversations about the Watergate affair.
1975: Fashion designer Georgia Armani and Sergio Galeotti found Giorgio Armani S.p.A. in Milan.
1977: Album chart:
- The Johnny Mathis Collection – Johnny Mathis
- A Star Is Born – Original Soundtrack
- Going For The One – Yes
- Love At The Greek – Neil Diamond
- 20 All Time Greats – Connie Francis
- I Remember Yesterday – Donna Summer
- IV (Rattus Norvegicus) – The Stranglers
- Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
- Hotel California – The Eagles
- The Best of the Mamas and Papas – The Mamas and Papas
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) died. 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: The Daily Star newspaper was ordered to pay former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, author Jeffrey Archer £500,000 in damages along with up to £700,000 costs for 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.
2000: Loyalist paramilitary Michael Stone is released from the Maze prison in Northern Ireland.
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 died after a stage dive went wrong during a gig at The Warehouse in Leeds.
2008: Pete Doherty of The Libertines pleaded 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 beats Paraguay, 3–0 to win the Copa America in Buenos Aires.
2012: Four barrels containing 248 human fetuses 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 took 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, 84; Dan Hedaya, actor, 80; Chris Sarandon, actor, 78; Barbara Thompson MBE, saxophonist, 76; Robert Hays, actor, 73; Lynval Golding, guitarist (The Specials/Fun Boy Three) 69; Lynda Carter, actress, 69; Gus Van Sant, director, 68; Larry Gott, guitarist (James) 63; Paul Geary, drummer (Extreme) 59; Kerry Dixon, former footballer, 59; Martin Keown, football pundit, 54; Kristin Chenoweth, singer/actress, 52; Jennifer Lopez, actress/singer, 51; Dino Baggio, former footballer, 49; Danny Dyer, actor, 43; Rose Byrne, actress, 41; Summer Glau, actress, 39; Elisabeth Moss, actress, 38; Anna Paquin, actress, 38; Mara Wilson, actress, 33; Jay McGuiness, singer-songwriter (The Wanted) 30; Emily Bett Rickards, actress, 29; Bindy Irwin, TV personality, 22.