It happened today – this day in history – July 29

904: Thessalonica is sacked by Saracen pirates led by renegade Leo of Tripoli.

1221: Emperor Go-Horikawa, aged only 10 years old, ascends to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan.

1565: Mary, Queen of Scots, marries her cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

1567: James VI is crowned King of Scots at Stirling.

1588: The Spanish Armada is damaged and scattered by the English fleet at the Battle of Gravelines.

1609: Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs at Ticonderoga, New York setting the stage for French-Iroquois conflicts for the next 150 years.

1696: Louis XIV of France and Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy sign the Peace of Turin, a turning point in the War of the League of Augsburg.

1751: The first international world title prize fight: Jack Stack of England, beats challenger M. Petit of France in 29 mins in England.

1783: The volcano Skaptar erupts on Iceland, killing about 9,000.

1833: Death of abolitionist William Wilberforce aged 73.

1836: Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

1848: During the Irish potato famine, an unsuccessful nationalist revolt in Tipperary against British rule is put down by police.

1864: During the American Civil War, Confederate spy Belle Boyd is arrested by Union troops and detained at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C.

1884: The Society of Independent Artists is founded in Paris by Albert Dubois-Pillet, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.

1890: Artist Vincent van Gogh dies two days after shooting himself.

1900: King Umberto I of Italy is assassinated by anarchist Gaetano Bresci.

1905:US Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, makes a secret agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Katsura agreeing to Japanese free rein in Korea in return for non-interference with the US in the Philippines.

1907: The first helicopter ascent in Douai, France. On the same day, Robert Baden-Powell forms the Boy Scouts movement in England.

1914: The first transcontinental phone link is made between New York City and San Francisco. On the same day, Austrian-Hungary bombs Belgrade and Russian troops mobilise along the Austrian boundary.

1921: Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

1922: Greek troops defeat Turkish forces and are on their way to Constantinople, but the Allies forbid them from taking the city.

1923: Albert Einstein speaks on pacifism in Berlin.

1928: France beats the USA in Paris to win the Davis Cup.

1930: The first passenger-carrying airship flight from England to Canada.

1934: Antonin Magne of France wins the Tour de France.

1937: Japanese troops occupy Peking and Tientsin. On the same day, East Hopei Army mutinies against Japanese troops and civilians.

1943: A million people flee bomb blasted Hamburg.

1949: Moscow ends the blockade of West Berlin.

1953: A US bomber is shot down by Soviet Air Defence Forces in the Sea of Japan, north of Vladivostok.

1954: The Fellowship Of The Ring – the first volume of the Lord of the Rings saga by JRR Tolkien, is published.

1955: Singles chart:

  1. Rose Marie – Slim Whitman
  2. Dreamboat – Alma Cogan
  3. Evermore – Ruby Murray
  4. Cool Water – Frankie Laine and the Mellomen
  5. Unchained Melody – Jimmy Young
  6. I Wonder – Dickie Valentine
  7. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White – Eddie Calvert
  8. Every Day Of My Life – Malcolm Vaughan
  9. Unchained Melody – Al Hibbler
  10. Ev’rywhere – David Whitfield

1957: Floyd Patterson TKOs Tommy Jackson in Round 10 for the heavyweight boxing title.


1959: Liverpool sign Roger Hunt from non league Stockton Heath.

1962: Elvis Presley – Blue Hawaii

1962: Album chart:

  1. Pot Luck – Elvis Presley
  2. West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
  3. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  4. Blue Hawaii – Elvis Presley
  5. The Black And White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Singers
  6. Sinatra And Strings – Frank Sinatra
  7. It’s Trad Dad – Various Artists
  8. Stranger On The Shore – Mr Acker Bilk
  9. Blitz – Original London Cast
  10. The Shadows – The Shadows

1965: Premier of The Beatles movie Help! On the same day, Gemini 5 returns to Earth.

1966: Cream make their live debut at The Twisted Wheel, Manchester. On the same day, Bob Dylan is riding his Triumph 55 motorcycle to a garage near his home in Woodstock, New York state for repairs when the rear wheel locks. Dylan is thrown over the handlebars, suffering a broken neck vertebra. Also, in a Nigerian counter-coup, head of state, General Aguiyi Ironsi, is murdered and Yakubu Gowon is appointed his successor.

1967: The International Love-In Festival takes place at Alexandra Palace London with Pink Floyd, Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger, The Animals and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown.

1968: Pope Paul VI confirms a ban on the use of contraceptives by Roman Catholics in spite of a Church commission’s recommendation for change. On the same day, Gram Parsons leaves The Byrds on the eve of a tour of South Africa, refusing to play to segregated audiences. Also, at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, The Beatles begin recording Hey Jude.

1969: Mariner 6 begins transmitting far-encounter photos of Mars.

1970: The beginning of six days of race rioting in Hartford, Connecticut.

1972: Screaming Lord Sutch is arrested in London after jumping from a bus in Downing Street with four nude women while publicising his forthcoming London gigs.

1973: Led Zeppelin lost around $203,000 in cash after a thief made off with the receipts of two Madison Square Garden concerts from the safe at The Drake Hotel in New York, where the band were staying. On the same day, a Greek plebiscite chooses republic over monarchy.

1974: Singer Cass Elliot dies in her sleep from a heart attack after playing a sold out show in London.

1975: A military coup in Nigeria leads to President Jakubu Gowon being overthrown.

1976: Fire engulfs Southend Pier causing extensive damage.

1978: Penny Dean swims the English Channel in a record 7h40m. On the same day, Pioneer 11 transmits images of Saturn and its rings.

1981: Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral.On the same day, anti-apartheid protesters against the Springbok rugby tour are confronted by police who use batons to stop them marching to South Africa’s consul in New Zealand.

1982: James Bond actor Harold Sakata (Oddjob) dies aged 62.

1983: Hollywood star David Niven dies from motor neurone disease aged 73.

1989: Javier Sotomayor of Cuba sets the high jump record (8’0″) in San Juan.

1990: Elton John checks into a Chicago clinic to cure bulimia and an addiction problem.

1993: A court in Israel says retired Ohio car worker John Demjanjuk may not after all have been notorious Nazi death camp guard Ivan the Terrible and his conviction is overturned. On the same day, charges are dropped against two youths accused of murdering black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

1994: German World Cup star Jürgen Klinsmann signs for Spurs. On the same day, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour marries Polly Samson.

2000: Brad Pitt marries “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston in Malibu.

2001: Defender Iván Córdoba scores winner as home team Columbia edge Mexico, 1-0 to win the Copa América in Bogotá.

2005: Astronomers announce the discovery of dwarf planet Eris.

2006: Robyn Denise Moore divorces actor/director Mel Gibson after 31 years of marriage.

2007: Alberto Contador of Spain wins the Tour de France. On the same day, comedian and EastEnders actor Mike Reid dies aged 66.

2013: €103 million of diamonds is stolen from the Carton Intercontinental Hotel, Cannes.

2014: Israeli strikes on Gaza kill 100. On the same day, jazz drummer Idris Muhammad dies aged 74.

2015: More than 3,500 immigrants attempt to enter the Channel Tunnel at Calais, to cross into Britian over two days. On the same day, Microsoft launches Windows 10 and British horse racing commentator Peter o’Sullevan, ‘the voice of racing’, dies aged 97.

2018: Geraint Thomas becomes the first Welshman to win the Tour de France.

2019: A prison riot between rival factions at the Altamira prison in Brazil results in 58 deaths with 16 decapitated.

BIRTHDAYS: David Warner, actor, 80; Mike Garson, pianist, 76; Neal Doughty, keyboards (REO Speedwagon) 75; Diane Keen, actress, 75; Geddy Lee (Gary Weinrib), bassist/singer/keyboards (Rush), 68; Patti Scialfa (Springsteen), singer, 68; Viv Anderson, footballer, 65; Nellie Kim, gymnast, 64; Alvin Martin, footballer, 63; Sally Gunnell, former athlete, 55; Miles Hunt, singer (The Wonder Stuff) 55; Giles Coren, food critic, 52; David Walliams (Williams), comedian/author, 50; Simon Jones, bassist (The Verve) 49; Wil Wheaton, actor, 49; Stephen Dorff, actor, 48; Danger Mouse, (Brian Joseph Burton). Musician/producer/songwriter, 44.Fernando Alonso, Formula 1 driver, 40; Jay Rodriguez, footballer, 32; Joey Essex, TV personality, 31.