It happened today – this day in history – July 7

1307: Edward I dies aged 68. He is succeeded by his son Edward II.

1456: A retrial verdict acquits Joan of Arc of heresy 25 years after she was burned at the stake.

1520: Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and the Tlaxcalans defeat a numerically superior Aztec force at the Battle of Otumba.

1543: French troops invade Luxembourg.

1668: Isaac Newton receives an MA from Trinity College, Cambridge.

1713: The first performance of Handel’s “Te Deum” and “Jubilate”.

1753: British parliament grants Jews citizenship.

1771: Poet Thomas Gray dies aged 54.

1801: Toussaint L’Ouverture declares Haitian independence.

1807: The first Treaty of Tilsit is signed by Napoleon I of France and Alexander I of Russia.

1860: Birth of composer Gustav Mahler in Austria.

1865: Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold and George Atzerodt are executed for their role in the conspiracy to assassinate US President Abraham Lincoln.

1911: Dorothea Chambers becomes first player not to concede a game in a Wimbledon final, beating Dora Boothby 6-0, 6-0.

1928: Sliced bread is sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company, Missouri.

1930: Construction begins on the Boulder Dam. On the same day, Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle dies aged 71.

1937: Japanese and Chinese troops clash at the Marco Polo Bridge, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War.

1939: Bobby Riggs beats fellow American Elwood Cooke 2-6, 8-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 for the Wimbledon sweep, having also won the doubles and mixed doubles titles.

1941: Nazis execute 5,000 Jews in Kovono, Lithuania. On the same day, US forces land in Iceland to forestall a Nazi invasion and Beirut is occupied by Free France and British troops.

1942: Economist John Maynard Keynes takes his seat in the House Of Lords as Baron Keynes of Tilton.

1944: RAF Bomber Command drops 2,572 tons of bombs on Caen, France.

1947: An unidentified craft crashes on farmland in Roswell, New Mexico. Initially, the USAF admit it is an alien spacecraft containing extra terrestrials before recanting and going to great lengths to prove it was in fact a downed weather balloon. The incident is seen by UFO-logists as proof of alien life and sparked the modern day interest in flying saucers.

1950: The UN Security Council establishes the United Nations Command to combat North Korean forces. On the same day, the first Farnborough Air Show is held.

1951: Doris Hart outclasses fellow American Shirley Fry 6-1, 6-0 for her only Wimbledon singles title.

1956: “Hancock’s Half Hour” premieres on British TV starring Tony Hancock and Sid James.

1960: The USSR shoots down an American aircraft over the Barents Sea.

1963: The Rolling Stones make their UK TV debut when they appear on ITV’s Thank Your Lucky Stars miming to their debut single Come On.

1965: Otis Redding records his song Respect with the MGs and the Memphis Horns at Stax.

1966: An obscenity ban for the novel “Naked Lunch” by William S Burroughs is overturned by the Massachusetts Supreme Court after testimony by Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer.

1969: Working on the Abbey Road album, The Beatles, minus John who was still in hospital in Scotland after a car crash, record George Harrison’s new song Here Comes The Sun.

1971: ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog marry in Verum, Sweden.

1972: Secret talks take place between the IRA and the British Government. On the same day, seven people are killed in separate incidents across Northern Ireland.


1973: Hollywood star Veronica Lake (Constance Ockleman) dies aged 50 from hepatitis and acute kidney injury.

1974: West Germany beat The Netherlands, 2-1 in an ill-tempered final in Munich refereed by England’s Jack Taylor, to win the FIFA World Cup.

1976: Ugandan authorities deny any knowledge of the whereabouts of 74-year old British-Israeli citizen Dora Bloch, one of the passengers rescued by Israeli commandos days earlier from a hijacked plane at Entebbe airport. In April 1987, Uganda’s Human Rights Commission was told that the grandmother had been dragged from her hospital bed and murdered by two army officers close to dictator Idi Amin. Her remains were discovered in 1979.

1978: Martina Navratilova wins her first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon, beating Chris Evert 2-6, 6-4, 7-5. On the same day, the Solomon Islands declares independence from the UK.

1980: Led Zeppelin play their last-ever concert with drummer John Bonham at Eissporthalle, West Berlin. On the same day, Sharia Law is instituted in Iran.

1981: England cricket captain Ian Botham resigns after no wins in 12 matches under his reign.

1982: Ipswich Town manager Bobby Robson is appointed manager of the England football squad, replacing Ron Greenwood. On the same day, British athlete David Moorcroft beats Kenyan Henry Rono’s 5000m world record by nearly 5 seconds, 13:00.41 in Oslo.

1985: Unseeded 17-year old Boris Becker becomes the youngest winner of the Wimbledon man’s singles title.

Singles chart:

  1. Frankie – Sister Sledge
  2. Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer
  3. Crazy For You – Madonna
  4. Cherish – Kool and the Gang
  5. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
  6. Ben – Marti Webb
  7. My Toot Toot – Denise Lasalle
  8. Johnny Come Home – Fine Young Cannibals
  9. Historry – Mai Tai
  10. There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) – Eurythmics
1985: Marillion – Misplaced Childhood

Album chart:

  1. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
  2. Misplaced Childhood – Marillion
  3. Songs From The Big Chair – Tears For Fears
  4. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  5. The Dream Of The Blue Turtles – Sting
  6. All Through The Night – Aled Jones
  7. Fly On The Wall – AC/DC
  8. Cupid And Psyche 85 – Scritti Politti
  9. Boys And Girls – Bryan Ferry
  10. Out Now! – Various Artists

1986: Soviet General and spy for the US, Dmitri Polyakov, is arrested in retirement in Russia.

1987: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North begins public testimony at the Iran-Contra hearing in the US.

1988: Death of comedy actor Jimmy Edwards aged 68.

1989: It is announced that for the first time compact discs are outselling vinyl albums.

1990: Martina Navratilova wins her record ninth Wimbledon singles title, beating American Zina Garrison 6-4, 6-1. On the same day, the first Three Tenors concert takes place featuring Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.

1996: Nelson Mandela steps down as President of South Africa.

1998: Riots break out in Lagos after the death of Nigerian opposition leader Chief Moshood Abiola.

2001: Violence breaks out in Bradford town centre when members of the Anti Nazi League clash with far right National Front supporters.

2005: Co-ordinated bomb attacks on London’s transport network – three Tube trains and a bus – kill 52 people and injure 700.

2006: Former Pink Floyd singer/guitarist/songwriter Syd Barrett dies aged 60 in Cambridge from complications arising from diabetes.

2007: Live Earth concerts take place around the world with The Police headlining in New Jersey.

2010: Paul McCartney joins Ringo Starr onstage at a concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to help celebrate the former Beatle drummer’s 70th birthday.

2013: Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic 6-4. 7-5. 6-4 to become the first British man to win a Wimbledon singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

2014: Israel launches a “counter-terrorist operation” dubbed Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza. On the same day, Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano dies aged 88.

2016: In Dallas Texas, a lone gunman shoots and kills five police officers, wounding others during a protest march against fatal police shootings of African Americans.

2017: The G-20 summit of world leaders begins in Hamburg, Germany amid violent protests.

2019: The US win the FIFA Women’s World Cup, beating the Netherlands, 2-0 in France.

2021: Haiti president Jovenel Moïse is assassinated at his home in Pétionville.

2022: Boris Johnson resigns as Prime Minister

Millie Turner (Photo: James Boyes)

BIRTHDAYS: Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey), drummer (The Beatles), 84; Bill Oddie, comedian/ornithologist, 83; Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, 83; Glenys Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, 80; Tony Jacklin, golfer, 80; Joe Spano, actor, 78; Rob Townsend, drummer (Family) 77; Kathy Reichs, crime writer/forensic anthropologist, 76; Blondie Chaplin, singer (The Beach Boys) 73; Lynval Golding, guitarist (The Specials/Fun Boy Three) 71; Vonda Shepard, singer, 61; Jeremy Kyle, broadcaster, 59; Jim Gaffigan, comedian/actor, 58; Jorja Fox, actress, 56; Kristen Vangness, actress/writer, 52; Fyfe Dangerfield, singer-songwriter (Guillemots) 44; Synyster Gates (Brian Elwin Haner, Jr.) guitarist (Avenged Sevenfold) 43; Jack Whitehall, comedian, 36; Eve Hewson, actress, 33; Millie Turner, footballer, 28