It happened today – this day in history – June 24

1314: Scotland regains independence from England at the Battle of Bannockburn.

1340: The English fleet destroys the French at the battle of Sluys during the Hundred Years War.

1441: Eton College is founded by Henry VI.

1497: John Cabot claims Eastern Canada for England thinking Nova Scotia is Asia. On the same day, Cornish traitors Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank are executed at Tyburn gallows.

1509: Henry VIII is crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey.

1527: Physician and alchemist Paracelsus publicly burns standard medical textbooks in Basle as a protest against the current teaching and practice of medicine.

1540: Henry VIII commands his fourth wife, Anne of Cleeves to leave the court.

1658: The French fleet recaptures Duinkerk.

1690: William III’s army lands at Carrickfergus, now in Northern Ireland.

1717: The first Freemasons’ grand lodge is founded in London.

1812: Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces invade Russia.

1853: US President Franklin Pierce signs the Gadsden Purchase, buying 29,670 square-miles (76,800 square km) from Mexico for $10 million (now southern Arizona and New Mexico).

1861: Tennessee becomes 11th and last state to secede from the Union in the American Civil War.

1885: The British government of Lord Salisbury forms.

1894: The decision is made to hold the modern Olympics every four years. On the same day, French president Marie François Sadi Carnot is assassinated in Lyon by Italian anarchist Sante Geronimo Caserio.

1899: Marion Jones beats Maud Banks 6-1, 6-1, 7-5 to win the US National Women’s Tennis Championship.

1901: The first exhibition by Pablo Picasso, 19, opens on Paris.

1902: The coronation of Edward VII is delayed when he develops appendicitis..

1908: Death of former US President Grover Cleveland aged 71

1916: Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to get a million dollar contract.

1917: The Russian Black Sea fleet mutinies at Sebastopol.

1922: Adolf Hitler begins a month long prison sentence for paramilitary operations over what he calls the ‘Jewish sell-out’ of Germany to the Bolsheviks.

1930: The first radar detection of planes at Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

1932: A coup ends centuries of absolute monarchy in Thailand.

1940: France signs an armistice with Italy.

1941: The entire Jewish male population of Gorzhdy, Lithuania, is exterminated.

1947: Unidentified flying objects are sighted over Mount Rainier, Seattle, by pilot Kenneth Arnold, who describes them as saucer-like. A newspaper reporter coins the phrase “flying saucers”.

1948: The Soviet Union begins a blockade of West Berlin by stopping access by road, rail and water.

1950: The French government of prime Minister Georges Bidault resigns.


1961: Iraq demands dominion over Kuwait.

1963: The first demonstration of a home video recorder, at BBC Studios in London.

1968: Britain’s rail network is thrown into disarray as the National Union of Railwaymen begins a work-to-rule and ban on overtime. On the same day, Joe Frazier TKOs Manuel Ramos in Round 2 for the world heavyweight boxing title.

1969: Led Zeppelin record live versions of Whole Lotta Love, What Is And What Should Never Be, Travelling Riverside Blues and Communication Breakdown for BBC Radio 1 at Maida Vale Studios, London. The session is broadcast five days later, but not released until 1997 on the BBC Sessions album.

1972: The IRA kills three British Army soldiers in a landmine attack near Dungiven.

1973: Singles chart:

  1. Skweeze Me Pleeze Me – Slade
  2. Rubber Bullets – 10cc
  3. Albatross – Fleetwood Mac
  4. Welcome Home – Peters and Lee
  5. The Groover – T. Rex
  6. Snoopy Vs The Red Baron – The Hotshots
  7. Can The Can – Suzi Quatro
  8. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) – George Harrison
  9. Live And Let Die – Wings
  10. Stuck In The Middle With You – Stealers Wheel
1973: The Beatles – Red and Blue Compliations

Album chart:

  1. That’ll Be The Day – Various Artists
  2. Pure Gold – Various Artists
  3. Aladdin Sane – David Bowie
  4. There Goes Rhymin’ Simon – Paul Simon
  5. The Beatles 1962-1966 – The Beatles
  6. Touch Me – Gary Glitter
  7. We Can Make It – Peters and Lee
  8. The Beatles 1967-1970 – The Beatles
  9. The Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
  10. Red Rose Speedway – Wings

1974: India are all out for 42 in 77 minutes against England at Lords.

1982: The US Supreme Court rules the president can’t be sued for actions while in office.

1983: America’s first woman in space, Sally Ride, returns safely in the space shuttle Challenger after a six-day mission.

1988: UB40 bass player Earl Falconer is sent to prison for six months with a further 12 suspended after admitting to causing his brother’s death in a car accident.

1990: New Kids On The Block’s Donnie Wahlberg is hospitalised after falling through an unlocked trapdoor mid-concert in Saratoga Springs, New York.

1993: Northern Ireland Minister Michael Mates resigns over his links with fugitive tycoon Asil Nadir, who had fled to Cyprus rather than face fraud charges in Britain connected with the collapse of Polly Peck, the star London stock market performer of the 1980s.

1995: South Africa beat New Zealand, 15-12 to win the Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg.

1999: Eric Clapton puts 100 of his guitars up for auction at Christie’s in New York to raise money for his drug rehab clinic, the Crossroads Centre in Antigua. His 1956 Fender Stratocaster named ‘Brownie’, which was used to record the song Layla in 1970, sold for a then record $497,500. The auction helped raise nearly $5 million for the clinic.

2003: A man who had been deported from Sweden for stalking ABBA singer Agnetha Faeltskog is arrested near the singer’s island retreat. Gert van der Graaf, 37, had been the singer’s boyfriend from 1997 to 1999, but had been issued with a restraining order barring him from seeing or talking to her in 2000.

2004: England lose a penalty shoot-out against Portugal at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon in the quarter-finals of Euro 2004. On the same day, Eric Clapton’s Fender Stratocaster “Blackie” sells at a Christie’s auction for $959,500 in New York, making it the most expensive guitar in the world at the time. The proceeds of the sale go towards Clapton’s Crossroads addiction clinic.

2007: Death of former Wolves and Northern Ireland footballer Derek Dougan aged 69.

2010: In the longest match in tennis history, American John Isner defeats Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon after 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days.

2012: Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood becomes President of Egypt.

2013: Former Devo drummer Alan Myers dies aged 58 in Los Angeles following a long battle with cancer.

2014: A working draft of Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone sets a record at auction, selling for $2m at Sotheby’s. The manuscript, said to be the only known draft of the final lyrics, was written in pencil in 1965.

2016: Prime Minister David Cameron resigns in the wake of the referendum result for Britain to leave the EU.

2017: The UN states the Yemen cholera epidemic is the worst outbreak anywhere in the world with 200,000 cases.

2018: Women in Saudi Arabia are allowed to drive for the first time.

2019: President Donald Trump imposes sanctions on Iran following the shooting down of a US drone. On the same day, an El Salvador immigrant father and his 23-month-old daughter drown trying to cross the Rio Grande into the US with their photo causing widespread condemnation.

2022: The US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to choose abortion.

2023: Mercenaries from the Wagner Group rebel against Vladimir Putin and with leader Yevgeny Prigozhin march towards Moscow. Only a last minute deal gets them to stand down and agree to move to Belarus.

Mick Fleetwood (Photo: Brandt Luke Zorn)

BIRTHDAYS: Arthur Brown, singer-songwriter, 82; Charlie (Richard) Whitney, guitarist/songwriter, 80; Colin Blunstone, singer (The Zombies) 79; Mick Fleetwood, drummer (Fleetwood Mac), 77; Peter Weller, actor, 77; Patrick Moraz, keyboardist, 76; John Illsley, bassist (Dire Straits) 75; Nancy Allen, actress, 74; David Rodigan, DJ, 73; Levi Roots (Keith Valentine Graham) musician/entrepreneur, 66; Andy McCluskey, singer/musician/songwriter (OMD) 65; Curt Smith, singer/musician (Tears For Fears) 63; Iain, Glen, actor, 63; Hope Sandoval, singer-songwriter, 58; Richard Kruspe, guitarist (Rammstein) 57; Mindy (Vera) Kaling (Chokalingam), actress/writer, 45; Kevin Nolan, football coach, 42; Solange Knowles, singer, 38; Stuart Broad, cricketer, 38; Lionel Messi, footballer, 37; Micah Richards, footballer/pundit, 36; Beanie Feldstein, actress, 31; Erin Moriarty, actress, 30.