It happened today – this day in history – March 12

1054: Pope Leo IX escapes captivity and returns to Rome.

1144: Gherardo Caccianemici is elected Pope Lucius II.

1496: Jews are expelled from Syria.

1507: Death of Cesare Borgia, Duke of Valentinois, Italian aristocrat and illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, killed in battle at 31.

1597: England sends troops to Amiens.

1609: Bermuda becomes an English colony.

1642: Abel Tasman is the first European to sight New Zealand, viewing the north-west coast of the South Island.

1664: New Jersey becomes an English colony.

1710: Birth of composer Thomas Arne in London.

1799: Austria declares war on France.

1857: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Simon Boccanegra” premieres in Venice.

1868: Britain annexes Basutoland (Lesotho). On the same day, Henry O’Farrell attempts to assassinate Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.

1881: Andrew Watson makes his Scotland debut as the world’s first black international football player and captain.

1890: Birth of ballet dancer and arborphile Vaslav Nijinsky.

1916: A French airship mistakenly attacks and sinks a British submarine with the loss of all hands.

1917: A German submarine sinks an unarmed US merchant ship, the ‘Algonquin’. On the same day, President Woodrow Wilson gives an executive order to arm US merchant ships.

1922: Birth of writer Jack Kerouac.

1926: Denmark begins unilateral disarmament..

1930: Gandhi begins a 200 mile march in protest at British salt tax.

1935: Britain establishes a 30mph speed limit for towns and villages.

1938: Nazi Germany invades Austria.

1940: Finland signs the Moscow Peace Treaty, surrendering to Russia and ceding 11% of their pre-WWII territory, ending the “Winter War”.

1945: Anne Frank dies of typhus in Belsen concentration camp aged 15.

1951: Dennis The Menace first appears in The Beano comic.

1954: Singles chart:

  1. I See The Moon – The Stargazers
  2. Oh Mein Papa – Eddie Calvert
  3. The Happy Wanderer – The Obernkirchen Children’s Choir
  4. Tennessee Wig Walk – Bonnie Lou
  5. Don’t Laugh At Me (‘Cause I’m A Fool) – Norman Wisdom
  6. Blowing Wild – Frankie Laine
  7. That’s Amore – Dean Martin
  8. Skin Deep – Duke Ellington
  9. Cloud Lucky Seven – Guy Mitchell
  10. The Book – David Whitfield

1955: Jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker dies aged 34 of a heart attack in New York while watching television.

1964: Jimmy Hoffa, the president of the powerful American Teamsters union is sentenced to eight years in prison on bribery charges.


1967: The Monkees

1967: Album chart:

  1. The Monkees – The Monkees
  2. The Sound Of Music – Original Soundtrack
  3. Between The Buttons – The Rolling Stones
  4. Best Of The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys
  5. Four Tops Live – The Four Tops
  6. Greatest Hits – Bob Dylan
  7. Come The Day – The Seekers
  8. Hand Clappin’ Foot Stompin’ Funky Butt Live – Geno Washington
  9. S.R.Q. – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
  10. Trogglodynamite – The Troggs

1968: The Rolling Stones start recording the song Jumpin’ Jack Flash with producer Jimmy Miller at Olympic Studios in London/

1969: Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman are married at Marylebone Register Office. On the same day, George Harrison and wife Patti are arrested at their home for possession of marijuana.

1974: Out on a drinking binge in LA with Harry Nilsson, John Lennon hurls insults at the performing Smothers Brothers and punches their manager before being ejected from The Troubadour with a Kotex sanitary towel stuck to his forehead.

1975: ABBA record the song Mamma Mia at Metronome Studio in Stockholm.

1977: Sid Vicious is at the centre of a fight at London’s Speakeasy Club with Bob Harris, presenter of BBC 2’s The Old Grey Whistle Test, resulting in one of the show’s engineers needing 14 stitches in his head. It’s the final straw for record company A&M and the decision is made to cancel the Sex Pistols’ contract.

1978: Death of actor John Cazale from cancer, aged 41.

1980: Serial killer John Wayne Gacy is convicted of killing 33 people in Chicago.

1984: Tens of thousands of Britain’s miners strike over threatened pit closures.

1987: On TV (Thursday)


06.00Ceefax AM


07.00Breakfast Time


08.55Regional News and Weather

09.00News and Weather

09.05Day to Day

09.45Advice Shop

10.00News and Weather


10.25Children’s BBC

10.30Play School

10.50The Wombles

10.55Five to Eleven

11.00News and Weather

11.05Food and Drink

11.35Open Air

12.00News and Weather

12.20The Tom O’Connor Roadshow

12.55Regional News and Weather

13.00One O’Clock News


13.50The Flumps

14.05Matinee: Coffee, Tea or Me? (1973)
TV movie


15.40Play it Safe

15.50Children’s BBC



16.20The Adventures of Bullwinkle and Rocky

16.25The Hundred and One Dalmatians


17.00John Craven’s Newsround

17.05Blue Peter

17.35Rolf Harris Cartoon Time

18.00Six O’Clock News

18.35Regional news magazines

19.00Top of the Pops
Mike Smith and Steve Wright introduce Alison Moyet, Boy George, Nick Kamen, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and The Beastie Boys


20.00Tomorrow’s World

20.30A Question of Sport
With team captains Emlyn Hughes and Bill Beaumont.

21.00Nine O’Clock News

21.30Life Without George

22.00Question Time
Sir Robin Day with panellists David Alton MP, Rhodes Boyson, Isobel Lindsay and Bill McKenzie

23.00World Figure Skating Championships



06.55Open University

09.00Pages from Ceefax

09.30Daytime on Two

14.00News and Weather


14.17Music Time

14.35In the Making

15.00News and Weather

15.03World Figure Skating Championship
from Cincinnati, Ohio

16.00Pamela Armstrong

16.35Look Stranger

17.05My Music

17.30Film 87

18.00Mission Impossible

18.50International Pro-Celebrity Golf

19.40Call My Bluff

20.10Son of a Gun

21.00Foreign Bodies

21.3040 Minutes

22.10Phil Silvers



23.30Ludwig van Beethoven



7.00Good Morning Britain

9.00After Nine

9.25Regional News


12.00Creepie Crawlies

12.10Puddle Lane

12.30The Sullivans


1.20Regional News

1.30Falcon Crest

2.25Home Cookery Club

with Sarah Kennedy

3.00Frocks On The Box

3.30Sons And Daughters

4.00Orm And Cheep


4.20The Wind In The Willows

4.45The Blunders

4.50Adventure Of A Lifetime


5.45News and Weather

6.00Regional News




7.30Never The Twain
Comedy series starring Windsor Davies and Donald Sinden

8.00This Week

8.30All In Good Faith

9.00LA Law
US legal drama

10.00News At Ten

10.30Ice Skating


12.30Worlds Beyond

12.55Night Thoughts


2.15Their Lordships’ House

2.30Ice Skating


5.00Film: While I Live (1946)
A neurotic spinster believes a girl with amnesia is the reincarnation of her dead sister

6.30Union World

7.00Channel 4 News


8.00Treasure Hunt

9.00Film: She’ll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas (1985)
Women go on an outward bounds course starring Julie Walters

10.45Grey Gardens

12.25Their Lordships’ House

1989: Computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee submits his first proposal for an “information management system” to his boss at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) who finds it “vague, but exciting”.

1992: Actress Annette Bening marries Warren Beatty.

1993: Bombay is rocked by 15 bomb blasts, killing more than 250 people and injuring 1,100.

1994: The Church of England ordains its first 33 women priests.

1999: Violinist Yehudi Menuhin dies aged 82.

2001: Spy novelist Robert Ludlum dies aged 73.

2002: Songwriter John “Speedy” Keene of Thunderclap Newman dies of heart failure aged 52.

2003: Zoran Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, is assassinated in Belgrade.

2004: Roh Moo-hyun, President of South Korea, is impeached by its national assembly for the first time in the nation’s history.

2011: A reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melts and explodes, releasing radioactivity into the atmosphere the day after an earthquake.

2012: Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack dies of cancer at his home in Wyoming at the age of 65.

2013: Bob Dylan is voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, marking the first time a rock musician has been chosen for the elite honour society.

2015: Author Terry Pratchett dies from Alzheimer’s Disease aged 66.

2017: Actress Amanda Seyfried marries actor Thomas Sadoski.

2019: Theresa May’s government suffers a second defeat on a Brexit deal with the EU by 391 votes to 242.

BIRTHDAYS: Liza Minnelli, actress/singer, 76; Mitt (Willard) Romney, US politician, 75; James Taylor, singer-songwriter, 74; Bill Payne, keyboards/songwriter (Little Feat) 72; Steve Harris, bassist, (Iron Maiden) 66; Marlon Jackson, singer (The Jackson 5) 65; Ian Holloway, football manager, 59; Coleen Nolan, TV presenter/singer, 57; Aaron Eckhart, actor, 54; Graham Coxon, guitarist (Blur) 53; Pete Doherty, guitarist/singer (The Libertines), 43; Jaimie Alexander, actress, 38; Danny Jones, guitar/vocals/songwriter (McFly) 36.