It happened today – this day in history – March 2

1316: Birth of King Robert II of Scotland, first monarch of the House of Stewart.

1629: Charles I dissolves parliament, imprisoning nine members.

1776: Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston.

1796: Napoleon Bonaparte is appointed Commander-in-Chief of the French Army in Italy.

1807: Congress bans the slave trade within the US, effective January 1, 1808. On the same day, William Cavendish-Bentinck, Duke of Portland becomes Prime Minister for the second time after the fall of William Grenville’s Whig government.

1836: The Republic of Texas declares independence from Mexico.

1855: Aleksandr Romanov becomes tsar of Russia.

1867: Jesse James’ gang robs a bank in Savannah Missouri.

1877: The US Electoral Commission declares republican Rutherford B Hayes winner of the presidential election with an electoral vote of 185-184 against democrat Samuel J. Tilden.

1882: Queen Victoria narrowly escapes an assassination attempt when Roderick Maclean shoots at her as she boards a train in Windsor.

1896: The best 9-wicket haul in cricket history; George Lohmann takes 9-28 as England beat South Africa by an innings and 197 runs in the Second Test at Johannesburg.

1900: Birth of composer Kurt Weill in Germany.

1930: Death of author D H Lawrence from tuberculosis aged 44.

1933: King Kong, starring Fay Wray premieres in New York.

1938: Landslides & floods cause over 200 deaths in Los Angeles.

1939: Death of archaeologist Howard Carter.

1944: Casablanca wins Best Picture at the Oscars and Michael Curtiz wins the best director award. On the same day, more than 500 passengers are killed by fumes when a train stalls in a tunnel in Italy.

1946: Ho Chi Minh is elected President of North Vietnam.

1955: Bo Diddley’s first recording session at Universal Recording Studio in Chicago.

1956: King Hussein of Jordan sacks the British commander of the Arab Legion in an effort to strengthen his own position within the Arab world.

1959: Construction begins on Sydney Opera House.

1960: Elvis Presley steps on British soil for the only time in his life when the plane carrying him back to the US from his national service in Germany stops for refuelling at Prestwick Airport, Scotland.

1962: The army seizes power in a military coup in Burma. On the same day, President Kennedy announces the US will resume above ground nuclear testing.

1964: The Beatles begin filming their first feature film A Hard Day’s Night at Marylebone train station. George Harrison meets Patti Boyd, who appears as a schoolgirl in the card playing scene on the train featuring the song I Should Have Known Better.

1965: The film Sound of Music is released starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.


1967: The Grammy for Best Song is awarded to The Beatles for Michelle, a song Paul McCartney had written as a teenager.

1969: Concorde makes its maiden flight in France.

1970: Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Smith declares his country a republic, unilaterally cutting its last ties with Britain.

1972: NASA launches its Pioneer 10 space probe to Jupiter.

1974: A Grand Jury concludes that US President Richard Nixon is involved in the Watergate cover up. On the same day, Stevie Wonder wins the Best Album Grammy for Innervisions.

1977: Bette Davis becomes the first woman to receive the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.

1980: Singles chart:

  1. Atomic – Blondie
  2. Together We Are Beautiful – Fern Kinney
  3. Take That Look Off Your Face – Marti Webb
  4. I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  5. And The Beat Goes On – The Whispers
  6. Coward Of The County – Kenny Rogers
  7. Carrie – Cliff Richard
  8. Games Without Frontiers – Peter Gabriel
  9. Rock With You – Michael Jackson
  10. All Night Long – Rainbow
1980: The Pretenders

Album chart:

  1. String Of Hits – The Shadows
  2. Get Happy – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  3. The Last Dance – Various Artists
  4. Greatest Hits – Rose Royce
  5. Tell Me On A Sunday – Marti Webb
  6. Regatta De Blanc – The Police
  7. Off The Wall – Michael Jackson
  8. Pretenders – The Pretenders
  9. Kenny – Kenny Rogers
  10. Greatest Hits – KC & The Sunshine Band

1982: Terror group “The Illuminated Path” frees 260 prisoners in Peru.

1983: Introduction of the compact disc developed by Philips and Sony.

1991: The Tamil Tigers are blamed for the assassination of Sri Lanka’s Deputy Defence Minister, Ranjan Wijeratne. On the same day, French composer Serge Gainsbourg dies of a heart attack.

1995: Rogue trader Nick Leeson is arrested for the collapse of Barings Bank.

1998: Data sent from the Galileo probe indicates that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.

1999: Singer Dusty Springfield (Mary O’Brien) dies after a long battle against cancer, aged 59.

2002: US conventional forces are deployed in Afghanistan as part of Operation Anaconda.

2003: Singer-songwriter Hank Ballard dies from throat cancer.

2004: Al Qaeda carries out the Ashoura Massacre in Iraq, killing 170 and wounding over 500.

2007: Singer Kelis is arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, after screaming racial obscenities at two female police officers who were working undercover as prostitutes.

2008: Guitarist/singer, Jeff Healey, dies from cancer.

2012: The Red Cross is denied access to provide relief to the Baba Amr district in Homs by the Syrian army. On the same day, Baron St John of Fawsle, former MP Norman St John Stevas, dies aged 87.

2014: Vladimir Putin receives unanimous approval from Russia’s parliament to send troops to the Ukraine.

2017: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from the investigation into Trump campaign contacts with Russia after revelations he met the Russian ambassador.

2020: Russian president Vladimir Putin proposes a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

BIRTHDAYS: Mikhail Gorbachev, former Russian leader, 91; Harry Redknapp, football manager, 75; Larry Carlton, guitarist, 74; Jay Osmond, drummer/singer (The Osmonds) 67; Jon Bon Jovi (Bonjiovi), singer-songwriter, 60; Daniel Craig, actor, 54; Alexander Armstrong, TV presenter/comedian, 52; Mauricio Pochettino, football manager, 50; Chris Martin, singer-songwriter/musician (Coldplay), 45; Rebel Wilson, actress, 42; Bryce Dallas Howard, actress, 41; Elizabeth Jagger, model, 38; Luke Pritchard, singer/guitarist (The Kooks) 37; James Arthur, singer-songwriter, 34; Nathalie Emmanuel, actress, 33; Toby Alderweireld, footballer, 33.