It happened today – this day in history – March 21

1413: Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales, becomes King Henry V of England.

1610: King James I of England and VI of Scotland addresses the House of Commons.

1617: Death of native American princess Pocahontas aged 22.

1702: Queen Anne addresses Parliament.

1788: Fire destroys 856 buildings in New Orleans.

1826: Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 13” in B flat major (Op 130) premieres in Vienna.

1860: Novelist George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) finishes her novel “The Mill on the Floss” in Wandsworth.

1871: Journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his famous expedition to Africa.

1872: John Page wins his second Grand National aboard 20/1 shot Casse Tete.

1902: Birth of Delta Blues artist Son (Eddie) House.

1925: Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium officially opens. On the same day, Tennessee becomes the first state to outlaw the teaching of the theory of evolution. This was not repealed until 1967.

1933: Day of Potsdam in Nazi Germany, a ceremony to open the new Reichstag after the fire in February.

1934: Fire destroys Hakodate, Japan, killing about 1,500.

1935: Persia is officially renamed Iran.

1941: Joe Louis KOs Abe Simon in Round 13 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1943: Failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.

1945: Humphrey Bogart marries Lauren Bacall.

1953: England beat Scotland, 26-8 at Twickenham to clinch their 14th Five Nations Rugby Championship.

1957: “Orpheus Descending” by Tennessee Williams premieres in New York.

1958: Singles chart:

  1. Magic Moments – Perry Como
  2. The Story Of My Life – Michael Holiday
  3. At The Hop – Danny and the Juniors
  4. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
  5. Don’t – Elvis Presley
  6. Nairobi – Tommy Steele
  7. You Are My Destiny – Paul Anka
  8. Good Golly Miss Molly – Little Richard
  9. Catch A Falling Star – Perry Como
  10. Oh Boy – The Crickets

1959: Michael Scudamore wins the Grand National aboard 8/1 second favourite Oxo; only 4 of 32 starters finish the race.

1960: More than 50 South Africans die and 169 are injured as police open fire in the township of Sharpeville.

1963: Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay is closed.


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1965: Martin Luther King Jr begins march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

1965: The Kinks – Kinda Kinks

Album chart:

  1. Rolling Stones No 2 – The Rolling Stones
  2. Beatles For Sale – The Beatles
  3. Sandie – Sandie Shaw
  4. Best Of… – Jim Reeves
  5. Kinda Kinks – The Kinks
  6. Lucky 13 Shades Of… – Val Doonican
  7. The Bachelors And 16 Great Songs – The Bachelors
  8. Cilla – Cilla Black
  9. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan
  10. The Voice Of Churchill – Sir Winston Churchill

1970: Dana wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with “All Kinds Of Everything” in Amsterdam.

1973: The BBC bans all teenybopper acts from appearing on Top Of The Pops after a riot following a David Cassidy performance.

1975: Ethiopia abolishes its monarchy after 3,000 years.

1979: The Egyptian parliament unanimously approves a peace treaty with Israel.

1980: Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers is sent to Pentonville Prison after losing his appeal against a drugs conviction.

1984: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher comes under attack for the breakdown of negotiations at the European Economic Community common market summit in Brussels over a rebate owed to Britain.

1985: Death of actor Michael Redgrave from Parkinson’s Disease, aged 77.

1990: Namibia becomes independent of South Africa.

1991: Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine unveils plans for a new property tax in place of the controversial poll tax. On the same day, guitar manufacturer Leo Fender, inventor of the Telecaster and Stratocaster, dies from Parkinson’s disease.

1994: Bruce Springsteen wins an Oscar for the song Streets of Philadelphia.

1999: Gwyneth Paltrow wins the best actress Oscar for her role in “Shakespeare In Love”. On the same day, comedian Ernie Wide dies aged 73.

2002: Schoolgirl Milly Dowler is abducted in broad daylight on her way home in Walton-on-Thames.

2006: Three South African women whose father, Solomon Linda, wrote The Lion Sleeps Tonight in 1939, won a six-year court battle that gave them 25 per cent of all past and future royalties from the song. Solomon wrote the song when he was a cleaner at a record company and received virtually nothing during his lifetime.

2013: The European Space Agency reveals new data that indicates the universe is 13.82 billion years old.

2015: Singer-songwriter Jackie Trent dies aged 74, on Minorca after a long illness.

2016: A rare Beatles record found in the loft of Les Maguire – the pianist with fellow Liverpool act, Gerry and the Pacemakers sells for £77,500 at auction. The 10-inch acetate of Till There Was You and Hello Little Girl from 1962 was described as ‘a Holy Grail item’.

2017: Crime writer Colin Dexter dies aged 86. On the same day, Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness dies from a heart condition aged 66.

2018: TV presenter Ant McPartlin is charged with drink driving following an accident in London.

2019: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces a ban on military-style semi automatic weapons, six days after a terrorist attack on a mosque in Christcurch.

BIRTHDAYS: Chip Taylor (James Voight) songwriter, 81; Ray Dorset, guitarist/singer-songwriter (Mungo Jerry) 75; Timothy Dalton, actor, 75; Roger Hodgson, singer-songwriter, 71; Gary Oldman, actor, 63; Lothar Matthäus, German footballer, 60; Rosie O’Donnell, actress/TV personality, 59; Matthew Broderick, actor, 59; Ronald Koeman, football manager, 58; Adrian Chiles, TV presenter, 54; Ronaldinho (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira), Brazilian footballer, 41; Lee Cattermole, footballer, 33; Rochelle Humes, TV presenter/singer (The Saturdays), 32; Antoine Griezmann, French footballer, 30.

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