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 This was not repealed until 1967.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.

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.

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


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.

1976: Singles chart:

  1. Save Your Kisses For Me – Brotherhood of Man
  2. Love Really Hurts Without You – Billy Ocean
  3. I Love To Love – Tina Charles
  4. You See The Trouble With Me – Barry White
  5. People Like You People Like Me – The Glitter Band
  6. You Don’t Havee To Say You Love Me – Guys and Dolls
  7. I Wanna Stay With You – Gallagher and Lyle
  8. Convoy – C.W. McCoy
  9. Falling Apart At The Seams – Marmalade
  10. Yesterday – The Beatles
1976: Status Quo – Blue For You

Album chart:

  1. Blue For You – Status Quo
  2. Their Greatest Hits 1971-75 – The Eagles
  3. Carnival – Manuel & his Music of the Mountains
  4. The Very Best Of – Slim Whitman
  5. A Trick Of The Tail – Genesis
  6. Breakaway – Gallagher and Lyle
  7. Desire – Bob Dylan
  8. The Best Of – Helen Reddy
  9. The Best Of – John Denver
  10. The Best Of – Roy Orbison

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 Wise 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, win a six-year court battle that gives 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 the island of 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 and Fugees singer Wyclef Jean is wrongly identified as a crime suspect, handcuffed and detained by LA county sheriff’s department.

2018: TV presenter Ant McPartlin is charged with drink driving following an accident in London. On the same day, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admits they “made mistakes” after data on 50 million users is harvested by Cambridge Analytica and China announces greater controls over the media, including merging state-run radio and television broadcasters into a single conglomerate called “Voice of China”.

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. On the same day, actress Emelia Clarke reveals she suffered two brain aneurysms while filming “Games of Thrones”

2021: Ten people are shot dead at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, by a 21 year-old gunman.

BIRTHDAYS: Chip Taylor (James Voight) songwriter, 82; Ray Dorset, guitarist/singer-songwriter (Mungo Jerry) 76; Timothy Dalton, actor, 76; Roger Hodgson, singer-songwriter, 72; Gary Oldman, actor, 64; Lothar Matthäus, German footballer, 61; Rosie O’Donnell, actress/TV personality, 60; Matthew Broderick, actor, 60; Ronald Koeman, football manager, 59; Adrian Chiles, TV presenter, 55; Ronaldinho (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira), Brazilian footballer, 42; Lee Cattermole, footballer, 34; Rochelle Humes, TV presenter/singer (The Saturdays), 33; Antoine Griezmann, French footballer, 31.