1199: Richard I is wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France, leads to his death on April 6.
1306: Robert The Bruce crowned Robert I, King of Scots.
1609: Henry Hudson embarks on an exploration for Dutch East India Company to find a passage to Asia.
1669: Mount Etna in Sicily erupts, destroying Nicolosi and killing 20,000.
1807: Parliament abolishes slave trade throughout the British Empire. On the same day, the first fare-paying, passenger railway service in the world is established on the Oystermouth Railway in Swansea.
1811: Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from the University of Oxford for his publication of the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism.
1881: Birth of composer Bela Bartok in Hungary.
1895: Italian troops invade Abyssinia.
1918: Death of composer Claude Debussy from cancer aged 55.
1938: 17 year-old jockey Bruce Hobbs wins the Grand National on 40/1 shot Battleship.
1946: First performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “Ebony Concerto”.
1949: The Soviet Union begins Operation Pribioi, the mass deportation of 90,000 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians to inhospitable areas in the Soviet Union.
1954: “From Here To Eternity” wins the Oscar for best picture at the Academy Awards. It was just one of 8 awards it scooped on the night.
1955: East Germany granted full sovereignty by occupying power, USSR. On the same day, US Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” as obscene.
- Give Me Your Word – Tennessee Ernie Ford
- Softly Softly – Ruby Murray
- Let Me Go Lover – Dean Martin
- A Blossom Fell – Nat King Cole
- Mobile – Ray Burns
- Let Me Go Lover – Ruby Murray
- (I’m Always Hearing) Wedding Bells – Eddie Fisher
- Tomorrow – Johnny Brandon and the Phantoms
- A Blossom Fell – Dickie Valentine
- If Anyone Finds This I Love You – Ruby Murray with Anne Warren
1957: The Treaty of Rome establishes the Common Market.
1958: Newly registered US Army Private Elvis Presley received the regulation short back and sides haircut from army barber James Peterson. On the same day, Sugar Ray Robinson becomes the first boxer to become champion five times.
1961: Sputnik 10 carries a dog into orbit. On the same day, Bobby Beasley wins the Grand National on Nicolaus Silver, the first grey winner for 90 years and playwright Samuel Beckett marries Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil in a secret civil ceremony in England.
1962: Album chart:
- Blue Hawaii – Elvis Presley
- Tops With Me – Helen Shapiro
- The Young Ones – Cliff Richard
- The Black And White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Singers
- West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
- The Shadows – The Shadows
- South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
- The Roaring Twenties: Songs From The TV Show – Dorothy Provine
- The Sound Of Music – Original London Cast
- Another Black And White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Singers
1964: The Beatles make their first appearance on Top of the Pops, performing Can’t Buy Me Love.
1965: Martin Luther King Jr leads 25,000 demonstrators to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.
1966: At a photo session at Bob Whitaker’s studio in London, The Beatles posed in white coats using sides of meat with mutilated and butchered dolls for the cover of their next American album, Yesterday and Today. After advance copies were sent to disc jockeys and record reviewers, negative reaction to the cover photo was so strong Capitol recalled 750,000 copies from distributors to replace the cover at a cost of $250,000.
1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono started their week long ‘bed-in’ in the presidential suite at The Amsterdam Hilton hotel. On the same day, loyalists Ian Paisley and Ronald Bunting are jailed for organising an illegal counter demonstration in Armagh on November 30, 1968.
1970: Concorde makes its first supersonic flight.
1972: The Eurovision Song Contest is won by Vicky Leandros for Luxembourg singing “Apres toi” in Edinburgh.
1975: King Faisal of Saudi Arabia is assassinated by his nephew Prince Faisal Ibu Musaed. On the same day, member of the National Front march through north London protesting against integration with Europe.
1980: The British Olympic Association votes by a large majority to defy government requests and send athletes to the Olympic Games in Moscow. On the same day, cricketer Ian Botham makes his Football League debut for Scunthorpe United, coming on as a sub in the Division 4 match at Bournemouth.
1991: Dances With Wolves wins the Oscar for best picture and best director (Kevin Costner) at the Academy Awards. Kathy Bates takes the award for best actress for Misery and Jeremy Irons is best actor as Claus von Bulow in Reversal Of Fortune.
1992: Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev returns to Earth after a 10-month stay aboard the Mir space station.
1995: Boxer Mike Tyson is released from jail after serving three years for rape.
2000: David Trimble narrowly beats off a challenge to his leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party. On the same day, former Bay City Rollers drummer Derek Longmuir was given 300 hours community service after being caught with a hoard of child pornography including 150 videos and 73 floppy disks.
2001: Russell Crowe wins the Oscar for best actor (Gladiator) at the Academy Awards.
2002: Legedary football commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme dies aged 81.
2005: Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon are forced to flee their Buckinghamshire mansion after a blaze broke out while they slept.
2012: Peter Cruddas, treasurer of the Conservative Party, resigns after being caught on film selling access to Prime Minister David Cameron.
2015: Zayn Malik leaves One Direction.
2018: Australian cricket captain Steve Smith is handed a one-match ban after admitting the team tampered with the ball in the third test against South Africa.
2019: Singer-songwriter Scott Walker (Engel) dies age 76. On the same day, NASA cancels a planned historic all-female spacewalk because it doesn’t have enough spacesuits to fit women and a British Airways flight from London mistakenly flies to Edinburgh instead of Düsseldorf.
2020: The Prince of Wales tests positive for COVID-19.
BIRTHDAYS: Gloria Steinem, journalist/activist, 86; Richard O’Brien (Smith) actor/writer, 79; Kim Woodburn, TV personality, 79; Sir Elton John, singer-songwriter, 74; Bonnie Bedelia (Culkin), actress, 73; Bob Ezrin, record producer, 72; Steve Norman, sax/percussion.guitar (Spandau Ballet) 61; Marcia Cross, actress, 59; Sarah Jessica Parker, actress, 56; Cathy Dennis, singer-songwriter, 52; Melanie Blatt, singer (All Saints) 46; Katharine McPhee (Foster) actress, 46; Wladimir Klitschko, boxer, 45; Édgar Ramírez (Arellano), actor, 44; Lee Pace, actor, 42; Jadon Sancho, footballer, 21.