It happened today – this day in history – March 26

127AD: Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy begins his observations of the heavens.

1668: England takes control of Bombay.

1780: The first British Sunday newspaper appears (British Gazette & Sunday Monitor).

1799: Napoleon captures Jaffa in Palestine.

1808: Charles IV of Spain abdicates in favour of his son, Ferdinand VII.

1812: An earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale destroys 90% of Caracas, Venezuela, killing up to 20,000.

1827: Death of composer Ludwig van Beethoven aged 56.

1839: First Henley Regatta held.

1863: Voters in West Virginia approve the gradual emancipation of slaves.

1892: Death of poet Walt Whitman aged 72.

1923: Death of actress Sarah Bernhardt aged 78.

1924: Premiere of George Bernard Shaw’s “Saint Joan” in London.

1942: German offensive in North Africa under General Erwin Rommel.

1944: 705 British bombers attack Essen, Germany.

1945: Allies led by US Marine Corps secure the island of Iwo Jima from the Imperial Japanese Army. On the same day, the Allies launch an attack at Remagen on the Rhine and former Prime Minister David Lloyd George dies aged 82.

1953: Dr Jonas Salk announces a vaccine to prevent polio.

1958: The Bridge on the River Kwai wins the best picture Oscar at the Academy awards.

1959: Death of mystery writer Raymond Chandler aged 71.

1965: Bill Wyman is knocked unconscious for several minutes after receiving an electric shock from a faulty microphone at a Rolling Stones concert in Denmark.

1966: Tim Norman wins the Grand National on 50/1 outsider Anglo. On the same day, Wales beats France, 9-8 at the National Stadium, Cardiff to clinch their 15th Five Nations Rugby Championship.

1970: Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary pleads guilty to ‘taking immoral liberties’ with a 14 year old girl in Washington D.C.


1971: Bangladesh (East Pakistan) declares its independence from Pakistan.

1972: William Whitelaw appointed as the first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

1973: Women are allowed on to the trading floor of the London Stock Exchange for the first time in the institution’s 200 year history. On the same day, Noel Coward dies aged 73.

1974: George Foreman defeats Ken Norton by a TKO in Round 2 for heavyweight boxing title in Caracas, Venezuela.

1976: The Queen sends out the first royal e-mail, from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment.

1979: Israel and Egypt end 30 years of war with a handshake at the White House between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin after the signing of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

On TV (Monday)



12.00Chorlton and the Wheelies


12.30 – 12.50The Cedar Tree

13.00News at One

13.20Thames News

13.30About Britain

14.00Afternoon Plus

15.20This Year Next Year


16.45Horse in the House


17.45News at 5.45

18.00Thames at 6


19.00The Kenny Everett Video Show

19.30Coronation Street

20.00A Sharp Intake of Breath
Sit com starring David Jason

20.30World In Action

21.00Danger UXB
Drama series about a bomb disposal unit during the Second World War, starring Anthony Andrews.

22.00News at Ten

22.30Four Party Discussion

23.15 – 00.15The Eamonn Andrews Show

23.45Thames Debate


06.40Open University


09.38For Schools, Colleges


11.00For Schools, Colleges


12.45Midday News

13.00Pebble Mill


14.01For Schools, Colleges


15.15Songs of Praise

15.53Regional News (exc London)

15.55Play School

16.20Huckleberry Hound


16.40Baggy Pants and the Nitwits

17.00John Craven’s Newsround

17.10Blue Peter

17.40Evening News


18.50A Question of Sport
Emlyn Hughes and Gareth Edwards captain two teams of sporting celebrities with questions from David Coleman.

19.20The Rockford Files


21.00Nine O’Clock News

21.25Film: In the Glitter Palace (1977 TV Movie)
An ageing actress operating a blackmail ring out of a gay bar is murdered by one of her victims – a prominent judge.


23.40Weatherman/Regional News


06.40Open University


11.00Play School


14.15Let’s Go!


16.50Open University

18.55The Water Margin

19.40The Mid-Evening News


20.10Lennie and Jerry

21.00Fawlty Towers
The Anniversary: Starring John Cleese.



23.00The Light of Experience

23.15Late News


1981: Roy Jenkins, David Owen, William Rodgers and Shirley Williams launch the SDP.

1989: Boris Yeltsin wins the first free elections in the USSR.

1992: Mike Tyson is sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape. He serves three.

1995: Singles chart:

  1. Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle) – The Outhere Brothers
  2. Love Can Build A Bridge – Cher/Hynde/Cherry
  3. Julia Says – Wet Wet Wet
  4. Think Twice – Celine Dion
  5. Two Can Play That Game – Bobby Brown
  6. U Sure Do – Strike
  7. Baby It’s You – The Beatles
  8. Don’t Give Me Your Life – Alex Party
  9. Turn On Tune In Cop Out – Freakpower
  10. Let It Rain – East 17
1995: Annie Lennox – Medusa

Album chart:

  1. The Colour Of My Love – Celine Dion
  2. Medusa – Annie Lennox
  3. Made In England – Elton John
  4. Greatest Hits – Bruce Springsteen
  5. Elastica – Elastica
  6. Pan Pipe Moods – Free The Spirit
  7. Crocodile Shoes – Jimmy Nail
  8. Olympian – Gene
  9. No Need To Argue – The Cranberries
  10. Galore: The Best Of – Kirsty MacColl

1999: Ex-miners suffering from lung diseases win the biggest industrial injuries case in British legal history in a deal worth £2bilion.

2005: Crowded House drummer Paul Hester is found hanged aged 46 in a park in Melbourne, Australia. On the same day, “Doctor Who” returns to BBC TV after 16 years with the debut of Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. Also, former Prime Minister, James Callaghan dies aged 92.

2006: In Scotland the prohibition of smoking in all enclosed public places comes into force.

2015: Richard III is reburied at Leicester Cathedral after being discovered under a car park in the city in 2012. On the same day, folk guitarist John Renbourn (Pentangle) dies aged 70.

2017: Carrie Lam becomes the first woman elected to lead Hong Kong by the Beijing-influenced electoral commission.

2018: US, EU and Ukraine expel more than 100 Russian diplomats in response to the novichok nerve gas attack on former KGB officer Sergei Skripol and his daughter in Salisbury. On the same day, Porn star Stormy Daniels claims she had an affair with Donald Trump and a US soldier receives world’s first penis and scrotum transplant at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

2019: Ranking Roger of The Beat dies from cancer aged 56. On the same day, a stolen Picasso painting “Buste de Femme” (Dora Maar) (1938) is recovered after 20 years by a Dutch art detective.

2020: Christchurch mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant pleads guilty to all 51 murders in New Zealand. On the same day, the US charges Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and other officials with “narco-terrorism”, by flooding the US with drugs.

BIRTHDAYS: James Caan, actor, 82; Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, 82; Diana Ross, singer, 78; Archie Gemmill, footballer, 75; Richard Tandy, keyboards (ELO) 74; Steven Tyler, singer (Aerosmith) 74; Jennifer Grey, actress, 62; William Hague, politician, 61; James Iha, guitarist (Smashing Pumpkins) 54; Lesley Mann, actress, 50; T (Terence). R.Knight, actor, 49; Amy Smart, actress, 46; Kevin Davies, footballer, 45; Roisin Conaty, comedian/actress/writer, 44; Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager, 40; Kiera Knightley, actress, 37; Steven Fletcher, footballer, 35; Romain Saiss, footballer, 32.