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 Quay wins the best picture Oscar at the Academy awards.

1959: Death of mystery writer Raymond Chandler aged 71.

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 pleaded guilty to ‘taking immoral liberties’ with a 14 year old girl in Washington D.C. He was sentenced to three months in jail.

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

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

1973: Death of playwright/songwriter/director Noel Coward aged 73.

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

1976: The Queens sends out the first royal email, from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment.

1979: Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat sign the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty on the White House lawn in Washington, D.C.

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

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

2001: PGA Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass. Tiger Woods wins.

2005: Crowded House drummer Paul Hester was found hanged 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. 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 Beijing-influenced electorial 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 died 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.

BIRTHDAYS: Alan Arkin, actor, 86; James Caan, actor, 80; Nancy Pelosi, US politician, 80; Diana Ross, singer, 76; Richard Tandy, keyboards (ELO) 72; Steven Tyler, singer (Aerosmith) 72; Martin Short, comedy actor, 70; Sir David Amess, Southend MP, 68; Paul Morley, music journalist, 63; Jennifer Grey, actress, 60; William Hague, Tory politician, 59; Richard Coles, vicar/musician/broadcaster, 58; Kenny Chesney, country singer, 52; James Iha, guitarist (Smashing Pumpkins) 52; Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager, 38; Keira Knightley, actress, 35.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]