It happened today – this day in history – March 29

845: Paris is sacked by Viking raiders.

1461: Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton – Duke of York defeats the Lancastrian army, deposes King Henry VI and proclaims himself King Edward IV.

1673: Charles II accepts the Test Act where Roman Catholics are excluded from public functions.

1795: Ludwig van Beethoven makes his debut as a pianist in Vienna.

1798: Republic of Switzerland formed.

1827: Ludwig van Beethoven’s burial in Vienna. 20,000 attend.

1847: US troops capture Vera Cruz, Mexico.

1848: Niagara Falls stops flowing for 30 hours due to an ice jam.

1849: Britain formally annexs the Punjab.

1864: Britain gives the Ionian Islands back to Greece.

1871: The Royal Albert Hall is opened by Queen Victoria.

1873: Wanderers beat Oxford University, 2-0 in the FA Cup final at Lillie Bridge, London.

1879: Old Etonians beat Clapham Rovers, 1-0 in the FA Cup final at Kennington Oval.

1891: French post-impressionist painter Georges Seurat dies aged 31.

1912: Captain Robert Scott makes last entry in his diary from near the South Pole: “the end cannot be far”. On the same day, Ernie Piggott wins the Grand National on 4/1 co-favourite Jerry M.

1940: Joe Louis KOs Johnny Paycheck in Round 2 to retain heavyweight boxing title.

1941: First performance of Benjamin Britten’s “Requiem Symphony”.

1942: British cruiser HMS Trinidad torpedoes itself in the Barents Sea. On the same day, the bombing of Lübeck is the first major success for the RAF Bomber Command against Germany.

1945: The last day of V-1 flying bomb attacks on England. On the same day, film star James Stewart is promoted to full colonel, one of the few Americans to rise from private to colonel in four years.

1947: 100/1 Irish outsider Caughoo ridden by Eddie Dempsey wins the Grand National.

1951: Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted and sentenced to death for conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union.

1959: Billy Wilder’s comedy “Some Like It Hot” starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe premieres in New York.

1961: After a four and a half year trial Nelson Mandela is acquitted of treason in Pretoria.

1966: Muhammad Ali beats George Chuvalo in 15 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.


1967: Stricken supertanker, Torrey Canyon, refuses to sink despite more than a day of heavy bombing by the RAF and the Royal Navy. On the same day, working at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, The Beatles begin work on a new song for the Sgt Pepper album, With a Little Help From My Friends.

1969: Lulu is part of a 4-way tie winning the Eurovision Song Contest with “Boom Bang a Bang.”

1970: Manchester City win the European Cup Winner’s Cup against Górnik Zabrze of Poland 2-1 in Vienna.

1971: First Lt William L Calley Jr is found guilty of the My Lai (Vietnam) massacre. On the same day, Charles Manson and three of his followers, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, who are dragged screaming from the court, are sentenced to the gas chamber in LA. When the death sentence is abolished the following year they are given life sentences.

1974: Mariner 10’s first fly-by of Mercury, returns photos. On the same day, Chinese farmers discover the Terracotta Army near Xi’an – 8,000 clay warrior statues buried to guard the tomb of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang.

1976: Jack Nicholson wins the Oscar for best actor in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

1980: Orchestra leader Mantovani (Annunzio Paolo Mantovan) dies aged 74.

1981: The first London Marathon is won by American Dick Beardsley and Norwegian Inge Simonsen, who cross the finish line hand in hand after two hours, 11 minutes and 48 seconds.

1985: Jeanine Deckers, The Singing Nun, died aged 52 after taking an overdose of sleeping pills in a suicide pact with a friend, unaware that on the same day, a Belgian association that collects royalties for songwriters had awarded her $300,000 in unpaid royalties for her 1963 hit Dominique.

1986: Beatles records officially go on sale in Russia for the first time.

1987: Sandy Lyle of Scotland defeats Jeff Sluman on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to become the first international player to win the PGA Tournament Players Championship.

1989: Rain Man wins the best picture Oscar at the Academy Awards.

1998: Singles chart:

  1. It’s Like That – Run DMC ft Jason Nevins
  2. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
  3. La Primavera – Sash!
  4. All I Want is You – 911
  5. I Get Lonely – Janet Jackson
  6. Let Me Entertain You – Robbie Williams
  7. Stop – The Spice Girls
  8. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden
  9. No No No – Destiny’s Child
  10. Here’s Where The Story Ends – Tin Tin Out ft Shelley Nelson
1998: The Verve – Urban Hymns

Album chart:

  1. The Best Of – James
  2. Titanic Original Soundtrack – James Horner
  3. Let’s Talk About Love – Celine Dion
  4. Life Thru A Lens – Robbie Williams
  5. Ray Of Light – Madonna
  6. In My Life – George Martin
  7. Urban Hymns – The Verve
  8. Fresco – M People
  9. Left Of The Middle – Natalie Imbruglia
  10. Kylie Minogue – Kylie Minogue

1999: The case of James Hanratty is sent back to the Court of Appeal 37 years after he was hanged for the notorious A6 murder in Bedfordshire. After DNA testing, in 2002 the conviction was upheld.

2005: Neil Young is treated for a brain aneurysm at a hospital in New York.

2007: Bono accepts an honorary knighthood (KBE) at a ceremony in Dublin.

2014: First same-sex couples marry in the UK as a result of the passing of The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

2015: Norman Greenbaum, who wrote and sang the 1970 hit ‘Spirit in the Sky’, is critically injured when the car he is riding in crosses into the path of an on-coming motorcycle. The 20-year-old motorcyclist is killed.

2017: George Michael’s funeral takes place, three months after his sudden death at the age of 53. On the same day, Theresa May sends a letter to the EU invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally triggering Brexit.

2021: The trial begins of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

2022: Russia announces it is withdrawing its badly mauled forces from around Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

Eric Idle

BIRTHDAYS: Julie Goodyear, actress, 81; Eric Idle, actor/writer, 80; Sir John Major, former prime minister, 80; John Suchet, journalist, 79; Bobby Kimball, singer (Toto) 76; Marina Sirtis, actress, 68; Brendan Gleeson, actress, 68; Christopher Lambert, actor, 66; Perry Farrell, singer (Jane’s Addiction) 64; Annabella Sciorra, actress, 63; Elle MacPherson, former supermodel, 59; Lucy Lawless, actress, 55; Priti Patel, politician, 51; Marc Overmars, footballer, 50; Jennifer Capriati, tennis player, 47; P J Morton, musician (Maroon 5) 43; Ed Skrein, actor, 41; N’Golo Kanté, footballer, 33; Teemu Pukki, footballer, 33; Leah Williamson, footballer 26.