It happened today – this day in history – March 5

1133: Birth of Henry II.

1496: Henry VII grants John Cabot a commission to explore for new lands.

1558: Smoking tobacco introduced into Europe by Spanish physician Francisco Fernandes.

1616: Astronomical work ‘de Revolutionibus’ by Nicolaus Copernicus is placed on the Catholic Forbidden index.

1746: Jacobite troops leave Aberdeen.

1770: British soldiers kill 5 men in a crowd throwing snowballs with stones and sticks at them. The massacre galvanises anti-British feelings.

1778: Death of composer Thomas Arne aged 67.

1807: First performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 4th Symphony in B.

1824: Britain officially declares war on Burma.

1827: Death of Italisn physicist Alessandro Volta, inventor of the batter, aged 82.

1842: Over 500 Mexican troops led by Rafael Vasquez invade Texas, briefly occupying San Antonio before heading back to the Rio Grande.

1849: Zachary Taylor sworn in as 12th US President .

1850: The Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the Welsh mainland is opened.

1853: Piano company Steinway & Sons founded in New York.

1856: Covent Garden Opera House is destroyed in a fire.

1868: The stapler is patented in England by C H Gould.

1877: Rutherford B Hayes is inaugurated as 19th President of the United States.

1912: Italian forces are the first to use airships for military purposes, using them for reconnaissance behind Turkish lines.

1917: US President Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated for a second term.

1933: The Nazi Party wins a majority in the German parliament.

1943: The RAF bombs Essen, Germany

1945: The Battle of the Ruhr begins.

1946: Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in the US, popularises the term and draws attention to the division of Europe.


1949: Don Bradman plays his last innings in first-class cricket and scores 30.

1953: Soviet dictator Josef Stalin dies aged 73 after a stroke. On the same day, Russian composer Sergein Prokofiev dies aged 61.

1956: The US Supreme Court upholds a ban on racial segregation in state schools, colleges and universities.

1957: Eamon de Valera’s Fianna Fail-party wins the election in Ireland.

1963: Working at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, The Beatles record what will become their third single From Me to You just five days after John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote it. On the same day, country singer Patsy Cline is killed in a plane crash in Tennessee.

1964: A crisis is proclaimed in Ceylon due to social unrest.

1965: A leftist uprising erupts in Bahrain against British colonial presence.

1966: A BOAC Boeing 707 crashes into Mount Fuji in Japan killing all 124 people on board.

1971: Led Zeppelin perform “Stairway To Heaven” for the first time at Ulster Hall, Belfast.

1973: Sixty-eight passengers and crew, including Jimi Hendrix’s former US manager Mike Jeffrey, die when two Spanish aircraft collide in mid-air over France.

1981: Ice Dance Championship at Hartford, Connecticut, won by Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

1982: Comedy actor John Belushi of The Blues Brothers and SNL fame dies from an overdose of cocaine and heroin. On the same day, Russian spacecraft Venera 14 lands on Venus.

1986: Today, Britain’s first colour national tabloid, launches.

1993: Disgraced Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson is banned from athletics for life after failing a drugs test for a second time.

1995: The graves of Tsar Nicholas II and his family are finally found in St Petersburg after 78 years. On the same day, Viv Stanshall of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band dies in a house fire.

2000: Singles chart:

  1. American Pie – Madonna
  2. Pure Shores – All Saints
  3. Bye Bye Bye – NSYNC
  4. Movin’ Too Fast – Artful Dodger ft Romina Johnson
  5. Shalala Lala – The Vengaboys
  6. Sitting Down Here – Lene Marlin
  7. Won’t Take It Lying Down – Honeyz
  8. Satisfy You – Puff Daddy ft R Kelly
  9. Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely – The Backstreet Boys
  10. Thank Good I Found You – Mariah Carey
2000: Gabrielle – Rise

Album chart:

  1. Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants – Oasis
  2. The Man Who – Travis
  3. Supernatural – Carlos Santana
  4. Rise – Gabrielle
  5. Come On Over – Shania Twain
  6. On How Life Is – Macy Gray
  7. Machina: The Machines Of God – Smashing Pumpkins
  8. Daisies Of The Galaxy – Eels
  9. Play – Moby
  10. Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

2003: In Haifa, 17 Israeli civilians are killed by a Hamas suicide bomb.

2004: Guitarist John McGeoch of Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees and PiL dies in his sleep aged 49.

2015: Harrison Ford crash-lands his 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR aeroplane in California.

2018: North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un meets South Korean officials for the first time since taking office, hosting a dinner in Pyongyang.

2019: Second-ever person “cured” of HIV after stem cell transplant treatment in London. On the same day, Kylie Jenner becomes the youngest ever billionaire at 21.

BIRTHDAYS: Dean (Robert) Stockwell, actor, 85; Clodagh Rogers, singer, 74; Eddy Grant, singer-songwriter, 73; Elaine Page, singer/broadcaster, 70; Penn Jilette, magician, 66; Talia Balsam, actress, 62; Craig and Charlie Reid, singer-songwriters (The Proclaimers) 59; John Frusciante, guitarist (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), 51; Eva Méndez, actress, 47; Matt Lucas, comedy actor/writer, 47; Russell Leetch, bassist (Editors) 39; Harry Maguire, footballer, 28.