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: The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, is destroyed by fire.

1862: Union troops under Brigadier General Wright occupy Fernandina, Florida, duing th American Civil War.

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.


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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 had written it on the tour bus. 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, is won by Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

1982: Comedy actor John Belushi 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 the 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.

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

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

2006: Singles chart:

  1. It’s Chico Time – Chico
  2. Beep – The Pussycat Dolls ft will.i.am
  3. Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
  4. Sorry – Madonna
  5. No Tomorrow – Orson
  6. Thunder IN My Heart Again – Meck ft Leo Sayer
  7. Sewn – The Feeling
  8. Nasty Girl – Notorious B.I.G/Diddy/Nelly
  9. Don’t Bother – Shakira
  10. Run It – Chris Brown ft Juelz Santana
2006: Th Jam – Snap

Album chart:

  1. Corinne Bailey Rae – Corinne Baiey Rae
  2. In Between Dreams – Jack Johnson
  3. Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys
  4. Eye To The Telescope – K T Tunstall
  5. Employment – Kaiser Chiefs
  6. 12 Songs – Neil Diamond
  7. Demon Days – Gorillaz
  8. Snap – The Jam
  9. Sanctuary – Simon Webbe
  10. Back To Bedlam – James Blunt

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.

2022: Explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance that sank in 1915, is rediscovered in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, in excellent condition.

2023: Guitarist Gary Rossington of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd dies aged 71.

Eva Mendes (Photo: Eva Rinaldi)

BIRTHDAYS: Clodagh Rogers, singer, 77; Eddy Grant, singer-songwriter, 76; Elaine Page, singer/broadcaster, 73; Penn Jilette, magician, 69; Talia Balsam, actress, 65; Craig and Charlie Reid, singer-songwriters (The Proclaimers) 62; John Frusciante, guitarist (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), 54; Eva Méndez, actress, 50; Matt Lucas, comedy actor/writer, 50; Russell Leetch, bassist (Editors) 42; Harry Maguire, footballer, 31; Fred, footballer, 31