It happened today – this day in history – May 15

1213: King John names Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury.

1248: Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden lays the cornerstone for Cologne Cathedral.

1536: Anne Boleyn and her brother George, Lord Rochford, are accused of adultery and incest.

1567: Composer Claudio Monteverdi is born in Cremona, Italy. On the same day, Mary, Queen of Scots marries James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.

1602: Cape Cod is discovered by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold.

1618: German astronomer Johannes Kepler discovers the third of his three planetary laws, his “harmonics law”

1701: The War of the Spanish Succession begins.

1718: London lawyer James Puckle patents world’s first machine gun.

1800: George III survives a second assassination attempt.

1886: Death of poet Emily Dickinson aged 55.

1891: British Central African Protectorate (now Malawi) forms.

1905: Las Vegas is founded as a city.

1921: The British Legion is formed to care for ex-servicemen.

1932: Japanese prime minister Inukai Tsuyoshi is killed in an attempted coup.

1934: The US Department of Justice offers a $25,000 reward for gangster John Dillinger, dead or alive.

1935: The Moscow Metro opens to the public.

1936: Aviator Amy Johnson lands in Croydon, having flown from South Africa in a record 4 days and 16 hours.

1948: The British mandate over Palestine ends. On the same day, troops from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia attack Israel.

1953: In his first world heavyweight title defence, Rocky Marciano knocks out former champion Jersey Joe Walcott in the first round of their second meeting in Chicago.

1955: Britain, France, the US and USSR restore Austria’s independence with the Vienna Treaty.

1957: Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb over Christmas Island in the Pacific. On the same day, Stanley Matthews plays his last match for England, a World Cup qualifying game against Denmark. At 42 years and 103 days he set the record as the oldest player ever to turn out for the national team.

1958: The USSR launches the Sputnik III satellite.

1960: Sputnik IV is launched into Earth orbit.

1962: US marines arrive in Laos.

1963: Tottenham Hotspur become the first British club to win a European competition, beating Athletico Madrid 5-1 to win the Cup Winners Cup in Rotterdam.

1967: Paul McCartney meets American photographer Linda Eastman for the first time during a concert by Georgie Fame at the Bag O’Nails nightclub in London.

1968: George Harrison and Ringo Starr attend the premiere of ‘Wonderwall’ at the Cannes Film Festival. The film by first-time director Joe Massot starred Jack MacGowran and Jane Birkin, and featured a cameo by Anita Pallenberg. The soundtrack was composed by George.


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1969: John Lennon’s ‘Life With The Lions’ is released on Apple’s avant-garde imprint Zapple. One side of the album was recorded on a cassette player at London’s Queen Charlotte Hospital during Yoko Ono’s pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage.

1970: The International Olympic Committee votes to expel South Africa.

1972: US Senator George Wallace is left paralysed from the waist down after an assassination attempt by gunman Arthur Bremer in Maryland. On the same day, The island of Okinawa, under US military governance since1945, reverts to Japanese control.

1974: Sixteen teenagers die along with three Palestinians holding them hostage at an Israeli school near the Lebanese border. On the same day, the Ulster Workers’ Council strike begins called by Ulster loyalists and unionists who were against the Sunningdale Agreement, which proposed the sharing of political power with Irish nationalists. Also, Frank and Gail Zappa’s third child Ahmet Rodan is born. He is now in charge of the Zappa Family Trust which handles his late father’s music.

1976: The UVF launches gun and bomb attacks on two pubs in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, killing four Catholic civilians and wounding many more; a British Army soldier is later convicted for taking part in the attacks. On the same day, the Provisional IRA kill three Royal Ulster Constabulary officers in County Fermanagh and one in County Down.

1981: Public Image Ltd perform a show at New York’s Ritz Club posing behind a video screen while the music is played from tapes. They are showered with missiles and booed off stage.

1983: Singles chart:

  1. True – Spandau Ballet
  2. Temptations – Heaven 17
  3. Candy Girl – New Edition
  4. Dancing Tight – Galaxy ft Phil Fearon
  5. Can’t Get Used To Losing You – The Beat
  6. (Keep Feeling) Fascination – The Human League
  7. Our Lips Are Sealed – Fun Boy Three
  8. Pale Shelter – Tears For Fears
  9. Words – F R David
  10. Blind Vision – Blancmange
1983: David Bowie – Let’s Dance

Album chart:

  1. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  2. True – Spandau Ballet
  3. Let’s Dance – David Bowie
  4. The Luxury Gap – Heaven 17
  5. Power Corruption And Lies – New Order
  6. The Hurting – Tears For Fears
  7. Dressed For The Occasion – Cliff Richard
  8. Faster Than The Speed Of Night – Bonnie Tyler
  9. Night Dubbing – Imagination
  10. Cargo – Men At Work

1985: Everton win the European Cup Winner’s Cup, beating Rapid Wien 3-1 in Rotterdam.

1986: General Galtieri, former president of Argentina and leader of the military junta during the Falklands conflict, is jailed for 12 years.

1988: The USSR begins withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan.

1990: “Portrait of Doctor Gachet” by Van Gogh sells at auction for $82.5million.

1991: Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards carves ‘4 real’ into his arm with a razor blade while being interviewed by the NME. On the same day, Manchester United defeat Barcelona 2-1 with both goals from Mark Hughes to win the European Cup Winner’s Cup in Rotterdam.

1992: Singer Barbara Lee of the Chiffons dies from a heart attack the day before her 45th birthday.

1993: A hostage crisis at a nursery school in Paris ends when commandos storm the school. The children’s teacher is hailed a hero.

1999: Rob Gretton, manager of Joy Division and New Order dies aged 46.

2000: Songwriter Geoff Goddard , who wrote the song Johnny Remember Me and played the distinctive keyboard melody on the Tornadoes hit Telstar, dies aged 62.

2002: A wonder goal from Zinedine Zidane helps Real Madrid win the Champions League as they beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 at Hampden Park, Glasgow.

2003: Country singer June Carter Cash dies in Nashville of complications following heart valve replacement surgery, aged 73.

2010: 16 year-old Jessica Watson becomes the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world. On the same day, Chelsea beat Portsmouth 1-0 with a Didier Drogba goal to win the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.

2016: A ‘suspect device’ is found in one of the toilets at Old Trafford before Manchester United’s last game of the season against Bournemouth, The ground is evacuated, the match is called-off and a controlled explosion carried out It is later found that the device was a dummy bomb which had been used in a security training exercise but had been left at the ground by mistake.

2018: 58 Palestinians are killed by Israeli forces and 1,700 hospitalized on the Gaza border during protests over the opening of a US embassy in Jerusalem and the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel. On the same day, the Kerch bridge, linking Russia and annexed Crimea, is opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

2019: Alabama passes a law banning abortion in almost all cases including rape or incest. On the same day, Jeff Koons’ “Rabbit” sculpture sells for $91.1 million, setting a new record for a work by a living artist at auction.

2020: Phil May, frontman of The Pretty Things, dies aged 75 after suffering complications from hip surgery.

BIRTHDAYS: Jasper Johns, artist, 92; Andrew Latimer, guitarist/flautist/vocalist/songwriter (Camel) 75; Brian Eno, record producer, 74; Chazz (Calogero) Palminteri, actor, 70; Mike Oldfield, composer/multi-instrumentalist, 69; Andrew Eldritch, singer-songwriter (Sisters of Mercy) 63; Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), rapper/songwriter, 61; Jon Sevink, violinist, (The Levellers) 57; Sophie Raworth, journalist/newsreader, 54; Frank de Boer, Dutch football manager, 52; Ronald de Boer, Dutch footballer, 52; Nicola Walker, actress, 52; Martin Rossiter, singer (Gene) 52; Ahmet Zappa, singer, 48; Zara Tindall, equestrian/Queen’s granddaughter, 41; Paul Konchesky, footballer, 41; Patrice Evra, football pundit, 41; Alex Brooker, comedian/TV presenter, 38; Sir Andy Murray, tennis champion, 35.

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