It happened today – this day in history – May 20

1293: An earthquake strikes Kamakura Japan, killing 30,000.

1303: The Treaty of Paris restores Gascony to the English and arranges the marriage of English Prince Edward (future Edward II) to French Princess Isabella.

1471: Henry VI is executed in the Tower of London at 49.

1498: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama becomes the first European to reach India by sea.

1506: Death of Christopher Columbus.

1542: Hernando de Soto, conquistador and first European to discover the Mississippi, dies aged 46.

1609: Shakespeare’s sonnets are first published in London.

1840: York Minster is badly damaged by fire.

1873: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patent the first blue denim jeans with copper rivets.

1895: The first commercial movie performance is held in New York.

1896: The six ton chandelier of the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris falls on the audience, killing one and injuring many others.

1910: The funeral of Edward VII is held in Westminster Abbey.

1927: Charles Lindbergh takes off from New York to be first to cross the Atlantic solo non-stop for Paris, aboard The Spirit of St Louis. On the same day, Saudi Arabia becomes independent of Britain in the Treaty of Jeddah.

1929: Death of former prime minister, the Earl of Rosebery (Arthur Primrose) aged 82.

1932: Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland on her journey to become the first woman to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic. On the same day, Engelbert Dollfuss becomes chancellor of Austria.

1941: Germany begins the airborne invasion of Crete.

1954: Chiang Kai-shek becomes president of nationalist China.

1959: On TV (Wednesday)



14.00Lunchtime Cricket Score

14.30Watch with Mother The Flowerpot Men

14.45Mainly for Women

17.00Children’s Newsreel

17.15The Children’s Caravan

18.00News Headlines, Sport and Weather

18.20A Dog’s Chance

Presented by Cliff Michelmore

19.25News Summary

Peter Dimmock introduces football – Peru v England

20.00The Common Room
Cabbage And Caviar – a play for television

20.30David Hughes Says Make Mine Music

21.15Men Of Action
Lieutenant-General Sir Brian Horrocks tells the story of men who have lived dangerously.

21.50Russ Conway



22.30Living with Danger
A series of films about people who risk their lives in the course of their daily work

23.00News Summary, Weather, Closedown


12.45Thought for the Day

12.47Small Time
The Adventures of Twizzle


13.02Lunch Box
With Noele Gordon and music from Jerry Allen and his TV Trio.


17.00Junior Criss Cross Quiz

17.25Annie Oakley
Gail Davis stars in a new Western adventure.

17.55News, Weather

18.10African Patrol
John Bentley as Insp Paul Derek

18.40Roving Report

19.00Gun Law
Western series starring James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon.

19.30In Court Today
The heartaches and humour of a typical day in a Magistrates’ Court.

20.00Criss Cross Quiz

20.30This Week
Introduced by Ludovic Kennedy.

21.00Chelsea at Nine
Variety show starring Ella Fitzgerald

22.00ITN News

22.15Crime Sheet
with Raymond Francis as Chief-Det-Supt Lockhart.

22.40Shopping For You

23.00The Jack Jackson Show
invites viewers to drop in and meet some personalities from the world of records, with Ruby Murray, Jones Boys, Malcolm Vaughan, Russ Conway and Billy Fury

1960: The Silver Beetles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Tommy Moore play the first night of a short tour of Scotland backing singer Johnny Gentle, at Alloa Town Hall.

1962: Bobby Moore makes his England debut in a 4-0 friendly victory against Peru.

1964: Rudy Lewis of The Drifters dies aged 28 under mysterious circumstances the night before the group is set to record the song Under the Boardwalk. Former backing singer Johnny Moore is brought back into the fold to sing lead on the song and stays for more than 10 years.

1965: Home Secretary, Sir Frank Soskice, announces that police are to be equipped with tear gas and grenades for use against armed criminals.

1968: The Beatles meet up at George Harrison’s house in Esher to demo songs they had written while at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India, many of which would appear on the White Album.

1969: Chicago’s bass player Peter Cetera has his jaw broken when he is set upon by four marines while watching a baseball game.


1973: Britain sends in Royal Navy ships to protect fishing boats in the disputed Icelandic 50-mile zone. On the same day, Mary Tyler Moore wins the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series for The Mary Tyler Moore show. Valerie Harper wins for supporting actress in the same show.

1975: Sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth dies in a fire aged 72.

1979: Elton John becomes the first western pop star to tour the USSR.

1983: A car bomb planted by the ANC explodes in Pretoria, killing 17 people and injuring 197.

1989: China declares martial law in Beijing. On the same day, comedian Gilda Radner dies of cancer aged 42.

1991: “Barton Fink” directed by Ethan and Joel Coen wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. On the same day, Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated aged 46 by a suicide bomber.

1996: “Secrets & Lies” directed by Mike Leigh wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. On the same day, Dr Who and Wurzel Gummidge actor Jon Pertwee dies aged 76.

1998: Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee is sentenced to six months in prison after being found guilty of spousal abuse. On the same day, Black Sabbath drummer, Bill Ward, suffers a heart attack during a band rehearsal. Also, Real Madrid beat Juventus 1-0 to win the Champions League in Amsterdam.

2000: Chelsea beat Aston Villa, 1-0 (Di Matteo) to win the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. On the same day, actor Sir John Geilgud dies aged 96.

2003: Singer James Brown is pardoned for his past crimes in the US state of South Carolina. Brown had served a two-and-a-half-year prison term after an arrest on drug and assault charges in 1988 was granted a pardon by the State Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

2006: Heavy metal band Lordi become Finland’s first ever Eurovision Song Contest winners in Athens.

2007: Singles chart:

  1. Umbrella – Rihanna ft Jaz-Z
  2. Makes Me Wonder – Maroon 5
  3. Beautiful Liar – Beyonce & Shakira
  4. Signal Fire – Snow Patrol
  5. Here (In Your Arms) – Hellogoodbye
  6. Cupid’s Chokehold – Gym Class Heroes
  7. Don’t Matter – Akon
  8. Flying The Flag (For You) – Scooch
  9. Give It To Me – Timbaland/Nellie Furtado/Justin Timberlake
  10. Shine – Booty Luv
2007: Amy Winehouse – Back To Black

Album chart:

  1. Minutes To Midnight – Linkin Park
  2. Release The Stars – Rufus Wainwright
  3. Tales Don’t Tell Themselves – Funeral For A Friend
  4. Favourite Worst Nightmare – Arctic Monkeys
  5. Call Me Irresponsible – Michael Buble
  6. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse
  7. Life In Cartoon Motion – Mika
  8. The Boy With No Name – Travis
  9. Hymn For My Soul – Joe Cocker
  10. Send Away The Tigers – Manic Street Preachers

2011: Babyshambles and The Libertines singer/guitarist Pete Doherty is jailed for six months after being filmed taking crack cocaine by documentary-maker Robyn Whitehead the day before she died of heroin poisoning.

2012: Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees dies from cancer aged 62.

2013: Ray Manzarek, keyboard player and founder member of The Doors, dies from cancer aged 73.

2014: Prince Rupert Loewenstein, the Bavarian banker credited with turning The Rolling Stones into the world’s richest rock band, dies at the age of 80.

2015: The Rolling Stones play a surprise gig at the 1,300-capacity Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles during which they perform the entire Sticky Fingers album.

2017: Pippa Middleton, sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, marries James Matthews in Englefield, Berks.

2019: Google stops support for Huawei’s Android system in an escalation of the tech war between the US and China. On the same day, Formula 1 legend Nikki Lauda dies aged 70.

2020: Cyclone Amphan comes ashore in West Bengal, East India and Bangladesh, with winds of 185 km per hour (115 mph) killing at least 84 people.

2021: One of Sri Lanka’s worst ecological disasters as cargo ship MS X-Press Pearl, carrying toxic chemicals, catches fire off the country’s coast and begins spilling debris.

Louis Theroux

BIRTHDAYS: Lynn Davies, Olympic long jumper, 81; Cher (Cherilyn Sarkasian), singer, 77; Greg Dyke, media exec, 76; Warren Cann, drummer (Ultravox) 73; Roger Mila, Cameroon footballer, 71; Jane Wiedlin, guitar/singer-songwriter (The Go Go’s) 65; Dan Wilson, singer-songwriter (Semisonic) 62; Clive Allen, footballer, 62; Nick Heyward, singer-songwriter (Haircut 100) 62; Owen Teale, actor, 62; Brian Nash, guitarist (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) 60; Sir Graham Brady MP, politician, 56; Timothy Olyphant, actor, 55; Louis Theroux, broadcaster, 53; Busta Rhymes (Trevor Smith), rapper, 51; Graham Potter, football manager, 48; Petr Cech, goalkeeper, 41; Jack Gleeson, actor, 31.