It happened today – this day in history – May 21

120BC: Aurelia Cotta, mother of Julius Caesar is born in Rome.

1216: French crown prince Louis enters England, having been invited by barons at war with King John.

1281: Kublai Khan’s second invasion of Japan begins with an attack on Tsushima Island but meets fierce resistance and his troops are forced to withdraw.

1471: Edward IV enters London.

1502: Portuguese admiral Da Nova discovers the island of St Helena.

1688: Birth of poet Alexander Pope in London.

1792: Mount Unzen on Japan’s Shimabara Peninsula, erupts creating a tsunami which kills about 15,000.

1904: FIFA forms in Paris.

1922: Eugene O’Neill wins the Pulitzer Prize for his play “Anna Christie”.

1927: Aviator Charles Lindbergh lands in Paris after the first solo air crossing of Atlantic.

1929: Sergei Prokoviev’s ballet “Prodigal Son” premieres in Paris.

1932: Amelia Earhart lands near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, completing the first transatlantic solo flight by a woman.

1945: Nazi SS-Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler is captured.

1950: A tornado devastates the Home Counties, killing two men in Kempston, Beds, who are struck by lightning. On the same day, Ho Chi-Minh’s troops attack Cambodia.

1955: Chuck Berry records Maybellene at Universal Recording Studios, Chicago.

1961: Martial law is imposed in the town of Montgomery, Alabama, after violent racial clashes.

1966: In their second meeting, Cassius Clay beats Britain’s Henry Cooper in the sixth round of their World Heavyweight bout at Highbury football stadium in north London. The fight is stopped due to a cut above Cooper’s left eye. On the same day, in Northern Ireland, a “loyalist” group calling itself the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) issues a statement declaring war on the IRA.

1967: Goalkeeping brothers Ron and Peter Springett swap clubs with Peter moving from QPR to Sheffield Wednesday and vice versa.

1968: Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones appears at Great Marlborough Street Magistrates court, charged with possession of marijuana. He is released on £200 bail.

1969: Senator Robert Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment.

1970: The National Guard mobilizes to quell disturbances at Ohio State University.

1971: Chelsea defeat Real Madrid 2-1 in Athens to win the European Cup Winner’s Cup.


1972: Pietà by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal. On the same day, the IRA kidnaps and shoots dead William Best,19, a soldier in the Royal Irish Rangers stationed in Germany, whilst on leave at home.

1975: The trial of the terrorist Baader-Meinhof group begins in Stuttgart.

1977: On TV (Saturday)

09.15These are the Days
09.35Robinson Crusoe
10.00Arlott and Trueman on Cricket
10.25Daffy Duck
10.55Laurel and Hardy
11.30Cup Final Grandstand FA Cup Final Liverpool v Manchester United
Frank Bough sets the scene inside Wembley Stadium., Barry Davies and Bob Wilson talk to the players at their hotels.
12.05 The Women’s FA Cup Final
QPR v Southampton. Highlights of the Women’s FA Pony Cup Final, played at Dulwich Hamlet FC. Commentator Bob Wilson
12.20 Cup Final managers Bob Paisley (Liverpool) and Tommy Docherty (Manchester Utd) talking to Jimmy Hill
12.30 Cup Final Knockout
The excitement of It’s a Knockout as teams from the supporters’ clubs of Liverpool and Manchester Utd compete in this traditional Cup Final contest. Joining in are past and present players and celebrity supporters. Introduced by Eddie Waring and Stuart Hall with referee Arthur Ellis
1.15 Boxing
The World Heavyweight Championship Muhammad Ali (Champion) v Alfredo Evangelista (Spain)
Harry Carpenter reports on the week’s controversial fight at Land-over, Maryland, USA, in which Ali defended his title against a little-known opponent. Ali returns to the ring eight months after his self-imposed ‘ retirement’ following his disputed victory over Ken Norton.
1.35 Inside Wembley
The atmosphere mounts as the teams go out to inspect the Wembley pitch.
Goal of the Season: See the winning goals and find out who has won £200 of Premium Bonds in this popular annual competition.
The Road to Wembley: Goals, near misses, and lucky escapes – Tony Gubba recalls the outstanding moments of both teams’ progress to the final.
Meet the Teams
The Final Word from Jimmy Hill, Don Revie and Lawrie McMenemy
2.40 Abide With Me
3.00 Kick off. Commentator John Motson
4.45 Presentation of the Cup and Medals by HRH the Duchess of Kent
4.55 Meet the Winners
The outstanding players of the match talk to Barry Davies

17.10Rolf on Saturday – OK?
17.55The Tom and Jerry Show
18.00Film: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes with Lionel Jeffries, Gert Frobe Anna Quayle, Benny Hill and James Robertson Justice. An unsuccessful inventor creates a magical car.

20.15The Val Doonican Music Show
With special guests Olivia Newton-John and guitarist John Williams

21.05Starsky and Hutch
Starring Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul

21.55That’s Life
with Esther Rantzen, reporters Kieran Prendiville and Glyn Worsnip. Oddities of the Week from Cyril Fletcher

22.45Cup Final Match of the Day

23.35Saturday Night at the Mill
07.40Open University
15.00Film: Houdini (1953)
The life of escapologist Harry Houdini starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh

18.55Open Door
19.25News and Sport
20.15Don’t Quote Me
Brian Redhead introduces the last in a series of six programmes in which issues covered by the press are discussed by the people they concern and those who report them.

20.45The Lively Arts – In Performance
Robin Ray introduces the Dance Theatre of Harlem

21.45Wodehouse Playhouse
starring John Alderton and Pauline Collins

22.15An Englishman’s Journey
In the autumn of 1933 J. B. Priestley made a journey through England. He recorded a ‘ rambling but truthful account of what one man saw, felt and thought, published a year later entitled English Journey. In the autumn of 1976 Priestley revisits some of the places he went to in 1933, recording his impressions of contemporary England and comparing them with his memories.

22.40Matthew’s American Adventure
Matthew Davis, at 13, has flown the Atlantic a dozen times but never walked across a room unaided. For Matthew suffers from cerebral palsy.

23.30News on 2
23.35Film: The Wooden Horse (1950)
starring Leo Genn David Tomlinson, Anthony Steel. The adventures of two British POWs who use a vaulting-horse to cover their escape from the notorious Stalag Luft III.

09.00Keeping Up with Yoga
09.25Saturday Scene
12.00World of Sport
The FA Cup final between Manchester United and Liverpool

17.20The Woody Woodpecker Show
17.30Happy Days
18.00The Muppet Show
With guest Bruce Forsyth

18.30Celebrity Squares
19.15The Fosters
19.45Sale of the Century

Fade Into Murder starring Peter Falk

21.55International Boxing
The Light-Heavyweight Championship of the World

23.10All You Need is Love
The Story of Popular Music – “All Along the Watchtower” – Sour Rock

1979: Elton John, with percussionist Ray Cooper, becomes the first western artist to play in Russia.

1980: Joe Strummer of The Clash is arrested at a gig in Hamburg after smashing his guitar over the head of a member of the audience.

1981: Francois Mitterand becomes president of France. On the same day, Bob Marley is given a Jamaican state funeral.

1982: The Hacienda Club opens in Manchester.

1990: “Wild at Heart” directed by David Lynch wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

1991: Former Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, is assassinated in a bomb attack in Tamil Nadu.

1995: Singles chart:

  1. Unchained Melody – Robson and Jerome
  2. Guaglione – Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and his Orchestra
  3. Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Bop-Dop – Scatman John
  4. Dreamer – Livin’ Joy
  5. That Look In Your Eye – Ali Campbell
  6. Your Loving Arms – Billie Ray Martin
  7. Surrender Your Love – Nightcrawlers ft John Reid
  8. Only One Road – Celine Dion
  9. We’re Gonna Do It Again – Manchester Utd ft Stryker
  10. Yes – McAlmont and Butler
1995: oasis – Definitely Maybe

Album chart:

  1. Stanley Road – Paul Weller
  2. Nobody Else – Take That
  3. I Should Coco – Supergrass
  4. The Complete – The Stone Roses
  5. Picture This – Wet Wet Wet
  6. The Colour Of My Love – Celine Dion
  7. Greatest Hits – Bruce Springsteen
  8. No Need To Argue – The Cranberriess
  9. Definitely Maybe – Oasis
  10. Medusa – Annie Lennox

1998: Indonesian President Suharto resigns after 31 years in power.

2005: Arsenal beat Manchester United, 5-4 on penalties following a 0–0 draw after extra time to win the FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

2007: The Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper, is badly damaged by fire in Greenwich.

2008: Lou Pearlman, the music mogul who created the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, is sentenced to 25 years in federal prison over a decades-long scam that swindled thousands of investors out of their life savings. On the same day, Manchester United win the European Cup, beating Chelsea on penalties in Moscow.

2010: Bono has emergency spinal surgery in Munich after suffering an injury while preparing for a U2 tour.

2013: Trevor Bolder, bassist with David Bowie’s early seventies backing band The Spiders From Mars, dies from cancer aged 62.

2014: The Thai army declares martial law and closes down several news stations.

2016: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, leader of the Afghan Taliban is reportably killed by a US drone in Pakistan. On the same day, Manchester United beat Crystal Palace, 2-1 after extra time to win the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.

2019: Nepalese Sherpa Kami Rita sets a new record for the number of climbs of Mt Everest – 24. On the same day, Washington becomes the first US state to legalize human composting.

BIRTHDAYS: Ronald Isley, singer-songwriter (The Isley Brothers) 81; Martin Carthy, singer/guitarist, 81; John Dalton, bassist (The Kinks) 79; Mary Robinson, former Irish President, 78; Leo (Gerard) Sayer, singer-songwriter, 74; Andrew Neil, journalist/broadcaster, 73; Mr T (Lawrence Tureaud), actor, 70; Marc Ribot, guitarist, 68; Nadine Dorries MP, politician, 65; Judge (Edward) Reinhold, actor, 65; Kevin Shields, guitarist/singer-songwriter (My Bloody Valentine) 59; Lisa Edelstein, actress/playwright, 56; Noel Fielding, comedian/writer/actor, 49; Sally Lindsay, actress, 49; Quinton Fortune, footballer, 44; Gotye (Wouter De Backer) singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, 42; Mutya Buena, singer (Sugarbabes), 37; Hal Robson-Kanu, footballer, 33; Tom Daley, Olympic diver 28.