It happened today – this day in history – May 24

15BC: Birth of Julius Caesar Germanicus.

1153: Malcolm IV becomes King of Scots.

1543: Death of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus aged 70.

1660: Charles II visits The Netherlands

1689: Parliament guarantees freedom of religion for Protestants.

1738: John Wesley is converted, launching the Methodist movement.

1809: Dartmoor Prison opens to house French prisoners of war.

1819: Birth of Queen Victoria.

1844: Samuel Morse taps out “What hath God wrought?” in the world’s first telegraph message.

1846: Future US President, Gen Zachary Taylor, captures Monterey in the Mexican War.

1862: Westminster Bridge opens across the River Thames.

1873: Alexandra Palace opens on Queen Victoria’s 54th birthday.

1890: Leo von Caprivi succeeds Otto von Bismarck as Chancellor of Germany.

1895: Henry Irving becomes the first actor to receive a knighthood.

1916: Conscription begins in Britain.

1921: The first parliament for Northern Ireland is elected.

1923: Stanley Baldwin succeeds Andrew Bonar Law as Prime Minister.

1930: Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia.

1941: German battleship Bismarck sinks the British battle cruiser HMS Hood; 1,416 die, three survive.

1944: Icelandic voters sever all ties with Denmark.

1948: Benjamin Britten’s “Beggar’s Opera” premieres in Cambridge.

1956: The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland and won by Lys Assia with the song Refrain for the host nation.

1963: Blues guitarist Elmore James dies of a heart attack aged 45.

1968: President de Gaulle of France issues a back me or sack me ultimatum to striking students and workers. On the same day, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful are arrested for drug possession. Also, Bob Foster defeats holder Dick Tiger for the world light-heavyweight boxing championship.

1972: Glasgow Rangers win the European Cup Winner’s Cup against Dynamo Moscow 3-2 in Barcelona.


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1974: Death of bandleader Duke Ellington aged 75.

1976: Muhammad Ali TKOs Britain’s Richard Dunn in Round 5 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1977: USSR President Podgorny resigns.

1979: “Apocalypse Now” directed by Francis Ford Coppola and “Die Biechtrommel” directed by Volker Schlondorff are jointly awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

1981: Singles chart:

  1. Stand And Deliver – Adam and the Ants
  2. You Drive Me Crazy – Shakin’ Stevens
  3. Stars On 45 – Star Sound
  4. Chequered Love – Kim Wilde
  5. Ossie’s Dream – Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Final Squad
  6. Sword Of A Thousand Men – Tenpole Tudor
  7. Being With You – Smokey Robinson
  8. Keep On Loving You – REO Speedwagon
  9. I Want To Be Free – Toyah
  10. Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
1981: Toyah – Anthem

Album chart:

  1. Stars on 45 – Star Sound
  2. Kings Of The Wild Frontier – Adam and the Ants
  3. Anthem – Toyah
  4. This Ole House – Shakin’ Stevens
  5. Wha’ppen – The Beat
  6. Disco Daze And Disco Nites – Various Artists
  7. Long Distance Voyager – The Moody Blues
  8. Bad For Good – Jim Steinman
  9. Hi Infidelity – REO Speedwagon
  10. Hotter Than July – Stevie Wonder

1986: Margaret Thatcher becomes the first British Prime Minister to visit Israel.

1988: Controversial Section 28 passed as law by Parliament prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality.

1989: A jury at the High Court in London awards £600,000 damages to Sonia Sutcliffe, wife of the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, against satirical magazine Private Eye.

1991: Singer-songwriter Gene Clark, formerly of The Byrds, dies of a heart attack aged 49.

1993: Eritrea achieves independence from Ethiopia after a 30-year civil war.

1995: Former prime minister Harold Wilson dies aged 79.

1999: Lawrence Dallaglio resigns as England’s rugby union captain following newspaper allegations that he took and sold drugs before becoming a rugby player.

2000: Israeli troops withdraw from southern Lebanon after 22 years. On the same day, Real Madrid beat Valencia 3-0 to win the Champions League. Also, Andrea and Sharon Corr from The Corrs both collapse in the midday sun whilst shooting a video in the Mojave Desert in California.

2001: 23 people are killed and hundreds are injured at a wedding party in Jerusalem when a building collapses. On the same day, 15-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

2003: Paul McCartney plays in Red Square, Moscow.

2004: North Korea bans mobile phones.

2009: Manchester United win the Premier League title for third consecutive season.

2010: Paul Gray, bassist with Slipknot, is found dead aged 38 in a hotel in Des Moines, Iowa.

2014: Rapper Kanye West marries Kim Kardashian in Florence, Italy.

2017: Manchester United beat Ajax 2-0 in Stockholm to win the Europa League.

2020: Double bass player Al Rex of Bill Haley’s Comets dies aged 91.

BIRTHDAYS: Stanley Baxter, actor/comedian, 96; Bob Dylan, singer-songwriter, 81; Gary Burghoff, actor, 79; Patti Labelle (Holte), singer, 78; Priscilla Presley, actress, 77; Dave Peacock, bassist (Chas and Dave) 77; Albert Bouchard, drummer (Blue Oyster Cult) 75; Jim Broadbent, actor, 73; Alfred Molina, actor, 69; Rosanne Cash, singer-songwriter, 67; Dominic Grieve MP, politician, 66; Larry Blackmon, singer, (Cameo) 66; Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, actress, 62; Liz McColgan, athlete, 58; John C Reilly, actor/comedian/writer, 57; Eric Cantona, footballer/actor, 56; Rich Robinson, guitarist (The Black Crowes) 53; Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, politician, 53; (Sean) Dermot O’Leary, broadcaster, 49; Jo Joyner, actress, 45; Ben Howard, singer-songwriter; 34; Yannick Bolasie, footballer, 33.