It happened today – this day in history – May 24

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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 severe all ties with Denmark.

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

1956: The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland. The winner, Lys Assia, for Switzerland also sang the Luxenbourg entry.

1963: Blues guitarist and singer Elmore James died of a heart attack aged 45. His slide playing was a huge influence on Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones.

1968: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful are arrested for drug possession. On the same day, 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.

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.

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: Sonia Sutcliffe, wife of the Yorkshire Ripper, is awarded £600,000 in damages after winning a libel action against satyrical magazine Private Eye (later reduced to £60,000 on appeal).

1991: Founder member of The Byrds, Gene Clark, died of a heart attack aged 49.

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

1995: Former prime minister Harold Wilson does aged 79.

2000: Israeli troops withdraw from southern Lebanon after 22 years. On the same day, Real Madrid beats Valencia 3-0 to win the Champions League.

2001: 15-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

2004: North Korea bans mobile phones.

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

2010: Paul Gray (aka No 2), bassist with US metal band Slipknot, was found dead at age 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.

BIRTHDAYS: Stanley Baxter, comedian, 94; Bob Dylan (Zimmerman), singer/songwriter, 79; Patti Labelle, singer, 76; Dave Peacock, bassist (Chas and Dave) 75; Priscilla Presley, 75; Steve Upton, drummer (Wishbone Ash) 74; Albert Bouchard, drummer (Blue Oyster Cult) 73; Jim Broadbent, actor, 71; Roseanne Cash, country artist, 65; Kristin Scott Thomas, actress, 60; Adrian Moorhouse, swimmer, 56; Liz McColgan, athlete, 56; John C Reilly, actor/comedian, 55; Eric Cantona, footballer, 54; Rich Robinson, guitarist (The Black Crowes) 51; Jacob Rees-Mogg, politician, 51; Dermot O’Leary, TV presenter/broadcaster, 47.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]