It happened today – this day in history – May 29

1176: The Lombard League beats Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle at Legnano.

1453: Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire falls to the Turks, ending the Byzantine Empire.

1500: Death of Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias.

1652: English ‘General at Sea’ Robert Blake drives out the Dutch fleet under Lieutenant Admiral Maarten Tromp at the Battle of Goodwin Sands off Folkestone.

1660: Charles II returns to London from exile in the Netherlands on his 30th birthday to claim the English throne after the Puritan Commonwealth comes to an end.

1692: The English and Dutch fleets beat France at La Hogue.

1727: Peter II becomes Tsar of Russia aged 11.

1790: Rhode Island becomes the last of the original 13 colonies to ratify the US Constitution.

1874: The present constitution of Switzerland comes into effect.

1884: Oscar Wilde marries Constance Lloyd at St. James Church, Paddington.

1886: Chemist John Pemberton begins to advertise his drink Coca Cola.

1900: The trademark “Escalator” is registered by Otis Elevator Co.

1903: Alexander Obrenovich, King of Serbia, and Queen Draga, are assassinated in Belgrade by the Black Hand (Crna Ruka) in a coup d’etat.

1913: Igor Stravinsky’s ballet score “The Rite of Spring” premieres in Paris, provoking a riot.

1916: US forces invade the Dominican Republic.

1922: Ecuador becomes independent.

1942: Bing Crosby records the biggest selling song in history, White Christmas, with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers in just 18 minutes.

1944: British troops occupy Aprilia, Italy.

1953: Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1954: Maureen Connolly retains her French tennis title, beating Ginette Bucaille 6-4, 6-1. On the same day, British runner Diane Leather becomes first woman to run the mile in under 5 minutes; 4:59.6 at Alexander Sports Ground, Birmingham.

1959: Charles de Gaulle forms French government

Singles chart:

  1. A Fool Such As I – Elvis Presley
  2. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore – Buddy Holly
  3. It’s Late – Ricky Nelson
  4. I’ve Waited So Long – Anthony Newley
  5. Side Saddle – Russ Conway
  6. Roulette – Russ Conway
  7. Donna – Marty Wilde
  8. Petite Fleur – The Chris Barber Jazz Band
  9. Come Softly To Me – Frankie Vaughan and the Kaye Sisters
  10. I Go Ape – Neil Sedaka

1960: Album chart:

  1. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  2. This is Hancock – Tony Hancock
  3. Can Can – Original Soundtrack
  4. Flower Drum Song – Original Broadway Cast
  5. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – Original Soundtrack
  6. Gigi – Original Soundtrack
  7. I Remember Hank Williams – Jack Scott
  8. The King And I – Original Soundtrack
  9. Latin A La Lee – Peggy Lee
  10. Cliff Sings – Cliff Richard

1962: Chubby Checker wins a Grammy Award for Let’s Twist Again and Ray Charles wins Best Rhythm & Blues Recording for Hit The Road Jack.


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1967: The Move, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Zoot Money, Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band all appeared at the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall in Spalding, Lincoln. Tickets cost £1.

1968: Manchester United become the first English club to win the European Cup, beating Benfica 4-1 at Wembley with goals from Bobby Charlton (2), George Best and Brian Kidd.

1972: Three Japanese gunmen open fire at Lod International Airport in Israel, killing 26 people and injuring dozens more.

1974: Northern Ireland is brought under direct rule from Westminster.

1979: Silent film star and co-founder of United Artists, Mary Pickford, dies aged 87.

1982: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, welcomes Pope John Paul II to Canterbury Cathedral.

1984: Police use riot gear for the first time since the miners’ strike began as they face the biggest picket to date at Orgreave coking plant near Sheffield.

1985: Tragedy strikes at the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels. Rioting fans cause a wall to collapse at the decrepit stadium, killing 39 and injuring over 600. The match goes on but British clubs are subsequently banned from all European competition.

1987: Michael Jackson attempts to buy the remains of The Elephant Man, John Merrick.

1989: Student pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, construct a 30ft replica of the Statue of Liberty, naming it the Goddess of Democracy.

1990: Boris Yeltsin is elected President of the Russian Republic.

1997: Prodigiously talented singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley disappears while swimming in the Mississippi River. His body is found on June 4.

1999: Skeletal remains are found by photographers looking for old car wrecks to shoot at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, California. Based on forensic evidence the remains were of Philip Kramer former bassist with rock band Iron Butterfly, who had gone missing four years earlier.

2008: Actor Harvey Korman dies aged 81.

2009: Record producer Phil Spector is jailed for at least 19 years for the second degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson in 2003.

2010: Death of actor/director Dennis Hopper aged 73.

2015: Sepp Blatter is elected to a fifth term as president of FIFA.

2017: Golfer Tiger Woods is arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Florida. On the same day, former dictator of Panama, Manuel Noriega dies aged 83.

2018: Returning classic US sitcom “Roseanne” is cancelled after star Roseanne Barr posts a racist tweet. On the same day, Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko fakes his own death with Ukrainian security services to foil an assassination plot.

2019: Israel’s Knesset calls a snap election after Benjamin Netanyahu fails to form a government. On the same day, Arsenal and Chelsea meet in the Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan. The cost and practicalities of London fans making the 5000+ mile round-trip meant that neither club could sell their full allocation of tickets. Chelsea win 4-1.

2021: Chelsea win the Champions League, beating Manchester City 1-0 in Porto.

BIRTHDAYS: Nanette Newman, actress, 88; Irmin Schmidt, keyboardist (Can) 85; Francis Rossi, guitarist/singer-songwriter (Status Quo) 73; Brian Kidd, footballer/coach, 73; Danny Elfman, soundtrack composer, 69; Ted (frank Theodore) Levine, actor, 65; Annette Bening, actress, 64; Mel Gaynor, drummer (Simple Minds), 63; Rupert Everett, actor, 63; Melissa Etheridge, singer/songwriter, 61; Carol Kirkwood, weather presenter, 60; Ian Bishop, footballer, 57; Noel Gallagher, singer-songwriter/guitarist (Oasis/High Flying Birds) 55; Roberto Di Matteo, footballer/manager, 52; Mel B (Melanie Brown), singer (Spice Girls), 47; Pelle Almqvist, singer (The Hives) 44; Andrey Arshavin, footballer, 41; Pearl Mackie, actress, 35.

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