It happened today – this day in history – May 29

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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 “White Christmas” in just 18 minutes. It is the biggest selling single in history with sales in excess of 100 million.

1944: British troops occupy Aprilia, Italy..

1953: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first men 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

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

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: Bobby Charlton scores twice (Also Best, Kidd) as Manchester United beats Benfica, 4-1 at Wembley to become the first English team to win the European Cup.

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.

1985: Before kick-off at the European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool at the Heysel Stadium, Brussels, Liverpool fans breach a fence separating the two groups of supporters and charge Juventus fans. The weight causes a retaining wall to collapse, killing 39 people and injuring hundreds more. The match is played regardless, Juventus win 1-0 and English teams are subsequently banned from all European competition for five years.

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: Singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley disappeared while talking a swim in the Mississippi River. His body was discovered on June 4.

1999: Skeletal remains were 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 Philip Kramer former bassist with Iron Butterfly who had disappeared on his way home from work on February 12, 1995. His death was ruled as a probable suicide.

2008: Actor Harvey Korman dies aged 81.

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

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

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.

BIRTHDAYS: Nanette Newman, actress, 86; Irmin Schmidt, musician (Can) 83; Gary Brooker, pianist/singer/songwriter (Procol Harum) 75; Francis Rossi, singer-guitarist/songwriter (Status Quo) 71; Brian Kidd, former footballer, 71; Danny Elfman, soundtrack composer, 67; LaToya Jackson, singer, 64; Annette Bening, actress, 62; Mel Gaynor, drummer (Simple Minds) 61; Rupert Everett, actor, 61; Melissa Etheridge, singer/songwriter, 59; Noel Gallagher, singer-guitarist/songwriter, 53; Roberto Di Matteo, footballer/manager, 50; Melanie Brown, singer (Spice Girls) 45; Andrei Arshavin, former footballer, 39.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]