It happened today – this day in history – May 4

1471: The Battle of Tewkesbury, the final battle between the Houses of Lancaster and York: Prince of Wales, Edward of Westminster is killed and Edward IV is restored to his throne.

1535: Five Carthusian monks from London Charterhouse monastery are hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the Church of England.

1728: Handel’s opera “Tolomeo, re di Egitto” premieres in London.

1776: Rhode Island in the US declares independence from Britain.

1780: Charles Bunbury on Diomed wins the first Epsom Derby.

1843: Britain annexes Natal.

1878: Thomas Edison’s Phonograph is shown for the first time.

1896: First edition of the London Daily Mail.

1904: Construction begins by the US on the Panama Canal.

1917: A flotilla of US destroyers arrive in Queenstown, Ireland, to aid in convoying ships to England.

1924: VIII Summer Olympic Games open in Paris.

1932: Al Capone enters Atlanta Penitentiary convicted of income tax evasion.

1942: The Battle of the Coral Sea begins between Japanese, US and Australian navies and air forces.

1945: German forces in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands surrender unconditionally to British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. On the same day, German forces in Bavaria surrender unconditionally to American commander Jacob L. Devers.

1948: The Hague Court of Justice convicts Nazi SS officer in the Netherlands Hans Rauter of Crimes against Humanity.

1949: An airplane carrying AC Torino back from playing a friendly in Lisbon against Benfica crashes into the Basilica of Superga near Turin in bad weather, killing all 31 on board including 18 Torino players – most of the Italian national team – and their English manager Leslie Lievesley.

1953: The Duke of Edinburgh is awarded his pilot’s “wings”. On the same day, Ernest Heningway wins the Puitzer Price for The Old Man And Tthe Sea.

1956: Gene Vincent records the classic rock ‘n roll song ‘Be Bop-A-Lula’, at Owen Bradley’s studio in Nashville.

1959: The first Grammy Awards take place. Among the winners are Ella Fitzgerald and Perry Como.

1966: Harold Wilson’s Labour government agrees to increase doctors’ and dentists’ salaries by up to 30%. On the same day, goalkeeper Peter Shilton makes his Football League debut for Leicester City against Everton at Filbert Street.

1967: Singles chart:

  1. Puppet On A String – Sandie Shaw
  2. Somethin’ Stupid – Frank and Nancy Sinatra
  3. Purple Haze – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  4. A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You – The Monkees
  5. I Can Hear The Grass Grow – The Move
  6. Dedicated To The One I Love – The Mamas and Papas
  7. Ha! Ha! Said The Clown – Manfred Mann
  8. I’m Gonna Get Me A Gun – Cat Stevens
  9. Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings – Tom Jones
  10. The Boat That I Row – Lulu

1968: Mary Hopkin wins her heat on the ITV talent show Opportunity Knocks. She later signs with Apple Records. Her first single Those Were The Days was produced by Paul McCartney and he wrote her second hit Goodbye.

1970: Four students at Kent State University in Ohio are killed and 11 wounded when National Guard troops open fire at a campus demonstration protesting the escalation of the Vietnam War.

1972: The Vietcong forms a revolutionary government in Quang Tri, South Vietnam.


1975: Mo Howard (Moses Hrowitz) of The Three Stooges dies aged 77.

1978: Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev visits West-Germany.

1979: The Tories win the general election making Margaret Thatcher Britain’s first female prime minister.

1980: Josep Broz (Tito), leader of Yugoslavia, dies aged 87.

1982: HMS Sheffield is sunk by an Argentine Exocet missile fired from a fighter bomber during the Falklands conflict. Twenty crew are killed.

1984: Actress Diana Dors (Fluck) dies of cancer aged 52.

1987: Blues vocalist and harmonica player Paul Butterfield dies aged 44 at his home in North Hollywood of drug-related heart failure.

1989: NASA launches Magellan mission to Venus from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida.

1990: Latvia’s parliament votes 138-0 (1 abstention) for Independence.

1991: US President George Bush is hospitalized with an erratic heartbeat.

1992: US Army and Marine Corps forces arrive in Los Angeles to end rioting following the acquittal of four police officers over the beating of Rodney King.

1994: Arsenal win the European Cup Winner’s Cup 1-0 against Parma in Copenhagen.

1998: “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski is sentenced to four life sentences plus 30 years after he accepts a plea bargain sparing him from the death penalty.

2000: Ken Livingstone becomes Mayor of London standing as an independent candidate.

2002: Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 at the Millennium stadium, Cardiff, to win the FA Cup.

2004: Ska and reggae producer Clement Seymour Dodd dies aged 72.

2007: The Scottish National Party becomes the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time.

2012: Beastie Boys rapper, musician, film director, and human rights activist Adam Yauch dies of cancer aged 47.

2013: Author Harper Lee files a lawsuit against a literary agent over the copyright of To Kill a Mockingbird. On the same day, Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeats Robert Guerrero to retain his WBC Welterweight title and Juventus win their 29th Serie A title.

2015: Basildon’s Stuart Bingham wins the World Snooker Championship.

2018: Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer

2018: Album chart:

  1. Beerbongs & Bentleys – Post Malone
  2. The Greatest Showman – Motion Picture Cast Recording
  3. Speak Your Mind – Anne-Marie
  4. Cool Like You – Blossoms
  5. Staying At Tamara’s – George Ezra
  6. ÷ – Ed Sheeran
  7. Kod – J Cole
  8. Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae
  9. Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa
  10. Golden – Kylie Minogue

2020: Countries in Europe begin cautious reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown.

2021: Malian woman Halima Cisse gives birth to nonuplets (nine babies) in Morocco, in only third known case worldwide.

BIRTHDAYS: Georg Wadenius, bassist (Blood Sweat and Tears) 77; Zal (Alex) Cleminson, guitarist (Sensational Alex Harvey Band/Nazareth) 73; Jackie Jackson, musician (The Jackson 5), 71; Mick Mars (Bob Deal), guitarist (Motley Crue), 71; Michael Barrymore, comedian, 70; Randy Travis, country artist, 63; Jay Aston, singer (Bucks Fizz) 61; Oleta Adams, singer/pianist, 60; Kate Garraway, TV presenter, 55; Julian Barratt, comedian, 54; Gregg Alexander, singer-songwriter (The New Radicals), 52; Will Arnett, actor/comedian, 52; Mike Dirnt (Pritchard), bassist (Green Day) 50; Lance Bass, singer (NSYNC) 43; Ari Levine, producer/songwriter, 38; Laura Whitmore (Sterling), TV presenter, 37; Ravi Bopara, cricketer, 37; Cesc Fàbregas (Soler), footballer, 35; Rory McIlroy, golfer, 33.