It happened today – this day in history – May 5

1260: Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire.

1494: Christopher Columbus sights Jamaica, landing at Discovery Bay on his second journey to the New World.

1646: Charles I surrenders in Scotland.

1818: Birth of Karl Marx in Trier, Prussia.

1821: Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena.

1877: Sitting Bull leads his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the US Army.

1891: Carnegie Hall in New York opens with Tchaikovsky as guest conductot.

1916: US Marines invade the Dominican Republic.

1925: Afrikaans is established as an official language in South Africa.

1928: Everton’s Dixie Dean scores a hat-trick against Arsenal to bring his League goals total for the season to 60 – still a record. Including FA Cup and representative matches his total for the season was an amazing 82 goals.

1930: Amy Johnson sets off on the first female solo flight from England to Australia.

1935: US athlete Jesse Owens sets the long jump record at 26′ 8½”.

1936: Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa in Abyssinia.

1941: Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa. On the same day, the scent Chanel No. 5 is released by fashion designer. Coco Chanel.

1944: Mahatma Gandhi is released from prison.

1945: Admiral Karl Dönitz, leader of Germany after Hitler’s death, orders all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases.

1952: Herman Wouk wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Caine Mutiny.

1956: At the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Birmingham City, Bert Trautmann, the Manchester City goalkeeper, is injured making a save. With no substitutes in those days, he played on to help his side to a 3-1 win. Three days later it was found that he had played with a broken neck. His surgeon told him bluntly: “You should be dead”.

1961: Commander Alan Shepard returns to Earth in his Mercury 3 capsule after becoming the first American in space.

1963: On the recommendation of George Harrison, Dick Rowe Head of A&R at Decca records, (the man who turned down The Beatles) goes to see The Rolling Stones play at the Crawdaddy Club in London. The band are signed to the label within a week.

1966: Borussia Dortmund win the European Cup Winner’s Cup 2-1 against Liverpool in Glasgow.


1967: The first ever all-British satellite, Aerial 3, is successfully launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

1969: At York City’s game against Halifax Town, referee Roy Harper collapses on the pitch shortly after kick off and dies of a heart attack. Incredibly, the game is not called off.

1972: Blind blues guitarist The Reverend Gary Davis, whose finger picking style influenced many guitarists, dies of a heart attack aged 76. On the same day, the three-day Bickershaw Festival begins in Wigan. Acts appearing include The Grateful Dead, Dr John, The Kinks, Captain Beefheart, Family and Wishbone Ash.

1980: A siege at the Iranian embassy in London comes to a dramatic end after a raid by SAS commandos.

1981: Hunger striker Bobby Sands MP dies in the Maze prison 66 days after first refusing to eat.

1984: Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr marries Pretenders singer-songwriter Chrissie Hynde in Central Park, New York City.

1990: Crocodile Dundee actors Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski marry in Australia.

1991: Singles chart:

  1. The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) – Cher
  2. Last Train To Transcendental – KLF ft The Children of the Revolution
  3. Sailing On The Seven Seas – OMD
  4. Senza Una Donna (Without A Woman) – Zucchero ft Paul Young
  5. The One And Only – Chesney Hawkes
  6. Born Free – Vic Reeves and the Roman Numerals
  7. Touch Me (All Night Long) – Cathy Dennis
  8. Get The Message – Electronic
  9. Sit Down – James
  10. There’s No Other Way – Blur
1991: Roxette – Joyride

Album chart:

  1. Greatest Hits – Eurythmics
  2. Best Of 81-90 – The Waterboys
  3. Gold Mother – James
  4. Joyride – Roxette
  5. The White Room – KLF
  6. Real Life – Simple Minds
  7. Union – Yes
  8. Out Of Time – REM
  9. The Simpsons Sing The Blues – The Simpsons
  10. Greatest Hits 1977-90 – The Stranglers

1998: Death of bandleader Syd Lawrence aged 74.

2000: Rod Stewart undergoes a one-hour throat operation at Cedar Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles to remove a benign growth on his thyroid. On the same day, actress Angelina Jolie marries actor Billy Bob Thornton in Las Vegas.

2002: Jacques Chirac wins the French Presidential election for a second term.

2005: Labour under Tony Blair wins a third term in Government but with a greatly reduced majority. On the same day, singer Justin Timberlake undergoes an operation at Los Angeles’ Cedars Sinai Hospital to remove nodules from his throat.

2012: Chelsea beats Liverpool, 2–1 in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

2014: Mark Selby beats Ronnie O’Sullivan for his first World Snooker title.

2016: The Rolling Stones instruct Donald Trump to stop playing their songs during his presidential campaign.

2018: Former Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson suffers a brain haemorrhage and is hospitalised.

2019: King Vajiralongkorn is crowned King of Thailand.

2020: Jamaican singer Millie Small dies aged 72 after suffering a stroke. On the same day, singer Sweet Pea Atkinson of Was (Not Was) dies from a heart attack in Los Angeles, aged 74.

BIRTHDAYS: Lance Henriksen, actor, 82; Sir Michael Palin, actor/writer/broadcaster, 79; John Rhys-Davies, actor, 78; Bill Ward, drummer, (Black Sabbath) 74; Eddy Amoo, singer-songwriter (The Real Thing), 72; Pete Erskine, drummer (Weather Report) 68; Roddy Radiation (Roderick Byers), guitarist (The Specials), 67; Richard E Grant, actor, 65; Theresa Bazar, singer-songwriter (Guys ‘n’ Dolls/Dollar) 65; Ian McCulloch, singer-songwriter (Echo and the Bunnymen) 63; Simon Rimmer, TV chef, 59; Lorraine McIntosh, singer (Deacon Blue) 58; James Cracknell, rower, 50; Craig David, singer-songwriter/rapper, 41; Henry Cavill, actor, 39; Adele (Atkins), singer-songwriter, 34; Chris Brown, singer-songwriter, 33; Raul Jiménez, footballer, 31.