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 conductor.

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 NASA 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.


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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.

1985: Singles chart:

  1. 19 – Paul Hardcastle
  2. Move Closer – Phyllis Nelson
  3. I Feel Love (Medley) – Bronski Beat and Marc Almond
  4. Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears
  5. We Are The World – USA For Africa
  6. The Unforgettable Fire – U2
  7. Feel So Real – Steve Arrington
  8. Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds
  9. Rhythm Of The Night – Debarge
  10. One More Night – Phil Collins
1985: Freddie Mercury – Mr Bad Guy

Album chart:

  1. Hits 2 – Various Artists
  2. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
  3. Songs From The Big Chair – Tears For Fears
  4. Be Yourself Tonight – Eurythmics
  5. The Secret Of Association – Paul Young
  6. Mr Bad Guy – Freddie Mercury
  7. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
  8. Voices From The Holy Land – BBC Welsh Chorus
  9. Flaunt The Imperfection – China Crisis
  10. Around The World In A Day – Prince and the Revolution

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

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.

Sir Michael Palin

BIRTHDAYS: Lance Henriksen, actor, 83; Sir Michael Palin, actor/writer/broadcaster, 80; John Rhys-Davies, actor, 79; Bill Ward, drummer, (Black Sabbath) 75; Eddy Amoo, singer-songwriter (The Real Thing), 73; Pete Erskine, drummer (Weather Report) 69; Roddy Radiation (Roderick Byers), guitarist (The Specials), 68; Richard E Grant, actor, 66; Theresa Bazar, singer-songwriter (Guys ‘n’ Dolls/Dollar) 66; Ian McCulloch, singer-songwriter (Echo and the Bunnymen) 64; Simon Rimmer, TV chef, 60; Lorraine McIntosh, singer (Deacon Blue) 59; James Cracknell, rower, 51; Craig David, singer-songwriter/rapper, 42; Henry Cavill, actor, 40; Adele (Atkins), singer-songwriter, 35; Chris Brown, singer-songwriter, 34; Raul Jiménez, footballer, 32.