It happened today – this day in history – May 7

558: The dome of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul collapses.

1429: The siege of Orleans is broken by Joan of Arc and the French Army.

1663: The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane London opens.

1664: Louis XIV of France inaugurates The Palace of Versailles.

1718: New Orleans is founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.

1748: French troops conquer Maastricht in the War of the Austrian Succession.

1765: HMS Victory launched.

1812: Birth of poet Robert Browning.

1824: Beethoven’s 9th (Chorale) Symphony, premieres in Vienna.

1832: Greece becomes independent with Otto of Bavaria as king.

1833: Birth of composer Johannes Brahms in Hamburg.

1840: Birth of composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Russia.

1866: German Premier Otto von Bismarck is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt.

1867: Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel patents dynamite in England.

1873: US marines attack Panama.

1913: The House of Commons rejects women’s right to vote.

1915: RMS Lusitania is sunk by a German submarine off the southern coast of Ireland with 1198 lives lost.

1919: Birth of Eva Peron in Argentina.

1921: Old Trafford stages two matches in one day. Following the Manchester United v Derby County fixture, Stockport County, whose Edgeley Park ground had been closed as a punishment for crowd problems, played Leicester City. Only 13 people paid to watch the Stockport match although several thousand stayed on from the United match to watch the Stockport game for free.

1928: The UK lowers the age of women voters from 30 to 21.

1941: Glenn Miller records “Chattanooga Choo Choo” for RCA.

1942: A Nazi decree orders all pregnant Jewish women of Kovno Ghetto to be executed.

1945: General Alfred Jodl signs Germany’s unconditional surrender at Rheims, ending six years of war in Europe.

1946: Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) is founded with around 20 employees.

1952:The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey Dummer.

1954: The US, Great Britain and France reject Russian membership of NATO.

1956: Health Minister, RH Turton, rejects calls for a government campaign against smoking, saying no ill-effects have been proven.

1958: US Air Force Major Howard Johnson sets the world aircraft altitude record in a Lockhead F-104 Starfighter at 27,810m.

1960: Leonid Brezhnev replaces Kliment Voroshilov as President of the USSR.


1965: White voters in Rhodesia back Prime Minister Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front in a landslide victory.

1968: Flying back to the UK after a US tour with the band Bluesology, piano player Reginald Dwight gives some thought to a stage name he can use for his burgeoning solo career. He asks the band’s horn player Elton Dean and singer Long John Baldry if he can appropriate their names. They agree and Elton John is born.

1977: Marie Myriam wins the Eurovision Song Contest for France singing L’oiseau et l’enfant in London.

1978: Singles chart:

  1. Rivers Of Babylon – Boney M
  2. Night Fever – The Bee Gees
  3. Too Much, Too Little, Too Late – Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams
  4. Automatic Lover – Dee D Jackson
  5. Never Let Her Slip Away – Andrew Gold
  6. Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs – Brian and Michael
  7. Because The Night – Patti Smith Group
  8. Let’s All Chant – The Michael Zagr Band
  9. Everybody Dance – Chic
  10. The Boy From New York City – Darts
1978: ABBA – The Album

Album chart:

  1. Saturday Night Fever – Original Soundtrack
  2. 20 Golden Greats – Nat King Cole
  3. And Then There Were Three – Genesis
  4. The Stud – Original Soundtrack
  5. London Town – Wings
  6. The Album – ABBA
  7. You Light up My Life – Johnny Mathis
  8. 20 Classic Hits – The Platters
  9. Long Live Rock And Roll – Rainbow
  10. City To City – Gerry Rafferty

1983: Paul Weller unveils his new group The Style Council at an anti nuclear benefit gig in London.

1986: Steaua Bucharest beat Barcelona on penalties to win the European Cup in Seville.

1991: Soul singer Wilson Pickett is arrested after running into an 86-year old man and yelling death threats whilst driving his car over the mayor’s front lawn in Englewood, New Jersey.

1992: Nigel Preston, former drummer with The Cult dies from a drug overdose aged 28.

1993: South Africa agrees to multi-racial elections.

1994: Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” is recovered three months after it was stolen.

1995: Jacques Chirac wins the French presidential election.

1998: Singer-songwriter Eddie Rabbitt dies of lung cancer aged 56.

1999: President João Bernardo Vieira of Guinea-Bissau is ousted in a military coup. On the same day, Pope John Paul II travels to Romania, becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism of 1054. Also, a US Jury finds “The Jenny Jones Show” and Warner Bros. liable in the death of Scott Amedure after purposely deceiving Jonathan Schmitz to appear on a same-sex crush episode. Schmitz later killed Amedure. The jury awards Amedure’s family $25 million.

2000: Death of actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr aged 90.

2001: Pope John Paul II visits the Syrian capital Damascus.

2006: Doctor Who wins best drama at the BAFTA Television awards.

2008: Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as President of the Russian Federation.

2011: John Walker (Maus) of The Walker Brothers dies of liver cancer in Los Angeles. On the same day, golfer Seve Ballesteros dies from brain cancer aged 54.

2012: Vladimir Putin is sworn in for third six-year term as President of Russia.

2013: The Italian cargo ship Jolly Nero crashes into the port of Genoa, killing seven people.

2015: The Tories win an outright majority in the general election and David Cameron returns as prime minister.

2017: Emmanuel Macron wins France’s presidential election.

2018: Vladimir Putin is sworn in as Russian President for another six years. On the same day, Mark Williams defeats John Higgins 18-16 to win the World Snooker Championship at The Crucible in Sheffield and, as promised, does his press conference in the nude.

2019: Hackers seize control of the city of Baltimore’s computer system, demanding a ransom in Bitcoins to unlock them.

2021: Former police officer and suspected serial killer Hugo Ernesto Osorio Chávez arrested in Chalchuapa, El Salvador, after a mass grave of 15-40 bodies found at his house.

2022: Berklee College of Music bestows an honorary doctorate to Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.

Youri Tielemans

BIRTHDAYS: Rick Westwood, guitarist (The Tremeloes) 80; Richard O’Sullivan, actor, 79; Christy Moore, singer-songwriter, 78; Thelma Houston (Jackson), singer, 77; Pete Wingfield, record producer/singer-songwriter, 75; Bernie Marsden, guitarist (Whitesnake) 72; Carlos Alomar, guitarist, 72; Amy Heckerling, director, 69; Steve Diggle, guitarist/songwriter (The Buzzcocks) 68; Norman Whiteside, footballer, 58; Eagle Eye Cherry, singer, 55; Breckin Meyer, actor, 49; Martina Topley-Bird, singer, 48; Kate Lawler, DJ, 43; Matt Helders, drummer (Arctic Monkeys) 37; Youri Tielemans, footballer, 26.