It happened today – this day in history – November 1

1348: The date on which the Black Death is thought to have reached London.

1349: The Duke of Brabant orders the execution of all Jews in Brussels, accusing them of poisoning the wells.

1512: Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican are first exhibited.

1570: A tidal wave in the North Sea devastates the coast from Holland to Jutland; killing more than 1,000 people.

1604: Shakespeare’s “Othello” is first presented.

1611: Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is first presented.

1755: An earthquake in Lisbon kills more than 50,000.

1800: John Adams becomes the first US President to live in the White House.

1814: The Congress of Vienna opens to re-draw the European political map after the defeat of France, in the Napoleonic Wars.

1848: W.H. Smith opens its first bookstall at Euston Station.

1887: Artist L.S. Lowry is born in Stretford.

1894: Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia after the death of his father, Alexander III.

1897: Italian football club Juventus F.C. is founded in Turin.

1904: George Bernard Shaw’s “John Bull’s Other Island” premieres in London.

1911: The first aerial bomb is dropped by an Italian pilot on Turkish troops in Libya during the Italo-Turkish War.

1913: Less than a week after a US non-intervention promise, President Woodrow Wilson demands that Mexican dictator Huerta resigns.

1914: Paul von Hindenburg is named marshal of the Eastern front.

1922: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk takes Constantinople from Mehmed VI, proclaiming the Republic of Turkey and bringing an end to the Ottoman Empire.

1928: The Graf Zeppelin sets the airship distance record of 6384km.

1932: Wernher von Braun is named head of the German liquid-fuel rocket program.

1935: T.S. Eliot’s play “Murder in the Cathedral” premieres in London.

1936: Mussolini describes the alliance between Italy and Germany as an “axis”.

1938: Seabiscuit, ridden by George Woolf, beats 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral by three lengths in Pimlico track record time to win $15,000 in what is regarded as one of the greatest match races in horse racing history.

1944: British forces land at Walcheren in the Netherlands.


1946: Karol Wojtyla (future Pope John Paul II) is ordained to the Catholic priesthood.

1950: Puerto Rican nationalists try to kill US President Harry Truman.

1954: General Fulgencio Batista is elected President of Cuba. On the same day, the US Senate admonishes senator Joe McCarthy for his slander campaigns. Also, the Front de Libération Nationale fires the first shots of the Algerian War of Independence against France.

1955: The Famous Flames, led by singer James Brown, cut their first demo of Please, Please, Please at a radio station in Macon Georgia. It would lead to their signing with King Records.

1956: Elvis Presley buys a new Harley Davidson motorbike and spends the day riding round Memphis with actress Natalie Wood. On the same day, Hungary withdraws from the Warsaw Pact,

1962: Greece enters the European Common Market.

1966: The Viet Cong shells the South Vietnamese capital Saigon.

1970: A fire at a nightclub near Grenoble in France kills 142 people, most of them teenagers.

1972: Poet Ezra Pound dies aged 87.

1981: Antigua & Barbuda gains independence from Britain.

Singles chart:

  1. It’s My Party – Dave Stewart with Barbara Gaskin
  2. Happy Birthday – Altered Images
  3. Every Little Thing She Does IS Magic – The Police
  4. Labelled With Love – Squeeze
  5. When She Was My Girl – The Four Tops
  6. A Good Year For The Roses – Elvis Costello
  7. Joan Of Arc – OMD
  8. Absolute Beginners – The Jam
  9. The Birdie Song – The Tweets
  10. Open Your Heart – The Human League
1981: Queen – Greatest Hits

Album chart:

  1. Shaky – Shakin’ Stevens
  2. Greatest Hits – Queen
  3. Dare – The Human League
  4. Ghost In The Machine – The Police
  5. The Best Of – Blondie
  6. Exit Stage Left – Rush
  7. Almost Blue – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  8. Hooked On Classics – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  9. Hedgehog Sandwich – Not The 9 O’Clock News
  10. Love Is… – Various Artists

1985: Comedy actor Phil Silvers dies aged 73.

1986: A fire at a chemicals factory near Basle, Switzerland, sends tons of toxic chemicals into the river Rhine, turning it red.

1990: Deputy prime minister Sir Geoffrey Howe resigns from Government over the prime minister’s policies towards Europe.

1993: The Maastricht Treaty on European Union comes into effect.

1998: The European Court of Human Rights is instituted. On the same day, McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen wins the season ending Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka to claim his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

2007: Martina Hingis admits testing positive for cocaine during Wimbledon, maintains her innocence but retires from tennis.

2008: Death of Jimmy Carl Black, former drummer with The Mothers Of Invention. Also, five-octave soprano Yma Sumac dies aged 85.

2009: Mercedes driver Jenson Button finishes third in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit to win the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

2012: Two Iranian fighter jets fire on a US drone in international air space.

2017: British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigns over accusations of sexual harrassment.

2018: Google employees stage a mass walkout in protest at the company’s handling of sexual harassment

BIRTHDAYS: Gary Player, golfer, 86; Lyle Lovett, country singer, 64; Anthony Kiedis, singer (The Red Hot Chilli Peppers) 59; Mags Furuholmen, keyboards (A-Ha) 59; Sharron Davies, swimmer/broadcaster, 59; Mark Hughes, football manager, 58; Rick Allen, drummer (Def Leppard) 58; Jeremy Hunt, MP, 55; Jenny McCarthy, US television personality, 49; Paul Dickov, footballer, 49; Toni Collette, actress, 49; Rachel Yankey, footballer, 42; Joe Donovan, drummer (Blossoms) 29; James Ward-Prowse, footballer, 27.