It happened today – this day in history – November 24

1434: The River Thames freezes over.

1642: Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovers Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).

1655: Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell bans Anglicans.

1715: The River Thames freezes over (again).

1859: Charles Darwin publishes “On the Origin of Species”, radically changing the view of evolution.

1864: Birth of painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the Moulin Rouge.

1868: Birth of ragtime composer Scott Joplin.

1940: The Luftwaffe bombs Bristol city centre, killing 200 people in the first German raid on the city.

1944: US bombers based on Saipan begin the first attack on Tokyo.

1949: The British steel and iron industry is nationalised.

1951: Austin and Morris Motors merge.

1954: The first US presidential plane is christened Air Force One.

1963: Lee Harvey Oswald, in custody for the assassination of President Kennedy, is himself fatally shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby on live TV as he is being moved.

1966: The Beatles begin recording Strawberry Fields Forever at Abbey Road.

1969: Apollo 12 returns to earth. On the same day, Lt William L Calley, charged with the massacre of over 100 civilians in My Lai Vietnam in March 1968, is ordered to stand trial by court martial.

1974: Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-2 treaty to reduce each side’s number of nuclear weapons.

1979: US admits troops in Vietnam were exposed to the toxic Agent Orange.

1991: Freddie Mercury dies just one day after announcing that he has AIDS.

1993: 11 year olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables are convicted of the murder of two year-old James Bulger.

2015: Turkey shoots down a Russian fighter jet after claiming it had flown into Turkish airspace.

2017: Emmerson Mnangagwa is sworn in as President of Zimbabwe.

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Connolly, comedian/actor, 77; Bev Bevan, drummer (ELO/The Move) 74; Dwight Schultz, actor, 72; Ian Botham, former cricketer, 64; Clem Burke, drummer (Blondie) 64; John Squire, guitarist (The Stone Roses), 57; Russell Watson, singer, 53; Stephen Merchant, actor/writer/director, 45; Katherine Heigl, actress, 41.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]