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- It happened today – this day in history – December 1 - 01/12/2023
1493: Christopher Columbus ‘discovers’ the island of Dominica.
1534: Parliament passes the Act of Supremacy making Henry VIII and subsequent monarchs head of the Church of England.
1640: The English Long Parliament forms.
1676: Kara Mustafa succeeds Ahmed Kiprulu as Turkish grand vizier.
1752: Composer George Frideric Handel undergoes an unsuccessful eye operation.
1760: Prussia defeats Austria at the Battle of Torgau, Saxony.
1762: Britain & Spain sign the Treaty of Paris and Spain acquires Louisiana.
1783: Murderer John Austin is the last person to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows.
1793: French playwright, journalist and feminist Olympe de Gouges is guillotined.
1794: French troops conquer Maastricht.
1796: John Adams is elected second president of the US.
1867: French and Papal troops defeat Guiseppe Garibaldi at Mentana.
1868: Ulysses S Grant is elected president of the US.
1883: The US Supreme Court decides federal courts have no jurisdiction over the Native American Tribal Council.
1896: William McKinley is elected president of the US.
1899: World heavyweight boxing champion James J Jeffries beats Tom Sharkey on points in 25 rounds to retain his title.
1903: Colombia grants independence to Panama.
1905: Tsar Nicholas II of Russia signs a document of amnesty for political prisoners.
1908: William H Taft is elected president of the US.
1913: The first modern elastic brassiere is patented by New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob.
1918: The Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolves and Poland proclaims independence from Russia. On the same day, Thousands of revolutionary German sailors with the fleet at Kiel mutiny, seize the city, and set up councils of workers and sailors.
1926: Death of sharpshooter Annie Oakley (Phoebe Ann Moses) aged 66.
1928: Turkey switches from Arabic to the Roman alphabet.
1936: Franklin D Roosevelt wins a second term as president of the US.
1944: German troops in Vlissingen, The Netherlands surrender. On the same day, the pro-German government of Hungary flees. Also, the US 28th Infantry division occupies Schmidt Hurtgenwald on the Belgian/German border.
1954: Death of French artist Henri Matisse aged 84.
1956: Israeli forces capture the Gaza Strip during the Suez Crisis.
1957: The Soviet Union sends the first living creature into space aboard Sputnik II. The dog, called Laika, was said by Soviet authorities to have died painlessly after a week in orbit, but 45 years later new evidence revealed the dog died from over-heating and panic just a few hours after take-off.
1958: Elvis Presley goes on manoeuvres for the first time with the US Army’s 32nd Tank Regiment near the German/Czech border.
1961: The UN General Assembly unanimously elects U Thant as acting Secretary-General after the death of Dag Hammarskjöld in a plane crash.
1964: Lyndon B Johnson is elected president of the US almost a year after taking over following the assassination of John F Kennedy.
1967: The Battle of Dak To, one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War, begins.
1968: Lotus driver Graham Hill wins his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.
1972: Songwriters James Taylor and Carly Simon are married by a judge in Simon’s Manhattan apartment.
1974: Singles chart:
- Everything I Own – Ken Boothe
- Gonna Make You A Star – David Esssex
- Killer Queen – Queen
- All Of Me Loves All Of You – The Bay City Rollers
- Far Far Away – Slade
- (Hey There) Lonely Girl – Eddie Holman
- Down On The Beach Tonight – The Drifters
- Let’s Get Together Again – The Glitter Band
- (You’re) Having My Baby – Paul Anka
- Let’s Put It All Together – The Stylistics
- Rollin’ – The Bay City Rollers
- It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll – The Rolling Stones
- Smiler – Rod Stewart
- Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
- Just A Boy – Leo Sayer
- Band On The Run – Wings
- David Essex – David Essex
- Back Home Again – John Denver
- Can’t Get Enough – Barry White
- The Singles 1969-1973 – The Carpnters
1975: The Queen triggers the UK’s first North Sea oil pipeline at a ceremony in Scotland.
1977: During a concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley, Elton John announces his retirement from live performances.
1978: Dominica gains independence from the UK.
1985: Two French secret service agents change their pleas to guilty over the bombing of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior. On the same day, McLaren driver Alain Prost wins his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship, finishing fourth in the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.
1986: Lebanese magazine Ash Shirra reveals secret US arms sales to Iran.
1987: Gordon Gould is issued a US patent for the laser, ending a 30-year battle to be recognised as its inventor.
1992: Bill Clinton is elected president of the US.
1993: Leon Theremin, Russian-Soviet electronic musical instruments inventor, dies aged 97.
1997: Striking lorry drivers blockade French ports. On the same day, “I’m Alan Partridge” starring Steve Coogan premieres on BBC Two.
1998: Bob Kane, comic artist and co-creator of Batman, dies aged 83.
2001: Tony Ford makes his 931st Football League appearance for Rochdale in the Division 3 game against Torquay United. A record for an outfield player.
2002: Lonnie Donegan, dies aged 71 mid-way through a UK tour and shortly before he was due to perform at a memorial concert for George Harrison. On the same day, actor Jonathan Harris – famous for playing Dr Zachary Smith on the classic sci-fi series Lost On Space – dies aged 87.
2003: P Diddy runs in the New York Marathon, raising $2,000,000 for the city education system.
2007: President Pervez Musharraf, declares emergency rule across Pakistan, suspends the constitution, imposes a state of emergency and fires the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
2015: A former prison officer is jailed for 12 months after admitting selling stories about George Michael to The Sun newspaper during the star’s jail term.
2018: Actress/director Sondra Locke dies aged 74.
2019: Olivia Newton John’s black leather outfit from the film “Grease” sells for $405,700 at auction in Beverly Hills. On the same day, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finishes second in the US Grand Prix to clinch his sixth Formula 1 Drivers World Championship. Also, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil producer Saudi Aramco, the world’s most profitable company, announces plans to go public.
2020: Hurricane Eta makes landfall in Nicaragua as a Category Four storm with winds of 140 km, killing at least 235 people across Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama.
2022: Former Pakistani Prime Minister and cricketer Imran Khan survives an assassination attempt after being shot in the leg at a rally in Wazirabad. On the same day, the state of Oregon legalises the use of magic mushrooms in therapy.
BIRTHDAYS: Monica Vitti (Maria Luisa Ceciarelli) actress, 92; Roy Emerson, Australian tennis legend, 87; Brian Poole, sixties pop star, 82; Lulu (Marie Lawrie) singer, 75; Larry Holmes, boxer, 74; Dame Anna Wintour, Vogue editor, 74; Roseanne Barr, actress/comedian, 71; Kate Capshaw (Spielberg), actress, 70; Adam Ant (Stuart Goddard) singer-songwriter, 69; Dolph (Hans) Lundgren, actor, 66; Ian NcNabb, singer/guitarist (The Icicle Works) 61; Jacqui Smith, former Home Secretary, 61; Ian Wright MBE, footballer/pundit, 60; Steven Wilson, musician/producer, 56; Dylan Moran, comedian, 52; Dwight Yorke, footballer, 52; Unai Emery, football manager, 52; Ugo Ehiogu, footballer, 51; Mick Thomson (#7), guitarist (Slipknot), 50; Ben Fogle, TV presenter, 50; Courtney Barnett, singer-songwriter, 36; Kendall Jenner, model/reality TV personality, 28.