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- It happened today – this day in history – December 1 - 01/12/2023
1375: The Westfriese sea wall breaks flooding northern Netherlands.
1549: The Duke of Somerset is dismissed as Lord Protector and imprisoned.
1631: The Saxon army occupies Prague.
1695: Willem III escapes South Netherlands, back to England.
1733: France declares war on Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.
1787: Amsterdam surrenders to the invading Prussian army.
1813: Birth of Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi.
1839: British troops under General Charles Napier occupy Beirut.
1846: Neptune’s moon Triton is discovered by William Lassell.
1865: John Wesley Hyatt patents the billiard ball made from cellulose nitrate (celluloid) in Albany, New York.
1868: Cuba revolts for independence from Spain.
1871: The Great Chicago Fire is finally extinguished after three days, leaving approximately 300 dead and 100,000 homeless.
1874: Fiji becomes a British possession.
1886: The first dinner jacket is worn to an autumn ball at Tuxedo Park, New York. It is christened the Tuxedo.
1892: The entire Hong Kong national cricket team dies in a shipwreck off Taiwan.
1899: Issac R. Johnson patents the bicycle frame.
1900: Foreign ministers in Peking begin their first serious negotiations over what conditions their nations will impose on the Chinese after putting down the Boxer uprising, while in Manchuria, Russia captures the major city of Mukden, part of their own plan to take over the whole province.
1902: The Gibson Mandolin guitar company is formed. On the same day, American outlaw Tom Horn’s trial for murder begins.
1903: The Women’s Social and Political Union is formed by Emmeline Pankhurst to fight for women’s rights in Britain.
1913: The British steamship SS Volturno catches fire in the Atlantic. 136 people die.
1917: Birth of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk.
1920: Italy annexes South Tirol.
1928: Chiang Kai-shek becomes Director of the State Council of China.
1933: The first synthetic detergent, “Dreft” by Procter & Gamble, goes on sale.
1935: George Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess” opens on Broadway.
1938: Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich’s first string quartet.
1941: The RAF bombs Piraeus, in Greece to prevent German heavy armour advancing.
1943: US bombers accidentally strike Enschede in The Netherlands, causing 151 deaths.
1954: Ho Chi Minh enters Hanoi after the withdrawal of French troops.
1957: President Eisenhower apologises to the finance minister of Ghana, Komla Agbeli Gbdemah, after he is refused service in a restaurant in Dover, Delaware. On the same day, a fire at the Windscale nuclear plant in Cumbria, becomes the world’s first major nuclear accident.
1959: Pan Am begins regular flights around the world.
1963: From Russia With Love, the second James Bond film, premieres in London.
1964: The Olympic Games opens in Tokyo, Japan.
1967: Brendan Behan’s “Borstal Boy” premieres in Dublin.
1969: The Northern Ireland cabinet accepts the Hunt report recommendations to disarm the RUC and abolish the Ulster Special Constabulary.
1970: Quebec separatists kidnap Canadian Labour and Immigration Minister Pierre Laporte. On the same day, Fiji gains independence from Britain. Also, the first edition of weekly music paper Sounds is published.
1971: Singles chart:
- Maggie May/Reason To Believe – Rod Stewart
- Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum – Middle of the Road
- Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me – The Tams
- You’ve Got A Friend – James Taylor
- Did You Ever – Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood
- For All We Know – Shirley Bassey
- Cousin Norman – Marmalade
- Tap Turn On The Water – CCS
- The Witch Queen Of New Orleans – Wishbone
- Freedom Come Freedom Go – The Fortunes
- Every Picture Tells A Story – Rod Stewart
- Electric Warrior – T Rex
- Top Of The Pops Volume 19 – Various Artists
- Fireball – Deep Purple
- Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
- Tapestry – Carole King
- Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon – James Taylor
- Teaser And The Firecat – Cat Stevens
- The World Of Your 100 Best Tunes Vol 23 – Various Artists
- Who’s Next – The Who
1972: Three IRA members die in a premature explosion in a house in Balkan Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.
1973: US vice president Spiro Agnew resigns after pleading no contest to tax fraud.
1974: Labour wins the general election. Harold Wilson becomes prime minister again.
1975: Film stars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor remarry in Africa only 16 months after getting divorced. On the same day, Israel formally signs the Sinai Accord with Egypt.
1976: Mao Zedong’s widow is arrested in China.
1978: Daniel Arap Moi succeeds Jomo Kenyatta as president of Kenya.
1980: Two earthquakes strike the northern Algerian city of El Asnam, killing about 3,500. On the same day, Margaret Thatcher informs the Conservative Party Conference at Brighton that “..the lady’s not for turning.”
1983: Death of actor Sir Ralph Richardson aged 80.
1985: US fighter jets force an Egyptian plane carrying the hijackers of the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro to land in Italy and the gunmen are placed in custody. On the same day, actor/director Orson Welles dies of a heart attack aged 70 and actor Yul Brynner dies from cancer aged 65.
1986: Shimon Peres resigns as Prime Minister of Israel.
1995: Israel begins to pull back from the West Bank, freeing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
1999: Thousands gather to watch the London Eye become the latest landmark on the London skyline.
2002: Former cricketer Imran Khan is elected to the Pakistani Parliament.
2004: Having already clinched his record seventh Formula 1 World Drivers Championship, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher wins a record 13th race of the season at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. On the same day, Superman actor Christopher Reeve dies from an adverse reaction to an antibiotic at 52. He had been quadriplegic since a riding accident.
2009: Boyzone singer Stephen Gately dies suddenly at the age of 33 while on holiday in Majorca. On the same day, Armenia and Turkey sign protocols in Zurich to open their borders for the first time in 200 years.
2010: Soul singer Solomon Burke dies at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport while on a plane that had just landed from Washington Dulles Airport. On the same day, operatic soprano Dame Joan Sutherland dies aged 83.
2014: Schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi win the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
2019: 3,500 women are the first to be allowed to attend a football match in Iran for a World Cup qualifier in Tehran, since the Islamic revolution 40 years earlier.
2020: Iga Świątek of Poland wins her country’s first singles major tennis title at the French Open.
BIRTHDAYS: Judith Chalmers, TV presenter, 88; Peter Coyote (Rachmil Pinchus Ben Mosha Cohon), actor, 82; Charles Dance, actor, 77; Chris Tarrant, TV presenter/broadcaster, 77; Larry Lamb, actor, 76; Midge Ure, musician/singer-songwriter, 70; David Lee Roth, singer (Van Halen) 68; Tanya Tucker, country artist, 68; Amanda Burton, actress, 67; Fiona Fullerton, actress, 67; Simon Townshend, guitarist, 63; Martin Kemp, actor/bassist (Spandau Ballet) 62; Jim Glennie, bassist (James), 60; Sarah Lancashire, actress, 59; Tony Adams, footballer, 57; Sir Matthew Pinsent, Olympic rower, 53; Una Healy, singer (The Saturdays) 42; Jack Savoretti, singer-songwriter, 40; Lizzy Hale, singer/guitarist/songwriter (Halestorm), 40; Xherdan Shaqiri, footballer, 32; Gabrielle Aplin, singer-songwriter, 31; Ryan Fredericks, footballer, 31.