It happened today – this day in history – October 19

202BC: Hannibal Barca and the Carthaginian army are defeated by Roman legions under Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama, ending the Second Punic War.

1216: King John dies aged 49 at Newark-on-Trent and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.

1512: Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology.

1739: England declares war on Spain.

1745: Author and satirist Jonathan Swift dies aged 77.

1781: British forces under General Charles Cornwallis sign terms of surrender to George Washington and Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown, ending the US Revolutionary War.

1812: Napoleon’s forces begin their retreat from Moscow.

1845: Richard Wagner’s opera “Tannhäuser” premieres in Dresden.

1870: The British steamship SS Cambria is wrecked off the north-west of Ireland with the loss of 178 lives.

1901: Edward Elgar’s “Pomp & Circumstance March” premieres in Liverpool.

1915: Russia and Italy declare war on Bulgaria.

1921: Portuguese Prime Minister António Granjo and other politicians are murdered in a coup.

1926: The Russian Politburo throws out Leon Trotsky and his followers.

1937: Death of physicist Ernest Rutherford aged 66.

1944: US forces land in the Philippines.

1950: UN forces enter Pyongyang, capital of North Korea.

1953: Dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury is published.

1958: Stirling Moss wins the season ending Moroccan Grand Prix, but fellow Brit Mike Hawthorn in second place takes the World Drivers Championship from Moss by just one point becoming the first British world champion driver.

1960: France grants independence to Mauritania. On the same day, the US imposes an embargo on exports to Cuba.

1964: Tamara Press of the Soviet Union wins Olympic gold in the women’s discus in Tokyo.

1969: Matra-Ford driver Jackie Stewart finishes fourth in season ending Mexican Grand Prix to win his first F1 World Drivers Championship.

1971: A group of Northern Ireland MPs begin a 48-hour hunger strike against the British government’s policy of Internment.

1973: Saudi Arabia, Libya, and other Arab states proclaim an embargo on oil exports to the United States.


1977: The body of kidnapped German businessman Hanns-Martin Schleyer is found in the boot of a car in France.

1980: Singles chart:

  1. Woman In Love – Barbra Streisand
  2. D.I.S.C.O. -Ottawan
  3. Don;t Stand So Close To Me – The Police
  4. What You’re Proposing – Status Quo
  5. Baggy Trousers – Madness
  6. When You Ask About Love – Matchbox
  7. If You’re Looking For A Way Out – Odyssey
  8. Et Les Ouiseux Chantaient (And The Birds Were Singing) – Sweet People
  9. Gotta Pull Myself Together – The Nolans
  10. Love X Love – George Benson
1980: Madness – Absolutely

Album chart:

  1. Zenyatta Mondatta – The Police
  2. The River – Bruce Springsteen
  3. Guilty – Barbra Streisand
  4. Just Supposin’ – Status Quo
  5. Absolutely – Madness
  6. The Love Album – Various Artists
  7. Never For Ever – Kate Bush
  8. Chinatown – Thin Lizzy
  9. Manilow Magic – Barry Manilow
  10. Scary Monsters And Super Creeps – David Bowie

1982: Car manufacturer John DeLorean is arrested on cocaine charges.

1983: Maurice Bishop, premier of Grenada, is murdered in a coup.

1986: The USSR expels five US diplomats.

1987: The stock market bottoms out after shares on Wall Street plummet following a wave of panic selling. On the same day, US warships destroy two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf. Also, cellist Jacqueline du Pre dies aged 42 from multiple sclerosis.

1988: The government bans broadcast interviews with members of the IRA. Media outlets get around the ban by dubbing actors’ voices over the pictures.

1989: The Guildford Four, jailed for the IRA bombings in 1975 are released after the Court of Appeal quashes their convictions.

1993: The UN authorizes an arms, military and police supply embargo against Haiti.

1995: Jazz trumpeter Don Cherry dies of liver failure aged 58.

1997: Original Alice Cooper band guitarist Glen Buxton, co-writer of the hits School’s Out and Elected dies from pneumonia, aged 49.

2000: A judge ruled that Robbie Williams had substantially copied lyrics on his song Jesus In A Camper Van from the 1961 Woody Guthrie song I Am The Way and also used parts of a parody by Loudon Wainwright III.

2003: Mother Teresa of Calcutta is beatified by Pope John Paul II.

2004: Aid worker Margaret Hassan, is kidnapped on her way to work in Iraq. On the same day, Myanmar prime minister Khin Nyunt is ousted and placed under house arrest by the SPDC on charges of corruption. Also, singer-songwriter Elliot Smith dies aged 34 from two self inflicted stab wounds to the chest.

2005: Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

2007: Guitarist Johnny Marr is made a visiting professor of music at the University of Salford.

2012: Singer Justin Timberlake and actress Jessica Biel marry in Italy.

2014: Raphael Ravenscroft who played the sax riff on the Gerry Rafferty hit Baker Street dies aged 60 of a suspected heart attack. He was paid the princely sum of £27.50 for the session and the cheque bounced. On the same day, actress Lynda Bellingham dies from colon cancer aged 66.

2015: Scientists from the University of California find evidence life on earth may have begun 4.1 billion years ago, 300 million years earlier than previously thought.

2017: The New Zealand Labour Party forms a coalition government led by 37-year old Jacinda Ardern.

BIRTHDAYS: Michael Gambon, actor, 81; George McCrae, singer, 77; Jeannie C. Riley (Jeanne Carolyn Stephenson) country singer, 76; John Lithgow, actor, 76; Keith Reid, lyricist (Procol Harum) 75; Sir Philip Pullman, novelist, 75; Pat Simmons, guitarist/singer (The Doobie Brothers) 73; Sam Allardyce, football manager, 67; Karl Wallinger, singer-songwriter/musician (World Party/The Waterboys) 64; Daniel Woodgate, drummer (Madness) 61; Jennifer Holliday, singer/actress, 61; Evander Holyfield, boxer, 59; Jon Favreau, actor/director/screenwriter, 55; Sinitta (Malone), singer, 55; Kacey Ainsworth, actress, 53; Trey (Randolph Severn) Parker, animator/actor/writer, 52; John Edward (McGee), TV psychic, 52; Rebecca Ferguson (Sundström), actress, 38.