It happened today – this day in history – October 4

1539: Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves.

1669: Death of Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn aged 66.

1777: General George Washington’s troops attack and are defeated by the British at Germantown, Pennsylvania.

1809: Spencer Perceval becomes Prime Minister after William Cavendish Bentinck, Duke of Portland, retires due to ill health.

1824: Mexico becomes a republic.

1854: Abraham Lincoln makes his first political speech at the Illinois State Fair.

1883: The Orient Express departs on its first official journey from Paris to Istanbul.

1910: Portugal becomes a republic and King Manuel II flees to England.

1911: The first escalator installed on the London Underground at Earl’s Court Station.

1914: French & British fleet bombards Turkish forts in the Dardanelles.

1921: The League of Nations refuses to assist starving Russians.

1922: Austria gains independence.

1927: Gutzon Borglum begins sculpting Mt. Rushmore.

1933: Esquire magazine is first published.

1940: Hitler and Mussolini confer at the Brenner Pass in the Alps.

1943: Corsica is freed by the Free French.

1944: British troops land on the Greek mainland.

1953: Briton Jim Peters sets a world marathon record of 2:18:34.8 in the Turku Marathon in Finland.

1955: Rev Sun Young Moon leaves prison in Seoul.

1957: Russian satellite Sputnik is launched into space – the first man-made object ever to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.

1958: The French Fifth Republic is established.

1959: Soviet space probe Luna 3 sends back the first pictures of the dark side of the moon.


1962: Singles chart:

  1. Telstar – The Tornados
  2. She’s Not You – Elvis Presley
  3. It’ll Be Me – Cliff Richard
  4. Sheila – Tommy Roe
  5. The Loco-Motion – Little Eva
  6. It Might As Well Rain Until September – Carole King
  7. Sealed With A Kiss – Brian Hyland
  8. I Remember You – Frank Ifield
  9. You Don’t Know Me – Ray Charles
  10. Don’t That Beat All – Adam Faith

1963: The Beatles make their first appearance on the ITV show Ready Steady Go.

1965: Pope Paul VI becomes the first pope to visit the western hemisphere.

1966: Lesotho (Basutoland) gains independence from Britain.

1970: Singer Janis Joplin is found dead at the Landmark Hotel, Hollywood, after an accidental heroin overdose.

1976: British Rail begins its new 125mph High Speed Train (HST) service, the Intercity 125.

1978: Country singer Tammy Wynette is abducted, beaten and held in her car for two hours by a kidnapper wearing a ski mask.

1982: Helmut Kohl is confirmed as the new chancellor of West Germany. On the same day, The Smiths make their live debut at the Ritz in Manchester, supporting Blue Rondo A La Turk.

1983: Richard Noble driving Thrust2 reaches new land speed record of 650.88mph at Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

1989: Monty Python comic Graham Chapman, dies from cancer aged 48.

1992: An Israeli Boeing 747 cargo plane crashes in the outskirts of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, setting two blocks of flats on fire and killing dozens of people.

1994: Guitarist Danny Gatton commits suicide aged 48.

2001: A Siberian Sibir Airlines Tupolev TU-154 crashes into the Black Sea after being struck by an errant Ukrainian S-200 missile. 78 people are killed.

2006: WikiLeaks is launched, created by internet activist Julian Assange.

2009: Madonna – Celebration

2009: Album chart:

  1. Brand New Eyes – Paramore
  2. Celebration – Madonna
  3. Rebuilt By Humans – Newton Faulkner
  4. Love Is The Answer – Barbara Streisand
  5. The Resistance – Muse
  6. Tongue N’ Cheek – Dizzee Rascal
  7. Reunited – Cliff Richard and the Shadows
  8. My Way – Ian Brown
  9. The Blueprint 3 – Jay-Z
  10. We’ll Meet again: The Very Best Of – Vera Lynn

2010: Death of comedy actor Norman Wisdom aged 95.

2011: The US State Department lists the leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist with a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture.

2012: Michael Schumacher announces his retirement from motor racing at the end of the season.

2014: Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, former president of Haiti, dies of a heart attack aged 63.

2017: Prime minister Theresa May suffers a nightmare speech at the Conservative Party Conference as her voice fails, a prankster interrupts and the set collapses.

BIRTHDAYS: Anne Rice, author, 80; Susan Sarandon, actress, 75; Jim Fielder, bassist, (Blood Sweat and Tears) 74; Ann Widdecombe, politician, 74; Christoph Waltz, actor, 65; Anneka Rice, TV presenter, 63; Chris Lowe, musician (Pet Shop Boys) 62; Liev Schreiber, actor, 54; Reggie Lee, actor, 46; Alicia Silverstone, actress, 45; Richard Reed Parry, multi-instrumentalist, 44; Caitriona Balfe, actress, 42; Tomáš Rosický, footballer, 41; Ryan Shawcross, footballer, 37; Melissa Benoist, actress, 33; Dakota Johnson, actress, 32.; Stacey Soloman, singer/TV personality, 32.