It happened today – this day in history – October 7

1492: Christopher Columbus misses Florida when he changes course.

1542: Explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovers Catalina Island off the coast of California. This would have been before the days of the wine mixer.

1571: The Holy League of southern European nations destroys the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto.

1737: A cyclone causes 40 foot waves that are believed to have killed 300,000 in Calcutta.

1806: Carbon paper is patented in London by Ralph Wedgwood.

1907: Frenchman Henri Farman wins the Grand Prix d’Aviation flying 30m in a biplane.

1915: English nurse Edith Cavell is sentenced to death along with 34 others by a German court martial for running an underground network to free Allied soldiers.

1919: First London-Amsterdam airline service. On the same day, KLM, the oldest surviving airline is founded.

1928: Ras Tafari Makonnen is crowned king of Abyssinia.

1929: Ramsey MacDonald is the first British Prime Minister to address the US Congress.

1944: Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is ordered to return to Berlin. On the same day, crematoriums are burned down in an uprising at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

1949: The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) is formed from the Russian occupation zone.

1950: US forces invade North Korea by crossing the 38th parallel.

1954: Hassan el Hodeiby, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, is arrested in Egypt.

1955: Allen Ginsberg reads his poem “Howl” for the first time at a poetry reading in San Francisco.

1958: US manned space-flight project is renamed Project Mercury.

1959: Three hundred people are rescued after being cut off by a blaze on Southend Pier. On the same day, the far side of Moon is seen for the first time, courtesy of the USSR’s Luna 3 probe.

1963: Hurricane Flora hits Haiti and the Dominican Republic, killing 7,190.

1966: Singer Johnny Kidd is killed in a car crash in Radcliffe, Manchester, aged 27.

1968: Rioting continues in Derry after the RUC put down civil rights march two days earlier.


1971: Prime Minister Edward Heath and Northern Ireland Prime Minister Brian Faulkner agree to send an additional 1,500 British Army troops to Northern Ireland.

1973: Jackie Stewart wins his third Formula 1 World Drivers Championship despite withdrawing from the season ending US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

1976: John Lennon is awarded his ‘Green Card’ – permanent residency status, at a hearing in New York which overturns previous efforts by the US Government to deport him. On the same day, Hua Guofeng succeeds Mao as chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

1977: Guitarist Steve Hackett quits Genesis.

1979: Ferrari driver Jody Scheckter retires with tyre trouble in the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, but still becomes the first South African to claim Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

1981: Hosni Mubarak becomes acting-president of Egypt following the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

1985: Palestinian militants hijack the liner Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean.

1986: The first edition of The Independent is published.

1988: The Latvian flag is raised in Riga for the first time since annexation by the USSR.

1990: Singles chart:

  1. Show Me Heaven – Maria McKee
  2. Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton
  3. I’ve Been Thinking About You – London Beat
  4. The Anniversary Waltz Part One – Status Quo
  5. So Hard – Pet Shop Boys
  6. Megamix – Technotronic
  7. I Can’t Stand It – Twenty4Seven ft Captain Hollywood
  8. Have You Seen Her – MC Hammer
  9. A Little Time – The Beautiful South
  10. Fascinating Rhythm – Bass-o-matic
1990: Betty Boo – Boomania

Album chart:

  1. In Concert – Jose Carreras/Placido Domingo/Luciano Pavarottii
  2. No Prayer For The Dying – Iron Maiden
  3. X – INXS
  4. Listen Without Prejudice Volume 1 – George Michael
  5. Soul Provider – Michael Bolton
  6. Reflection – The Shadows
  7. Sleeping With The Past – Elton John
  8. Doctor Adamski’s Musical Pharmacy – Adamski
  9. Boomania – Betty Boo
  10. Ooh Las Vegas – Deacon Blue

1996: Rupert Murdoch launches Fox News.

2000: Kevin Keegan resigns as England manager in the toilets at Wembley, saying he’s “not up to the job” after the team’s poor display against Germany.

2001: The US launches its military offensive against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

2003: Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes governor of California.

2004: King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia abdicates.

2008: Launch of streaming service Spotify.

2016: The Washington Post releases a video of Donald Trump boasting about groping and kissing women without consent. On the same day, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos wins the Nobel Peace Prize for attempts to end conflict with FARC.

2018: Jodie Whittaker debuts in her first full episode as the 13th and first female Doctor Who on BBC TV.

BIRTHDAYS: Desmond Tutu, cleric, 90; Kevin Godley, drummer/singer-songwriter/director (10cc) 76; David Hope, bassist (Kansas) 72; John Mellencamp, singer-songwriter, 70; Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, 69; Tico Torres, drummer (Bon Jovi) 68; Yo-Yo Ma, cellist, 66; Simon Cowell, record executive/TV personality, 62; Sam Brown, singer, 57; Anna Wintour, editor, 57; Toni Braxton, singer, 54; Thom Yorke, singer-songwriter/guitarist (Radiohead) 53; Leeroy Thornhill, dancer (The Prodigy) 52; Sami Hyypiä , footballer, 48; Tim Minchin, comedian/writer/composer, 46; Alesha Dixon, singer/TV personality, 43; Nathaniel Rateliff, singer-songwriter, 43; Jermain Defoe, footballer, 39; Diego Costa, footballer, 33; Lewis Capaldi, singer-songwriter, 25; Trent Alexander-Arnold, footballer, 23.