- It happened today – this day in history – October 17 - 17/10/2021
- It happened today – this day in history – October 16 - 16/10/2021
- Tributes flood in after death of Sir David Amess MP - 15/10/2021
1493: Christopher Columbus embarks on his second expedition to the New World.
1529: Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his Ottoman troops arrive in Vienna.
1541: Death of Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus aged 47.
1625: The Dutch attack San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1657: The first autopsy and coroner’s jury verdict is recorded in Maryland.
1683: Louis XIV expels all Jews from French possessions in America.
1688: France declares war on Germany.
1776: The oldest of the classic horse races, the St Leger, is first run at Doncaster.
1848: Branwell Bronte, brother of the Bronte sisters, dies aged 31. He was the inspiration for the violent drunk, Hindley Earnshaw, in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
1852: The first hydrogen-filled airship, powered by a 3hp steam engine built by Henri Giffard, made its maiden flight at Versailles.
1853: The Northern Daily Times becomes the first provincial newspaper in England.
1877: The Battle of Shiroyama, a decisive victory for the Imperial Japanese Army over the Satsuma Rebellion.
1885: Five German warships depart for Zanzibar.
1906: Prince George of Greece resigns as High Commissioner of Crete.
1930: Private Lives by Noel Coward premieres at the New Phoenix Theatre, London.
1940: The Luftwaffe bombs the Spitfire factory in Southampton.
1943: Soviet forces reconquer Smolensk from the Nazis.
1948: Mildred Gillars (Axis Sally), an American broadcaster employed by the Third Reich to proliferate propaganda during the Second World War, pleads not guilty to eight charges of treason in Washington, D.C. On the same day, the Honda Motor Company is founded in Japan.
1950: Operation Magic Carpet concludes after transporting 45,000 Jews from Yemen to Israel.
1952: Fast food restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken opens its first franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1953: Rocky Marciano TKOs home town favourite Roland LaStarza in Round 11 at New York City’s Polo Grounds to retain his world heavyweight boxing title.
1955: US President Dwight D Eisenhower suffers a heart attack while on vacation in Denver.
1957: Camp Nou, the largest football stadium in Europe, opens in Barcelona, Spain.
1960: The USS Enterprise, the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier is launched.
1966: Jimi Hendrix arrives in London with manager Chas Chandler on a flight from New York City with only the clothes on his back.
1967: The Beatles film ‘Your Mother Should Know’, the finale of their Magical Mystery Tour at West Malling Air Station, Maidstone, with 160 members of the Peggy Spencer ballroom dancing team.
1969: Ton Duc Thang is elected president of North Vietnam.
1971: 90 Russian diplomats are expelled from Britain for spying.
1973: Guinea-Bissau declares independence from Portugal.
1975: Dougal Haston and Doug Scott become the first Britons to reach the summit of Mt Everest.
1976: The Rhodesian Government agrees to introduce black majority rule to the country within two years. On the same day, Broadway’s longest-running musical revue Oh! Calcutta! opens. Also, kidnap victim newspaper heiress Patti Hearst is sentenced to seven years for her part in a 1974 bank robbery.
1978: The Netherlands wins the World Ladies Hockey Championship.
1980: Iraqi planes bomb Iran’s Kharg Island crude oil export terminal as hostilities increase.
1982: US, Italian and French peacekeeping troops begin arriving in Lebanon.
1988: Ben Johnson of Canada wins the 100m at the Seoul Olympics. But all is not as it seems…
1989: Singles chart:
- Ride On Time – Black Box
- Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx
- Pump Up The Jam – Technotronic ft Felly
- If Only I Could – Sidney Youngblood
- The Best – Tina Turner
- Drama – Erasure
- Cherish – Madonna
- The Time Warp – Damian
- You Keep It All In – The Beautiful South
- Sowing The Seeds Of Love – Tears For Fears
- Foreign Affair – Tina Turner
- We Too Are One – Eurythmics
- Cuts Both Ways – Gloria Estefan
- Rhythm Nation 1814 – Janet Jackson
- Pump – Aerosmith
- Steel Wheels – The Rolling Stones
- Ten Good Reasons – Jason Donovan
- Repeat Offender – Richard Marx
- Like A Prayer – Madonna
- A New Flame – Simply Red
1990: East Germany leaves the Warsaw Pact. On the same day, Iraq invades the French and Dutch missions in Kuwait.
1991: Death of children’s author Dr Seuss (Theodor Geisel) aged 87. On the same day, Ian Wright signs for Arsenal from Crystal Palace for a club record £2.5million.
1992: David Mellor resigns as heritage minister following the disclosure in July of his affair with actress Antonia de Sancha.
1993: Norodom Sihanouk is reinstalled as King of Cambodia.
1994: The National League for Democracy is formed by Aung San Suu Kyi and others fight against dictatorship in Myanmar.
1995: The Charlatans are arrested by 24-armed police after a flight to New York accused of trying to disrupt the plane’s flight path, being drunk, spitting and interfering with in-flight TV sets.
1997: Barry Loukaitis is convicted of shooting and killing two pupils and a teacher at a school in Washington. His defence team claimed he had copied scenes from Pearl Jam’s video of their 1991 hit ‘Jeremy’.
2002: Singer-songwriter Tim Rose dies aged 62.
2006: Europe, captained by Ian Woosnam, wins the Ryder Cup in Ireland.
2015: A stampede of people during the Hajj kills 717 people during the symbolic stoning of the devil at Mina, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia. On the same day, Pope Francis becomes the first pope to address the US Congress.
2016: Death of accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco (Stantley Dural Jr) aged 68.
2017: NFL players kneel, lock arms or stay in their dressing room during the US anthem in protests against comments made by President Donald Trump.
2018: Real Madrid’s Luka Modric is named world’s best male player at the FIFA Awards in London.
2019: The UK Supreme Court rules the suspension of Parliament for five weeks by the Conservative government was unlawful. On the same day, US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, announces a formal impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump. Also, protests are staged outside the Indonesian parliament over proposed new laws banning sex before marriage, abortion and insulting the president.
BIRTHDAYS: Jerry Donahue, guitarist, 75; John O’Hare, footballer, 75; Phil Boersma, footballer, 72; Harriet Walter, actress, 71; Emilio Castillo, saxophonist/songwriter (Tower of Popwer), 71; Martin Sixsmith, author/TV presenter, 67; Helen Lederer, actress and writer, 67; Kevin Sorbo, actor, 63; Theo Paphitis, entrepreneur (Dragons’ Den), 62; Jack Dee, comedian and actor, 59; Ally McCoist, broadcaster and former footballer, 59; Mike Phelan, football coach, 59; Clown (Shawn Crahan) percussionist (Slipknot) 52; Peter Salisbury, drummer (The Verve) 50; Victoria Pendleton, former track cyclist, 41; Anna Calvi, singer-songwriter, 41; John Arne Riise, former footballer, 41; Frank Nouble, footballer, 30.