- It happened today – this day in history – December 9 - 09/12/2023
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1066: The English army under Harold II defeat invading Norwegians led by King Harald Hardrada and Harold’s brother Tostig, who are both killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
1340: England and France sign a disarmament treaty.
1513: Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crosses the Panama Isthmus becoming first European to see the Pacific Ocean.
1789: US Congress proposes the Bill of Rights.
1804: The Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution, establishing the procedure for electing the President and Vice President, becomes effective.
1820: French Physicist François Arago announces electromagnetism in his discovery that a copper wire between the poles of a voltaic cell could laterally attract iron filings to itself.
1829: Failed assassination attempt on Simon Bolívar.
1846: US troops under General Zachary Taylor occupy Monterey, Mexico, during Mexican-American War.
1868: The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander Nevski is shipwrecked off Jutland while carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.
1878: British physician Dr. Charles Drysdale warns against the use of tobacco in a letter to The Times newspaper in one of the earliest public health announcements on the dangers of smoking.
1906: Composer Dmitri Shostakovich is born in St Petersburg, Russia.
1907: Premiere of Jean Sibelius’ 3rd Symphony.
1919: US President Woodrow Wilson collapses in Colorado.
1924: Malcolm Campbell sets world auto speed record at 146.16mph.
1929: Birth of comedian Ronnie Barker in Bedford.
1937: Mussolini visits Hitler in Berlin.
1939: The Luftwaffe strikes Warsaw with firebombs.
1940: The German High Commissioner in Norway sets up the Quisling government in Norway.
1950: UN forces take control of the South Korean capital Seoul.
1954: Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier wins the Haitian presidential election.
1956: Transatlantic telephone cable goes into operation from Newfoundland to Oban.
1957: On the direct orders of President Eisenhower, more than 1,000 paratroopers in full battle dress escort nine black children into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1962: Sonny Liston KO’s Floyd Patterson in round 1 at Comiskey Park, Chicago, to win the world heavyweight boxing title.
1969: John Lennon records the track Cold Turkey with Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman and Yoko Ono. He had presented it to Paul McCartney a few weeks earlier as a potential Beatles single, but was turned down so he released it as a Plastic Ono Band single with a sole writing credit just days after informing the band that he “wanted a divorce”.
1972: Norway votes to join the common market.
1973: The three-man crew of Skylab 3 make a safe splashdown in the Pacific after 59 days in space.
1974: Scientists first report that freon gases from aerosol sprays are destroying the ozone layer.
1975: Jackie Wilson has a heart attack while performing on stage at the Latin Casino, New Jersey, hitting his head heavily as he falls to the stage. He remained semi comatose for nine years until his death.
1976: Paul Hewson, David Evans, his brother Dik and friend Adam Clayton respond to an advertisement on a bulletin board at Mount Temple posted by fellow student Larry Mullen Jr. to form a rock band, which would eventually become U2.
1980: Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham dies aged 32 after a heavy drinking session at Jimmy Page’s house.
1982: Keke Rosberg becomes the first Fin to win the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship when he finishes fifth in the season-ending Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix in Las Vegas.
1983: Thirty-eight prisoners escape from The Maze prison in Northern Ireland.
- Karma Chameleon – Culture Club
- Red Red Wine – UB40
- Modern Love – David Bowie
- Tonight I Celebrate My Love – Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack
- Come Back And Stay – Paul Young
- Mama – Genesis
- Dolce Vita – Ryan Pari
- Big Apple – Kajagoogoo
- Chance – Big Country
- Ol’ Rag Blues – Status Quo
- No Parlez – Paul Young
- Labour Of Love – UB40
- The Crossing – Big Country
- The Hit Squad: Chart Tracking – Various Artists
- Unforgettable: Tribute To Nat King Cole – Johnny Mathis and Natalie Cole
- Let’s Dance – David Bowie
- Fantastic – Wham!
- Thriller – Michael Jackson
- Born Again – Black Sabbath
- True – Spandau Ballet
1988: American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner wins the women’s 100m at the Seoul Olympics.
1990: Drummer Dave Grohl auditions for Nirvana and is instantly given the job.
1992: Two fans are stabbed and 20 arrests made after trouble breaks out at an Ozzy Osbourne gig in Oklahoma City. On the same day, the US Mars Observer is launched from the Space shuttle.
1994: Oliver McCall TKO’s Lennox Lewis in Round 2 for the heavyweight boxing title.
1995: Courtney Love receives a one-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, is fined $1000 and ordered to attend an anger management course after being found guilty of assaulting Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna.
1996: Taliban fighters in Afghanistan reach the eastern suburbs of Kabul.
1997: Wing Commander Andy Green sets the speed record for a jet-powered car (714mph).
1999: Stephen Canaday of The Ozark Mountain Daredevils is killed when the vintage WW II plane he is flying in rolls and crashed into a tree.
2003: On the final day of the Hutton Inquiry into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly, the court hears closing statements bitterly criticising the Ministry of Defence and the BBC.
2005: Renault driver Fernando Alonso clinches his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship with a third place in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
2008: China launches the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.
2011: The New York Post reports that music legend Sly Stone is living in a van, parked in the notoriously rough Los Angeles neighbourhood of Crenshaw.
2012: Singer Andy Williams dies aged 84.
2015: Caitlyn Jenner officially changes her name from Bruce.
2016: Golfing legend Arnold Palmer dies aged 87.
2017: Uber’s licence to operate is not renewed by Transport for London.
2018: Comedian Bill Cosby is sentenced to 3-10 years in jail for sexual assault.
2019: Hazzaa Al Mansoori becomes first Emirati in space and the first Arab astronaut to travel to the International Space Station, travelling on Russian Soyuz-MS 15.
2020: Singapore announces it will be the first country in the world to use facial verification as part of its national identity scheme. On the same day, Ruth Bader Ginsberg becomes the first woman to lie in state in Washington DC.
2021: Footballer Len Ashurst dies aged 82.
BIRTHDAYS: Michael Douglas, actor/producer, 79; Onnie (Owen) McIntyre, guitarist (Average White Band) 78; Felicity Kendal, actress, 77; John Fiddler, musician (Medicine Head) 76; Pedro Almodovar, director/writer, 74; Mark Hamill, actor, 72; Steve Severin (Bailey), bassist (Siouxsie and the Banshees) 68; Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, German footballer, 68; Michael Madsen, actor, 65; Will Smith, actor, 65; Ronnie Whelan, footballer/manager, 62; Heather Locklear, actress, 62; Maria Doyle Kennedy, actress, 59. Jason Flemyng, actor, 57; Catherine Zeta Jones, actress, 54; Hansie Cronje, South African cricketer, 54; Declan Donnelly, TV personality, 48; Georgie Thompson, TV presenter, 46; Jodie Kidd, model/racing driver, 45; Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) rapper/DJ/actor, 40; Glen Murray, footballer, 40; Jamie O’Hara, footballer/pundit, 37; James Blake, singer-songwriter, 35; Jordan Gavaris, actor, 34.