- 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
551BC: Birth of Confucius.
48BC: Pompey the Great is assassinated on the orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt.
935: Saint Wenceslas is murdered by his brother, Boleslaus I of Bohemia.
1066: William the Conqueror invades England, landing at Pevensey Bay, Sussex.
1106: Henry I beats his brother Robert at the Battle of Tinchebrai.
1542: Explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovers California, names it San Miguel and claims it for Spain.
1621: Sigismund III of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth defeats an invading Ottoman Imperial army at the Battle of Chocim Dniester.
1687: Venetians take Athens from the Turks.
1760: The Russian & Austrian army occupies Berlin.
1781: 9,000 American and 7,000 French troops begin the siege of Yorktown.
1785: Napoleon Bonaparte aged 16, graduates from the elite École Militaire in Paris 42nd in a class of 51.
1850: The US Navy abolishes flogging as a punishment.
1867: Toronto becomes the capital of Ontario.
1887: The Yellow River or Huáng Hé floods in China, killing between 900,000 and 2 million people in one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.
1891: Writer Herman Melville dies aged 72.
1895: Bacteriologist Louis Pasteur dies aged 72.
1899: Transvaal mobilizes its army in the lead up to the Second Boer War.
1902: French writer Emile Zola dies aged 62.
1906: US troops reoccupy Cuba.
1914: German forces move into Antwerp.
1915: The British defeat the Turks in Mesopotamia at the Battle of Kut-el-Amara.
1923: Abyssinia leaves the League of Nations. On the same day, the first edition of the Radio Times is published.
1924: Two US Army planes end an around-world flight, Seattle to Seattle, with 57 stops. On the same day, General Plutarco Calles is elected president of Mexico.
1928: Juan de la Cierva makes the first helicopter flight over the English Channel. On the same day, the UK passes the Dangerous Drugs Act outlawing cannabis.
1931: 200,000 demonstrators in Peking demand a declaration of war on Japan.
1935: Stan Laurel marries second wife actress Virginia Rogers.
1942: The Luftwaffe bombs Stalingrad.
1944: Nazi forces begin killing civilians in the Italian village of Marzabotto.
1950: Indonesia becomes the 60th member of the United Nations.
1958: Guinea votes for independence from France.
1959: Explorer VI reveals an intense radiation belt around Earth.
1961: Syria withdraws from the United Arab Republic.
1964: Death of Harpo Marx aged 75.
1966: Death of French writer and poet Andre Breton aged 70.
1970: Anwar Sadat becomes acting President of Egypt when Gamal Abdel Nasser dies from a heart attack aged 52.
1971: Hungarian cardinal József Mindszenty is allowed to leave the country after claiming refuge in the US Embassy in Budapest for 15 years. On the same day, the UK passes the Misuse of Drugs Act banning the medicinal use of cannabis.
1972: Japan and China agree to re-establish diplomatic relations.
1975: The Spaghetti House siege, a five day stand-off following an attempted robbery at a Kensington restaurant in which nine people were taken hostage, begins.
1976: Muhammad Ali defeats Ken Norton in 15 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
1978: Pope John Paul I dies after 33 days as pope at 65. On the same day, Pieter Botha succeeds Vorster as premier of South Africa.
1979: Larry Holmes TKOs Earnie Shavers in round 11 for the heavyweight boxing title.
1980: Williams driver Alan Jones clinches his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by winning the Canadian Grand Prix at Île Notre-Dame circuit.
1983: A High Court judge declares the miners’ strike unlawful because a union ballot was never held.
1985: Riots break out in Brixton after a woman is accidentally shot and seriously injured during a house search.
1986: Australian actor, choreographer and dancer Robert Helpmann dies aged 77.
1988: Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka wins his only Olympic gold medal with a vault of at the Seoul Games.
1989: Death of former Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos aged 72.
1991: Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis dies of a stroke and pneumonia. On the same day, UN weapons inspectors end a five-day stand-off with Iraq.
1994: A ferry sailing from Estonia to Sweden sinks in the Baltic Sea with 950 people on board.
1995: Israeli and Palestinian leaders sign a deal that will allow a certain degree of autonomy for Palestinians in the West Bank.
1997: Singles chart:
- Something About The Way You Look – Elton John
- Stand By Me – Oasis
- Sunchyme – Dario G
- Arms Around The World – Louise
- Tubthumping – Chubawamba
- Gone ‘Til It’s Gone – Janet ft Q Tip & Joni Mitchell
- Please – U2
- Just For You – M People
- Men In Black – Will Smith
- The Drugs Don;t Work – The Verve
- Be Here Now – Oasis
- Marchin’ Already – Ocean Colour Scene
- Maverick A Strike – Finlay Quaye
- Homogenic – Bjork
- White On Blonde – Texas
- Butterfly – Mariah Carey
- OK Computer – Radiohead
- The Fat Of The Land – The Prodigy
- Older – George Michael
- Static & Silence – The Sundays
2003: Death of film director Elia Kazan aged 94.
2004: Wayne Rooney makes a spectacular debut for Manchester United hitting a hat-trick in their 6-2 Champions League victory over Fenerbahçe at Old Trafford.
2008: Elon Musk’s Space X launches the first ever private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit.
2014: Europe wins the Ryder Cup for the third time in succession.
2016: Former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres dies from a stroke aged 93.
2018: A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hits just off the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, setting off a tsunami that hits the cities of Donggala and Palu, killing at least 1,649 people. On the same day, up to 50 million Facebook accounts are hacked.
2019: Elon Musk unveils the SpaceX spacecraft Starship, designed to travel to Mars and the solar system and land back on earth.
BIRTHDAYS: Brigitte Bardot, actress, 87; Rudolph Walker, actor, 82; Fiona Lewis, actress, 75; Helen Shapiro, singer, 75; Peter Egan, actor, 75; Jon Snow, TV journalist, 74; Gary Johnson, football manager, 66; Paul Jewell, football manager, 57; Janeane Garofolo, comedienne/actress, 57; Moon Unit Zappa, author/actress, 54; Mira Sorvino, actress, 54; Naomi Watts, actress, 53; Dita Von Teese (Heather Sweet) , burlesque artist, 49; Gwyneth Paltrow, actress, 49; Willy Caballero, goalkeeper, 40; St Vincent (Annie Clark), singer-songwriter/musician, 39; Melody Thornton, singer/dancer, (The Pussycat Dolls) 37; Hilary Duff, actress/singer, 34; Marin Čilić, tennis player, 33; Mark Oxley, goalkeeper, 31.