It happened today – this day in history – September 29

1547: Birth of author Miguel de Cervantes.

1571: Birth of artist Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) in Milan.

1650: Henry Robinson opens the first marriage bureau in the UK.

1758: Birth of Horatio Nelson in Norfolk.

1829: The first Metropolitan Police appear on the streets of London.

1863: Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers is first produced at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris.

1885: The first practical public electric tramway in the world is opened in Blackpool.

1911: Italy declares war against Turkey.

1913: The Treaty of Constantinople between Turkey and Bulgaria restores peace. On the same day, inventor of the diesel engine, German engineer Rudolph Diesel disappears aboard the ship Dresden in the English Channel aged 55.

1916: American oil tycoon John D Rockefeller becomes the world’s first billionaire.

1918: Allied forces scored a decisive breakthrough of the Hindenburg Line.

1927: A telephone service begins between the US and Mexico.

1941: Joe Louis TKOs Lou Nova in round 6 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1943: Italy and the US sign an armistice ending hostilities.

1944: Soviet troops invade Yugoslavia.

1950: The telephone answering machine is created by Bell Laboratories in New York.

1952: John Cobb dies attempting to break the world water speed record at Loch Ness aged 52.

1955: Arthur Miller’s “View From The Bridge” premieres in New York City.

1957: An explosion at the Mayak plutonium production plant in the Soviet Union spreads radiation over 20,000 square miles.

1960: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev thumps his desk and interrupts UN speeches to show his disapproval at the way UN forces have intervened in the former Belgian Congo.

1962: President John F Kennedy authorizes the use of federal troops to integrate the University of Mississippi.

1966: Bechuanaland gains independence from Britain and becomes Botswana.

1967: Working at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, The Beatles, George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick mix the song I Am The Walrus, which includes the sound of a radio being tuned through numerous stations, coming to rest on a BBC production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear”.

1971: Chelsea record the highest score by an English club in a European competition when they beat Jeunesse Hautcharage of Luxembourg 13-0 in the European Cup Winners Cup at Stamford Bridge to complete a 21-0 aggregate victory.


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1972: Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defence, is almost thrown overboard on a ferry by an artist wanting to confront him on his role in escalating US involvement in the Vietnam war.

1973: Death of poet W H Auden.

1976: Enjoying his own birthday celebrations Jerry Lee Lewis accidentally shoots his bass player Norman Owens in the chest. Lewis had been blasting holes in an office door. Owens survives but sues his boss. On the same day, Boy George (George O’Dowd) is expelled from school.

1977: Muhammad Ali beats Earnie Shavers in 15 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.

1979: Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to visit Ireland.

1981: Death of legendary football manager Bill Shankly.

1985: Singles chart:

  1. If I Was – Midge Ure
  2. The Power Of Love – Jennifer Rush
  3. Dancing In The Street – Mick Jagger and David Bowie
  4. Lean On Me (Ah-Li-Ayo) – Red Box
  5. Part Time Lover – Stevie Wonder
  6. Angel – Madonna
  7. Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler
  8. Rebel Yell – Billy Idol
  9. Lavender – Marillion
  10. Trapped – Colonel Abrams
1985: Madonna – Like A Virgin

Album chart:

  1. Hounds Of Love – Kate Bush
  2. Like A Virgin – Madonna
  3. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  4. Now That’s What I Call Music 5 – Various Artists
  5. Misplaced Childhood – Marillion
  6. In Square Circle – Stevie Wonder
  7. Madonna – Madonna
  8. The Kenny Rogers Story – Kenny Roger
  9. Here’s To Future days – The Thompson Twins
  10. Vital Idol – Billy Idol

1986: The USSR releases American journalist Nicholas Daniloff, who was being held on spy charges.

1988: NASA successfully launches its first manned space mission since the Challenger disaster two and a half years before. On the same day, American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner sets the women’s 200m world record 21.34 to complete the sprint double at the Seoul Olympics.

1989: Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor is convicted of slapping a police officer in Beverly Hills.

1991: The US wins the Ryder Cup after Bernhard Langer misses a 6ft putt for Europe.

1996: Entertainer Leslie Crowther dies aged 63.

1997: British scientists say they have established a link between the human brain disease – vCJD – and “mad cow disease” (BSE). On the same day, artist Roy Lichtenstein dies aged 73.

1999: Manic Street Preachers get a bill for £28.000 after smashing up equipment during their set at Scotland’s T In The Park festival.

2004: A five piece drum kit custom made for Keith Moon in 1968 sells for £120,000 in London to an American collector, setting a world auction record for a set of drums.

2010: Death of actor Tony Curtis (Bernard Schwarz) aged 84.

2012: Actor Stanley Tucci marries literary agent Felicity Blunt (sister of his The Devil Wears Prada co-star, Emily) in London.

2014: Ashraf Ghani becomes President of Afghanistan.

2015: The original contract signed by The Beatles and manager Brian Epstein sells at Sotheby’s for £365,000.

2018: Blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Otis Rush dies from complications of a stroke aged 84.

2020: Singer-songwriter Helen Reddy dies age 78

BIRTHDAYS: Lance Gibbs, cricketer, 88; Jerry Lee Lewis, pianist/singer, 87; Silvio Berlusconi, Italian politician, 86; Ian McShane, actor, 80; Jean-Luc Ponty, violinist, 80; Wolfgang Overath, West German footballer, 79; Anne Briggs, folk singer, 78; Mike Post, TV theme composer, 78; Isla Blair, actress, 78; Patricia Hodge, actress, 76; John Foxx, musician, 75, Lord Sebastian Coe, former athlete, 66; Chris Broad, cricketer, 65; Mari Wilson, singer, 65; Andrew Dice Clay, comedian, 65; Mick Harvey, guitarist (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds) 64; Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister, 62; Les Claypool, musician, 59; Brett Anderson, singer (Suede) 55; Matt Goss, singer (Bros) and Luke Goss, drummer (Bros) 54; Mika Häkkinen, racing driver, 54; Erika Eleniak, actress, 53; Mackenzie Crook, actor, 51; Robert Webb, actor/comedian/writer, 50; Alfie Boe, singer, 49; Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine football manager, 46; Suzanne Shaw, singer/actress 41; Per Mertesacker, footballer, 38; Halsey (Ashley Nicolette Frangipane), singer-songwriter, 28.