It happened today – this day in history – September 5

1548: Death of Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII.

1638: Birth of Louis XIV in Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France.

1666: The Great Fire of London ends, leaving 13,200 houses destroyed but only six dead.

1698: Russian tsar Peter the Great imposes a tax on beards.

1774: Twelve of the 13 American colonies adopt a trade embargo against Britain.

1800: Malta surrenders to the British after they blockade French troops.

1836: Sam Houston is elected President of the Republic of Texas.

1839: The First Opium War begins in China.

1847: Birth of outlaw Jesse James in Missouri.

1877: Crazy Horse (Tashunka Witko) the last great Sioux war chief dies aged 37.

1887: A gas lamp catches fire at the Theatre Royal, Exeter, killing about 200.

1900: France proclaims a protectorate over Chad.

1905: The Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt is signed, concluding the Russo-Japanese War.

1907: Edward VII meets Russia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Izvolski in an attempt to strengthen Russia’s relationship with Britain.

1914: US President Woodrow Wilson orders the US Navy to make its wireless stations accessible for any transatlantic communications – even to German diplomats sending coded messages – which leads to the interception of the Zimmermann telegram, helping bring the US into the war.

1915: Tsar Nicholas II assumes personal command of his nation’s military forces.

1929: French premier Aristide Briand requests a United States of Europe.

1939: US President Franklin D Roosevelt declares US neutrality at start of the Second World War in Europe as the country did in 1914. On the same day, J B M Hertzog resigns as South African Prime Minister after losing a vote in parliament on neutrality in WWII.

1942: Britain and the US bomb Le Havre and Bremen.

1944: The Allies liberate Brussels.

1946: SS Officer Amon Goth former head of Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp, is found guilty of imprisonment, torture, and extermination of individuals and groups of people, the first murder conviction at a war crimes court.

1951: Maureen Connolly wins her first Grand Slam title, beating fellow American Shirley Fry 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 to win the US National Championship.

1956: Elvis Presley buys his mother Gladys a pink Cadillac.

1957: Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista bombs an uprising in Cienfuegos. On the same day, Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ is published.

1958: The novel ‘Doctor Zhivago’ by Boris Pasternak is published.

1959: The first trunk dialling system from a public call-box is launched with a ceremonial phone call from Bristol to London.

1960: Cassius Clay wins the light heavyweight boxing gold medal at the Rome Olympics.

1962: Athletico Madrid win the European Cup Winner’s Cup against ACF Fiorentina 3-0 in a replay in Stuttgart.


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1965: The Rolling Stones record Get Off Of My Cloud at RCA studios in Hollywood.

1966: John Lennon begins filming his role as Private Gripweed in the film How I Won The War – a black comedy directed by Richard Lester – in Almería, Spain. While there he gets an idea for a new song that begins: “Living is easy with eyes closed…”

1967: Working at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, The Beatles record 16 takes of the basic backing track for the John Lennon song I Am The Walrus.

1970: Formula 1 racing driver Jochen Rindt dies aged 28 in a practice accident. He wins the World Drivers Championship posthumously.

1972: Eleven Israeli athletes are taken hostage by the Palestinian Black September group at the Munich Olympics.

1975: Two people are killed and 63 injured as an IRA bomb explodes in the lobby of the Hilton hotel in central London. On the same day, disciple of Charles Manson, Lynette “Squeaky” Froome attempts to assassinate US President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California.

1976: Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington is seriously injured in a car crash in Florida.

1977: The Red Army Faction kidnaps West German business executive Hanns Martin Schleyer.

1978: Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter begin the Egypt-Israel peace conference at the US presidential retreat at Camp David.

1980: The St Gotthard Tunnel, the World’s longest road tunnel, opens in the Swiss Alps.

1982: Singles chart:

  1. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
  2. Save A Prayer – Duran Duran
  3. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  4. Private Investigations – Dire Straits
  5. Walking On Sunshine – Rockers Revenge ft Donnie Calvin
  6. Hi Fidelity – Kids From Fame ft Valerie Landsberg
  7. What – Soft Cell
  8. All Of My Heart – ABC
  9. I Eat Cannibals – Toto Coelo
  10. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Boystown Gang
1982: Duran Duran – Rio

Album chart:

  1. Kids From Fame – The Kids From Fame
  2. Upstairs At Eric’s – Yazoo
  3. Too-Rye-Aye – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  4. Rio – Duran Duran
  5. The Lexicon Of Love – ABC
  6. Now You See Me Now You Don’t – Cliff Richard
  7. Breakout – Various Artists
  8. In The Heat Of The Nght – Imagination
  9. Love Songs – The Commodores
  10. Love And Dancing – The League Unlimited Orchestra

1986: Twenty two people die as a 16-hour siege on a Pan Am jet in Pakistan comes to a bloody end with four gunmen from the Palestinian Abu Nidal Organisation opening fire on the hostages.

1987: Ian Astbury, singer with The Cult is arrested after a show in Vancouver ends in a riot.

1988: Actor Gert Frobe (Goldfinger) dies of a heart attack aged 75.

1990: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein urges Arabs to rise against the West. On the same day, Ian Dury And The Blockheads drummer Charley Charles dies of cancer.

1991: Nelson Mandela is chosen as president of the African National Congress. On the same day, John Travolta marries actress Kelly Preston.

1997: Mother Teresa dies aged 87 from a heart attack at the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.

2005: A passenger jet crashes into a heavily-populated residential area, seconds after taking off from Medan on Sumatra, Indonesia, killing 100 people on board and 49 people on the ground.

2007: Three terrorists suspected of being members of Al-Qaeda are arrested in Germany after allegedly planning attacks on Frankfurt International airport and US military installations.

2012: Singer-songwriter Joe South, who had hits in the late 1960s and early 70s including Games People Play, Walk a Mile in My Shoes and (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden, dies aged 72 from a heart attack.

2016: An asteroid is named after Freddie Mercury to mark what would have been the singer’s 70th birthday.

2017: Hurricane Irma becomes the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin region with winds of 185mph. On the same day, Baroness Hale of Richmond, becomes the first woman President of the UK Supreme Court. Also Holger Czukay, bassist with German band Can, dies aged 79.

2018: An anonymous senior White house official opinion piece “I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration” is published by the New York Times. On the same day, Prime Minister Theresa May confirms in parliament two Russian military intelligence officers carried out the novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

2019: Erramatti Mangamma becomes the world’s oldest living mother at 74, giving birth to twins in Hyderabad, India.

BIRTHDAYS: Bob (George) Newhart, comedian/actor, 92; Dick Clement, TV writer, 84; William Devane, actor, 82; George Lazenby, actor, 82; Raquel Welch (Tejada), actress, 81; Werner Herzog, director/screenwriter/actor, 79; Al Stewart, singer-songwriter, 76; Loudon Wainwright III, singer-songwriter/actor, 75; Mel Collins, saxophonist/flautist (King Crimson) 74; Michael Keaton (Douglas), actor, 70; Roine Stolt, guitarist (The Flower Kings/Transatlantic), 65; Chris Morris, writer/actor/director, 59; Brad Wilk, drummer (Rage Against The Machine) 53; Mark Ramprakash, cricketer, 52; Dweezil Zappa, musician, 52; Rose McGowan, actress, 48; Paddy Considine, actor, 48; John Carew. footballer, 42; Kevin Simm, vocals (Liberty X/Wet Wet Wet) 41; Geovanni Pernice, dancer, 31; Patrick Bamford, footballer, 28; Bukayo Saka, footballer, 20.

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