It happened today – this day in history – September 8

1157: Birth of Richard the Lionheart in Oxford.

1276: John XXI, the only Portuguese pope is elected.

1380: Moscow’s great monarch Dimitri defeats the Mongols beginning the decline of the Tatars at the Battle of Kulikovo.

1504: Michelangelo’s statue of David is unveiled in Florence.

1514: The Polish/Lithuania army defeat the Russians at the Battle of Orsha.

1545: The Earl of Hertford leads a retaliatory mission against Scotland.

1553: The city of Lichfield is founded.

1689: China and Russia sign the Treaty of Nertsjinsk.

1727: A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell, Cambs, kills 78 people, many of them children.

1761: George III marries Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

1796: The French defeat Austria at the Battle of Bassano.

1831: William IV is crowned King of Great Britain.

1841: Birth of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.

1855: French forces successfully assault the Malakoff Line during the Crimean War and British and French troops capture Sevastopol from the Russians, effectively ending the war.

1860: The excursion steamer “Lady Elgin” sinks after being rammed in a storm on Lake Michigan. 300 passengers drown.

1888: The first six Football League matches ever are played in England. On the same day, Annie Chapman becomes the second victim of Jack The Ripper in Whitechapel.

1899: The British government sends an additional 10,000 troops to Natal, South Africa.

1900: A hurricane and tidal wave strikes Galveston, Texas, killing 6,000.

1914: HMS Oceanic, sister ship of the Titanic, sinks off Scotland. On the same day, Private Thomas Highgate becomes the first British soldier to be executed for desertion during the First World War. He was pardoned posthumously in 2006.

1924: Alexandra Kollontai of Russia becomes the first female ambassador.

1926: The League of Nations Assembly votes unanimously to admit Germany.

1930: Richard Drew creates Scotch tape.

1941: The entire Jewish community of Meretsch, Lithuania, is exterminated.

1943: Italy’s capitulation is announced by General Dwight D Eisenhower.

1944: The first V2 rockets land on London and Antwerp.

1948: The British De Havilland DH108-fighter breaks the sound barrier.

1949: Death of German composer Richard Strauss aged 89.

1950: 116 miners are trapped underground at Knockshinnoch Castle colliery in Scotland.

1952: Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man & The Sea’ is published.

1957: Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina confirms his record breaking fifth Formula 1 World Drivers Championship, finishing 2nd in the season ending Italian Grand Prix at Monza. On the same day, Althea Gibson beats Louise Brough Clapp 6-3, 6-2 to win the US Women’s National Championship.

1960: American sprinter Wilma Rudolph wins her third gold medal of the Rome Olympics anchoring the US 4 x 100m relay team.

1963: Lotus driver Jim Clark wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza to clinch his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

963: The Beatles – Please Please Me

Album chart:

  1. Please Please Me – The Beatles
  2. Greatest Hits – The Shadows
  3. Meet The Searchers – The Searchers
  4. Cliff’s Hit Album – Cliff Richard
  5. West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
  6. Kenny Ball’s Golden Hits – Kenny Ball
  7. Steptoe and Son – Wilfred Bramble and Harry H Corbett
  8. Reminiscing – Buddy Holly
  9. I’ll Remember You – Frank Ifield
  10. Concert Sinatra – Frank Sinatra

1966: The Severn Bridge is officially opened by HM The Queen.

Singles chart:

  1. Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
  2. All Or Nothing – The Small Faces
  3. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
  4. They’re Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha – Napoleon XIV
  5. Too Soon To Know – Roy Orbison
  6. Distant Drums – Jim Reeves
  7. Lovers Of The World Unite – David and Jonathan
  8. Mama – Dave Berry
  9. With A Girl Like You – The Troggs
  10. Working In A Coal Mine – Lee Dorsey

1967: Uganda abolishes traditional tribal kingdoms and becomes a republic. On the same day, British Railways ceases steam traction in the north east.

1968: Arthur Ashe win the first US men’s single title of the Open era, beating Dutchman Tom Okker 14-12, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

1970: Three airliners are hijacked and blown up by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

1973: Margaret Court wins her 24th and final Grand Slam singles title, beating fellow Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley 7-6, 5-7, 6-2 in the US Open at Forest Hills.

1974: US President Gerald Ford pardons former president Richard Nixon of all federal crimes. On the same day, motorcycle daredevil Evil Knieval attempts unsuccessfully to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. He escapes with minor injuries.

1975: Guinee-Bissau declares independence from Portugal.

1977: Comedy actor Zero Mostel dies from an aortic aneurysm at 62.

1981: Comedy series ‘Only Fools and Horses’ starring David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, debuts on British television.

1991: Macedonia votes for independence from Yugoslavia.

1994: The last US, British and French troops leave West Berlin.

1998: The dissident Real IRA declares its violence is at an end.

1999: US Attorney General Janet Reno names former Senator John Danforth to head an independent investigation of the 1993 fire at the Branch Davidian church near Waco, Texas in response to revelations in the film “Waco: The Rules of Engagement”.

2003: German film maker Leni Riefenstahl dies at 101.

2009: Singer Peter Andre divorces glamour model Katie Price due to her unreasonable behaviour.

2011: Fashion designer John Galliano is found guilty of anti-semitic remarks in a Paris court and fined €6,000.

2014: Haider al-Abadi becomes Prime Minister of Iraq.

2016: Jamaican singer, songwriter and producer, Prince Buster dies in a hospital in Miami, Florida.

2017: Country singer-songwriter Don Williams dies from emphysema at 78.

BIRTHDAYS: Bernie Sanders, US politician, 79; Aimee Mann,, singer-songwriter, 60; Neko Case, singer-songwriter, 50; David Arquette, actor, 49; Martin Freeman, actor 49; Richard Hughes, drummer (Keane) 45; Pink (Alecia Moore), singer, 41; Wiz Khalifa (Cameron Jibril Thomaz), rapper, 33; Jay Weinberg, drummer (Slipknot) 30; Gaten Matarazzo, actor, 18.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]