It happened today – this day in hitory – December 19

1154: Henry II is crowned King of England.

1642: Four of explorer Abel Rasman’s crew are killed at Wharewharangi Bay by Māori.

1783: William Pitt the Younger becomes the youngest ever British Prime Minister at age 24.

1842: The US recognizes the independence of Hawaii.

1843: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens is published.

1848: Novelist Emily Bronte dies of tuberculosis aged 30.

1851: Painter J M W Turner dies of cholera aged 76.

1900: General Horatio Kitchener offers protections to all Boers who will surrender. They don’t.

1907: 239 workers die in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.

1910: Rayon is first commercially produced.

1920: Constantine I is restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son Alexander I of Greece and a plebiscite.

1922: Theresa Vaughn, 24, confesses in court in Sheffield, to being married 61 times over five years.

1924: The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London.

1932: The BBC begins transmitting overseas.

1941: Adolf Hitler takes complete command of the German Army.

1946: War breaks out in Indochina as Ho Chi Minh attacks French forces in Hanoi.

1950: General Dwight D Eisenhower is named NATO commander. On the same day, the Chinese invasion of Tibet forces the Dalai Lama to flee.

1955: Carl Perkins records his song Blue Suede Shoes.

1956: At least six people in the UK die and several others are injured in road accidents in thick fog.

1957: Elvis Presley has his draft notice served on him for the US Army.

1969: Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger is fined £200 plus 50 guineas costs at Marlborough Magistrate’s Court for illegal possession of cannabis.

1971: Stanley Kubrick’s film “A Clockwork Orange”, based on the book by Anthony Burgess and starring Malcolm McDowell premieres.


Singles chart:

  1. Ernie The Fastest Milkman In The West – Benny Hill
  2. Jeepster – T Rex
  3. Coz I Luv You – Slade
  4. Theme From Shaft – Isaac Hayes
  5. No Matter How I Try – Giklbert o’Sullivan
  6. Tokoloshe Man – Jon Kongos
  7. Something Tells Me – Cilla Black
  8. Gypsies Tramp And Thieves – Cher
  9. Banks Of The Ohio – Olivia Newton John
  10. Till – Tom Jones
1971: John Lennon – Imagine

Album chart:

  1. Electric Warrior – T Rex
  2. Hot Hits 8 – Various Artists
  3. Twelve Songs Of Christmas – Jim Reeves
  4. Four Symbols – Led Zeppelin
  5. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  6. Teaser And The Firecat – Cat Stevens
  7. Elvis’ Christmas Album – Elvis Presley
  8. Imagine – John Lennon
  9. Pictures At An Exhibition – ELP
  10. A Nod’s As Good As A Wink… To A Blind Horse – The Faces

1972: Ugandan leader General Idi Amin gives British workers an ultimatum to accept reduced pay or be expelled.

1974: Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as vice president of the United States.

1975: The Red Hand Commandos, a secretive Ulster loyalist paramilitary group, explode a no-warning car bomb in Dundalk, killing two civilians and wounding 20. On the same day, Ronnie Wood joins the Rolling Stones.

1979: Elvis Presley’s personal physician, George Nichopoulos, is charged with ‘illegally and indiscriminately’ prescribing over 12,000 tablets of uppers, downers, and painkillers for the star during the 20 months preceding his death. Although acquitted, he was charged again in 1980 and again in 1992 and was stripped of his medical license in July 1995.

1981: Members of the Penlee lifeboat crew perish off the coast of Cornwall during a rescue mission in treacherous weather.

1983: The original FIFA World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, is stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro. It had previously been stolen in 1966 in England.

1984: Britain signs an agreement to hand back Hong Kong to China in 1997.

1986: The USSR frees dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile.

1991: Boris Yeltsin takes control of the Kremlin.

1993: Michael Clarke drummer with The Byrds dies of liver failure aged 47.

1997: Conservative party leader William Hague marries his fiancée Ffion Jenkins in the chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster.

2000: 10,000 Maniacs guitarist Robert Buck dies of liver failure aged 42. On the same day, songwriter, guitarist, singer and founder member of The Staple Singers, Pops (Roebuck) Staples dies aged 85. Also, Real Madrid midfielder Luis Figo wins the Ballon d’Or.

2003: Libya makes a surprise announcement that it will destroy its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. On the same day, footballer Rio Ferdinand is fined £50,000 and banned from football at both club and international level for eight months after missing a drugs test in September.

2009: Former Welsh and Lions captain Gareth Thomas is the first international rugby player to reveal he is gay.

2012: Park Geun-hye becomes South Korea’s first female president.

2013: 81 people are injured after part of the ceiling caves in at London’s Apollo Theatre.

2016: The Russian ambassador to Turkey is shot dead at an art gallery in Ankara.

2018: Drones flying over Gatwick airport cause delays and cancellations for 800 flights.

2021: Former student activist Gabriel Boric wins Chile’s Presidential election, to become the country’s youngest president at 35. On the same day, singer Carlos Marin of Il Divo dies aged 53 from COVID-19.

BIRTHDAYS: Limahl (Chris Hamill) singer (Kajagoogoo) 64; Jennifer Beals, actress, 59; Béatrice Dalle, actress, 58; Kristy (Kristen) Swanson, actress, 53; Richard Hammond, TV presenter, 53; Tyson Beckford, model/actor, 52; Alyssa Milano, actress, 50; Ricky Ponting, Australian cricketer, 48; Jake (Jacob) Gyllenhaal, actor, 42; Gary Cahill, footballer, 37; Karim Benzema, footballer, 35; Alexis Sanchez, footballer 34.