It happened today – this day in history – April 7

1724: Bach’s “St John Passion” premieres in Leipzig.

1739: Highwayman Dick Turpin is executed for horse theft.

1770: Birth of poet William Wordsworth in Cockermouth, Cumbria.

1805: Premiere of Beethoven’s “Eroica”, conducted by the composer himself.

1827: Chemist John Walker invents wooden matches.

1891: Circus promoter and showman P T Barnum dies aged 80.

1896: Australian Teddy Flack wins Gold in the first Olympic 1500m final at the Olympics in Athens.

1906: Mount Vesuvius erupts and devastates Naples.

1921: Revolutionary Sun Yat-sen is elected President of China.

1923: The first brain tumour operation under local anaesthetic is performed in New York.

1926: Benito Mussolini is shot at three times by Violet Gibson in Rome. He is hit once, in the nose.

1939: Italy invades Albania.

1947: Industrialist Henry Ford dies aged 83.

1948: The World Health Organization is formed by the United Nations.

1951: Golfer Ben Hogan wins the US Masters. On the same day, only three of 36 runners finish the Grand National, which is won by John Bullock on 40/1 ride Nickel Coin.

1959: Oklahoma ends prohibition, after 51 years.

1962: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards meet Brian Jones for the first time at Ealing Jazz Club.

1963: Jack Nicklaus wins the first of his record six Green Jackets at the US Masters in Augusta, Georgia.

1966: Working at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, The Beatles continue work on Tomorrow Never Knows (Lennon sings the vocal track hanging upside down from a chair) and begin a new Paul McCartney song, Got to Get You Into My Life for the Revolver album. On the same day, The US recovers a lost H-bomb from the Mediterranean floor.

1968: Motor racing world champion Jim Clark is killed in a car crash during a Formula Two race at Hockenheim, West Germany.

1970: John Wayne wins best actor Oscar for his role as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Maggie Smith wins for best actress in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

1971: President Richard Nixon orders that Lt William Calley be released from prison and subject to house arrest.

1972: Three members of the IRA die in a premature bomb explosion in Belfast.


1976: MP John Stonehouse resigns from the Labour Party, leaving James Callaghan’s government in a minority of one. On the same day, The Chinese Politburo fires vice-premier Deng Xiaoping.

1978: US President Jimmy Carter decides to postpone production of the controversial neutron bomb.

1979: Siouxsie and the Banshees play a charity gig for MENCAP, but after crowd trouble are later faced with a £2,000 bill for damage to the venue.

1981: Former manager of The Who, Kit Lambert, dies of a cerebral haemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs at his mother’s home in London.

1983: The oldest human skeleton, aged 80,000 years, is discovered in Egypt.

1985: Wham! become the first western pop group to perform live in China, when they play at the workers gymnasium in Beijing.

Singles chart:

  1. Easy Lover – Phil Collins and Philip Bailey
  2. Welcome To The Pleasuredome – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  3. Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears
  4. Pie Jesu – Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston
  5. We Close Our Eyes – Go West
  6. That Ole Devil Called Love – Alison Moyet
  7. We Are The World – USA For Africa
  8. Move Closr – Phyllis Nelson
  9. Every Time You Go Away – Paul Young
  10. Could It Be I’m Falling In Love – David Grant and Jaki Graham
1985: Alison Moyet – Alf

Album chart:

  1. Hits 2 – Various Artists
  2. The Secret Of Association – Paul Young
  3. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
  4. Songs From The Big Chair – Tears For Fears
  5. Andrew Lloyd Webber Requiem – Placido Domingo, Sarah Brightman, Westminster Cathedral Choir and the Englih Chamber Orchestrra
  6. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
  7. Alf – Alison Moyet
  8. Dream Into Action – Howard Jones
  9. Welcome To The Pleasuredome – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  10. Bangs And Crashes – Go West

1986: Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair sells rights to his machines to Amstrad in a £5m deal.

1988: Russia announces it will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

1994: Lee Brilleaux singer, harmonica player and founding member of Dr Feelgood dies of throat cancer aged 41. On the same day, Courtney Love is arrested on drugs and theft charges after a reported overdose, unaware that her husband Kurt Cobain has been dead at their home for two days. Also, soul singer Percy Sledge pleads guilty to tax evasion after failing to report $260,000 in income earned between 1987 and 1989. He is sentenced to serve six months in a halfway house.

1998: George Michael is arrested by an undercover police officer at The Will Rogers Memorial Park in LA for committing a sex act in a public toilet.

2000: South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje is charged by Delhi police with fixing One Day International matches against India. On the same day, Heinz Burt, bass player and singer with The Tornadoes dies aged 57.

2003: US troops capture Baghdad.

2013: Veteran record producer and engineer Andy Johns dies aged 61.

2014: Peaches Geldof, daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, dies aged 25 from a heroin overdose.

2015: The original manuscript of Don McLean’s American Pie sells for $1.2m (£806,000) at a New York auction.

2017: Donald Trump orders a missile strike on a Syrian airfield after a chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

2020: Singer-songwriter John Prine dies aged 73 from COVID-19.

2022: Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi transfers power to an eight-member council to negotiate with the Houthis in attempt to end country’s seven-year civil war.

2023: Guitarist Ian Bairnson dies aged 69.

Jackie Chan (Photo: Eva Rinaldi)

BIRTHDAYS: Francis Ford Coppola, director, 85; Mick Abrahams, guitarist, (Blodwyn Pig/Jethro Tull) 81; Martin Lewis, newsreader, 79; Barry Fry, football executive, 79; John Oates, guitarist/songwriter, 75; Janis Ian (Fink), singer-songwriter, 73; Jackie Chan (Chan Kong-sang), actor/martial arts performer, 70; Grace Hightower (De Niro), actress, 69; Russell Crowe, actor, 60; Tim Peake, astronaut, 52; Kevin Alejandro, actor/director, 48; Duncan James, singer (Blue) 45; Franck Ribéry, footballer, 41; Anne-Marie (Nicholson) singer-songwriter, 33.