Welcome to This Day in History


This Day in History aims to bring the past to life, reliving events and famous Birthdays of days gone by. History has been made every day since the dawn of time so we have trawled through the old newspapers and archives to find those poignant moments that live long in the memory.

What was happening in the world in past years on the day you were born? Who do you share your Birthday with? We have events and Birthdays listed for every day of the year including historical events on 29 February.

Just choose your month below then all the dates are listed in order:

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Random Historical Events

Accusations of witchcraft

January 17


  • 1775 – Nine old women were burnt after being accused of being witches, they were believed to have caused bad harvests in Kalisk, Poland.
  • 1912 – English explorer and former naval officer, Robert Falcon Scott led the fateful Terra Nova expedition to reach the South Pole, only to discover that the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had reached the pole before on 14th December 1911.
  • 1929 – Popeye makes his first appearance, in the comic strip, Thimble Theatre.


  • 1706 - Benjamin Franklin - was born in Boston, US. He became one of the founding fathers of the United States of America he was also a scientist (amongst many other abilities) and developed theories and discoveries regarding electricity.
  • 1899 – Al Capone – was born in Brooklyn, New York, became a gangster and became infamous for bootlegging, smuggling and other illegal activities, from the early 1920’s, he was jailed in the then new prison called Alcatraz.
  • 1942 – Muhammad Ali - formerly known as Cassius Clay was born in Louisville, US, he became a heavyweight champion boxer, he was crowned sportsman of the century in 1999.

Spain Defeat The British

July 5


  • 1806 – A Spanish army defeats the British attempt to retake Buenos Aires in Argentina.
  • 1865 – The Salvation Army is founded by William Booth in London. It has since become an international movement working in over 100 countries.
  • 1946 – The bikini bathing suit makes its debut at a fashion show in Paris.


  • 1810 – Phineas Taylor Barnum was born in conecticut and was an American showman and businessman famous for opening the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
  • 1950 – Huey Lewis was born in New York and is a musician/songwriter. He is best known for the group Huey Lewis And The News.
  • 1996 – Dolly the Sheep was born at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. She was the first mammal to be cloned from an aduly somatic cell.