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

Declarations of War

August 4


  • 1914 – In World War I Germany declared war on Belgium, Great Britain declared war on Germany whilst the United States proclaims its neutrality.
  • 1984 – One of the all time great athletes, Carl Lewis wins gold at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in the 100m sprint.
  • 1995 – Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry joins the New York Yankees.


  • 1834 – John Venn born in Kingston upon Hull was an English mathematician, logician and philosopher.
  • 1901 – Louis Armstrong born in New Orleans, Louisiana was a famous American jazz trumpeter.
  • 1961 – Barack Obama born in Honolulu, Hawaii became the 44th President of the United States when he won the presidential election in 2008.

Elvis is drafted

March 24


  • 1603 – James VI of Scotland also becomes James I of England. Before they were individual states. He became King of Scotland at 13 months old when his mother Mary Queen of Scots abdicated in his favour.
  • 1707 – The Acts of Union 1707 is signed; this officially unites the Kingdoms of England and Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. They had shared the same crown (see above).
  • 1958 – Elvis is drafted into the U.S Army, it became a media frenzy and Elvis said ‘the Army can do whatever they want with me’.


  • 1834 – William Morris was born in Walthamstow, England. He became a designer and craftsman and is associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement. H e was also a poet and socialist.
  • 1874 – Harry Houdini was born as Erik Weisz in Budapest, Hungary. He became a magician and escape artist, his most famous escapes include being suspended strait jacket escape and the buried alive stunt.
  • 1947 – Alan Sugar also tilted Baron Sugar of Clapton was born in London. He became a multi-millionaire and manufactured the Amstrad computer, his biggest business venture to date. He also appears regularly on TV in the series The Apprentice.