Birmingham UK in History

Historical Events

French Revolution

1791-07-14 The Priestley Riots drive Joseph Priestley, a supporter of the French Revolution, out of Birmingham, England

  • 1837-07-04 Grand Junction Railway, the world's first long-distance railway, opens between Birmingham and Liverpool

Opening of Euston Station

1837-07-20 Euston railway station opens in London as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR), the city's 1st intercity railway station

  • 1839-07-27 Chartist riots break out in Birmingham, England

Music History

1846-08-26 Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio "Elijah" premieres at the Birmingham Festival in England

Music History

1900-10-03 Edward Elgar and Cardinal Newman's oratorium "The Dream of Gerontius" premieres in Birmingham, England

  • 1940-11-19 First major German air raid on Birmingham - about 440 bombers kill 450
  • 1941-05-16 Last great German air attack on Great Britain (Birmingham)
  • 1954-05-29 British runner Diane Leather becomes first woman to run the mile in under 5 minutes; 4:59.6 at Alexander Sports Ground in Birmingham, England
  • 1974-11-21 Birmingham pub bombings: 21 civilians killed when bombs explode at two pubs in Birmingham, England (deadliest attack in England during "the Troubles")

Sports History

1978-06-01 Future England cricket captain David Gower makes his Test debut in 1st Test against Pakistan in Birmingham; England win by an innings and 57 runs

  • 1978-09-11 The last known person dies of smallpox - medical photographer Janet Parker through infection in a laboratory, in Birmingham, England
  • 1979-02-01 English international forward Trevor Francis becomes Britain’s first £1 million soccer player when he transfers from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest
  • 1984-02-01 Indian diplomat Ravindra Mhatre kidnapped and murdered by Kashmiri terrorists in Birmingham, England
  • 1985-09-09 Race riot in Birmingham, England
  • 1986-07-04 England cricket captain Mike Gatting smashes 183 not out in the drawn 3rd Test vs India at Birmingham
  • 1991-03-14 English Court of Appeal frees "Birmingham 6" who had been unjustly sentenced in August 1975 to life imprisonment
  • 1995-03-12 Ice Dance Championship at Birmingham UK won by Gritshuk & Platov (RUS)
  • 1995-03-12 Ice Pairs Championship at Birmingham won by Radka Kovarikova & Rene Novotny
  • 1995-03-12 World Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Birmingham won by Chen Lu (China)
  • 1995-03-12 World Men's Figure Skating Champions in Birmingham won by Elvis Stojko of Canada
  • 1998-05-09 43rd Eurovision Song Contest: Dana International for Israel wins singing "Diva" in Birmingham
  • 1999-05-19 Lazio of Italy win 39th European Cup Winner's Cup against Mallorca of Spain 2-1 in Birmingham
  • 2005-07-28 A tornado touches down in a residential area in south Birmingham, England, causing £4,000,000 worth of damages and injuring 39 people.
  • 2007-01-31 Suspects are arrested in Birmingham in the UK, accused of plotting the kidnap, holding and eventual beheading of a serving Muslim British soldier in Iraq
  • 2015-07-22 'Oldest' Qur'an fragments discovered in collection of Birmingham University, radiocarbon testing dates to AD568 - AD645
  • 2017-02-05 Heavy metal band Black Sabbath play their last concert in their home town Birmingham, England

Famous Birthdays

  • 1778-11-25 Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, British Christian writer, born in Birmingham (d. 1856)
  • 1783-04-29 David Cox, English painter (Treatise on landscape painting), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1856)
  • 1822-02-16 Francis Galton, British anthropologist and geneticist (eugenics), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1911)
  • 1833-08-28 Edward Burne-Jones, English Pre-Raphaelite painter and designer, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1898)
  • 1834-09-09 Joseph Henry Shorthouse, English writer (John Inglesant), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1903)
  • 1847-04-10 Charles Swinnerton Heap, English composer, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1900)

Neville ChamberlainNeville Chamberlain (1869-1940)

1869-03-18 British Prime Minister (Conservative: 1937-40), born in Birmingham, England

  • 1875-08-09 Albert William Ketèlbey, British pianist and composer (In A Monastery Garden), born in Aston, Birmingham (d. 1959)
  • 1876-01-11 Thomas Hicks, English athlete (Olympic gold marathon 1904), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1952)
  • 1881-01-17 Alfred Radcliffe-Browne, British anthropologist (Andaman Islanders), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1955)
  • 1881-08-20 Edgar Albert Guest, English-American poet and newspaperman, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1959)
  • 1883-02-15 Sax Rohmer [Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward], English author (Dr Fu Manchu novels), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1959)
  • 1886-02-06 E J "Tiger" Smith, English cricket wicket-keeper (11 Tests, 20 dismissals; Warwickshire CCC) and umpire (8 Tests 1933-38), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1979)
  • 1890-12-05 David Bomberg, English painter, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1957)
  • 1895-07-26 Jane Bunford, Britain's tallest-ever person measuring 2.41 metres (7 ft 11 in) at the time of her death, born in Bartley Green, Northfield, Birmingham (d. 1922)
  • 1895-09-26 Fay Holden, British actress (Mother-Andy Hardy films), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1973)
  • 1896-05-19 Michael Balcon, producer/father of Jill Balcon, born in Birmingham, England
  • 1896-10-15 Melville Cooper, English actor (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Father of the Bride), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1979) [1]
  • 1898-04-18 Charles Leatherland, Baron Leatherland, British journalist and Labour Party politician, born in Aston, Birmingham (d. 1992)
  • 1899-08-19 Charlie Hall, English comedic actor (Tit for Tat, A Chump at Oxford), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1959)
  • 1901-07-09 Barbara Cartland, English romance author (Camfield #69), born in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England (d. 2000)
  • 1903-01-07 Alan Napier, British actor (The Sword in the Stone, Batman), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1988)
  • 1903-11-27 Mona Washbourne, British actress (Stevie, Billie Liar, Driver's Seat), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1988)
  • 1905-03-09 Rex Warner, English poet and writer (Wild Goose Chase), born in Birmingham (d. 1986)
  • 1905-09-01 Gervase Hughes, English composer and conductor, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1984)
  • 1909-08-30 Barry Appleby, British cartoonist (The Gambols), born in Birmingham (d. 1996)
  • 1911-01-31 Eddie Byrne, British actor (Star Wars, Island of Terror), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1981)

Enoch PowellEnoch Powell (1912-1998)

1912-06-16 British Conservative MP and shadow cabinet member infamous for his "Rivers of Blood" speech, born in Birmingham, England

  • 1913-05-17 Desmond Barel Hirshfield, Lord Hirshfield, British chartered accountant, born in Birmingham (d. 1993)
  • 1914-07-20 William John Phillips, British actor (Nothing but a Man, Z-Cars), born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England (d. 1995)
  • 1916-12-02 John Bentley, British actor (African Patrol, Crossroads), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2009)
  • 1918-01-27 (Lyle) "Skitch" Henderson, British-American pianist and orchestra leader (NBC Radio; NBC Television; New York Pops), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2005)
  • 1918-08-13 Denis Smallwood, British air chief marshal, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1997)
  • 1918-11-01 Ken Miles, British-American auto racer and engineer (USAC Road Racing C'ship 1961; 24 Hours of Daytona 1966), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1966)
  • 1920-03-28 Lord Butterfield [John Butterfield], British medical researcher, clinician and administrator, born in Stechford, Birmingham (d. 2000)
  • 1920-12-08 Ronald Gulliford, English educationalist (Dean of the Faculty of Education, Birmingham University 1979-81), born in Manchester (d. 1997)
  • 1922-02-26 Margaret Leighton, British actress (The Go-Between, The Night of the Iguana), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1976)
  • 1922-07-26 Frank Price, CEO (British Waterways Board), born in Birmingham (d. 2017)
  • 1923-06-04 Elizabeth Jolley, British-born Australian writer (Palomino), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2007)

Tony HancockTony Hancock (1924-1968)

1924-05-12 English comedian and actor (Hancock's Half Hour), born in Birmingham, England

  • 1924-06-09 Anthony "Tony" Britton, British actor (Day of Jackal, Girl in my Soup), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1924-07-15 David Cox, English statistician and warden (Nuffield College, Oxford), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1926-06-01 Johnny Berry, English soccer right winger (4 caps; Manchester United, Birmingham City), born in Aldershot, England (d. 1994)
  • 1929-10-25 Roger John Tayler, British astrophysicist (author of The Origin of the Chemical Elements), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1997)
  • 1930-05-21 Stanley Wells, English scholar of Shakespeare (Shakespeare Institute U of Birmingham), born in Hull, England
  • 1931-04-19 Garfield Morgan, British actor (Odessa File, To Catch a Spy), born in Birmingham, Warwickshire (d. 2009)
  • 1931-12-11 Anne Heywood [Violet Pretty], British actress (The Fox) and "Miss Great Britain (1950), born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England
  • 1932-05-09 Gavin Lyall, British author (Conduct of Major Maxim, The Secret Servant), born in Birmingham, Warwickshire (d. 2003)
  • 1932-11-06 Ron Saunders, English soccer striker (Portsmouth) and manager (Manchester City, Aston Villa, Birmingham City), born in Birkenhead, England (d. 2019)
  • 1933-05-25 Ray Spencer, English footballer, born in Kings Norton, Birmingham (d. 2016)
  • 1933-08-06 Ron Wylie, Scottish soccer forward (Notts County, Aston Villa, Birmingham City) and manager (WBA), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 2020)
  • 1934-03-18 Roy Chapman, English footballer & manager, born in Birmingham, United Kingdom (d. 1983)
  • 1934-08-24 Kenny Baker, English actor (R2-D2 in Star Wars, Time Bandits), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2016)
  • 1936-10-06 Anna Quayle, British actress (A Hard Day's Night, Stop the World - I want to Get Off), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2019)
  • 1936-10-25 Alan Smith, English cricket wicket-keeper (6 Tests), born in Birmingham, Warwickshire
  • 1937-01-28 Ken Hill, English playwright and director, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1995)
  • 1937-04-09 Barrington J. Bayley, English sci-fi author (Collision Course), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2008)
  • 1938-10-07 Ann Haydon-Jones, British tennis player (Wimbledon 1969, French Open 1961, 66), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1939-01-06 Murray Rose, Australian Olympic swimmer (4x oly gold), born in Birmingham, United Kingdom (d. 2012)
  • 1939-05-03 Jonathan Harvey, English composer (Bhakti, Music of Stockhausen), born in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham (d. 2012)
  • 1939-11-02 Pauline Neville-Jones, English diplomat, born in Birmingham
  • 1940-06-21 Michael Ruse, British-Canadian philosopher of science (the relationship between science and religion, the creation–evolution controversy), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1940-06-25 Clint Warwick [Albert Eccles], English bassist (Moody Blues, 1964-66 - "Go Now"), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2004)
  • 1941-05-11 Graham Miles, English snooker player, born in Birmingham, England (d. 2014)
  • 1941-12-27 Mike Pinder, British keyboard player and Mellotron pioneer (Moody Blues - "Nights in White Satin"), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1942-04-27 John Shrapnel, English actor, born in Birmingham, Warwickshire
  • 1942-06-16 John Rostill, English rocker (The Shadows), born in Birmingham (d. 1973)
  • 1943-06-15 (Mervyn) "Muff" Winwood, English songwriter and bassist (Spencer Davis Group - "Gimme Some Lovin"), born in Erdington, Birmingham
  • 1943-11-01 John McEnery, English actor (Romeo and Juliet), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1944-01-27 Nick Mason, British progressive rock drummer (Pink Floyd), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1944-03-09 Trevor Burton, English guitarist and rocker (The Move), born in Aston, Birmingham
  • 1944-04-03 Barry Pritchard, British rock guitarist (Fortunes - "You've Got Your Troubles"; "Here It Comes Again"; "This Golden Ring"), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1999)
  • 1944-08-18 Carl Wayne, English singer and actor (The Move), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2004)
  • 1944-10-29 Denny Laine [Brian Hines], British rock guitarist (The Moody Blues; Wings), born in Tyseley, Birmingham, England
  • 1945-01-21 Martin Shaw, British actor (The Chief, Inspector George Gently), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1945-03-30 Johnnie Walker [Peter Dingley], British radio DJ, born in Birmingham, England
  • 1945-11-25 Bev Bevan, English drummer (Electric Light Orchestra), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1945-12-04 Michael Gerzon, British mathematician and audio pioneer (Ambisonics), born in Birmingham (d. 1996)
  • 1946-11-08 Roy Wood, British rock cellist, bassist, woodwind player, vocalist and songwriter (The Move, 1965-72; ELO, 1970-72; Wizzard; 1972-75), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1946-12-10 Ace Kefford, English bassist (The Move), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1946-12-17 Simon Bates, British disk jockey and radio presenter (BBC Radio 1, Classic FM), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1947-05-13 Pete Overend Watts, English rock bassist (Mott The Hoople - "All Young Dudes"), born in Yardley, Birmingham, England (d. 2017)
  • 1947-11-02 Dave Pegg, British folk and rock bassist and producer (Fairport Convention 1969-79 & 1985-present; Jethro Tull, 1980-85), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1948-05-05 Bill Ward, English heavy metal drummer (Black Sabbath), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1948-05-12 Steve Winwood, English singer, songwriter and musician (Spencer Davis Group - "Gimme Some Lovin'"; Traffic - "Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys"; solo - 'Higher Love"; "While You See A Chance"), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1949-07-17 (Terence) "Geezer" Butler, English rock bassist (Black Sabbath), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1949-09-09 John Curry, British figure skater (Olympic gold, World C'ship gold, European C'ship gold 1976), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1994)
  • 1950-02-22 Julie Walters, English actress (Educating Rita, Prick Up Your Ears), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1950-03-30 Dave Ball, British guitarist (Procul Harum - "A Whiter Shade Of Pale"), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2015)
  • 1950-08-02 (DAvid) "Ted" Turner, British rock guitarist and vocalist (Wishbone Ash - Argus), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1951-01-18 Bob Latchford, English footballer, born in Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • 1951-04-14 Julian Lloyd Webber, English cellist (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), born in London
  • 1955-01-19 Simon Rattle, English orchestra conductor (Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), born in Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 1955-04-02 Michael Stone, British terrorist (Ulster Defence Association), born in Harborne, Birmingham
  • 1955-04-23 Tony Miles, English chess grandmaster, born in Birmingham, England (d. 2001)
  • 1956-01-25 Andy Cox, British guitarist (Fine Young Cannibals - "She Drives Me Crazy"), born in Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • 1956-03-09 David Willetts, English Conservative Party politician, born in Birmingham, England
  • 1956-09-15 Jaki Graham, British R&B singer-songwriter ("Could It Be I'm Falling In Love"), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1958-01-26 Norman Hassan, British reggae percussionist, and trombone player (UB40 - "Red Red Wine"; "I Got You Babe"), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1958-04-15 Benjamin Zephaniah, British writer and dub poet, born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England

Famous Deaths

  • 1984-02-03 Ravindra Mhatre, Indian diplomat, murdered at 48 by Kashmiri terrorists in Birmingham, England
  • 1994-09-16 Johnny Berry, English soccer right winger (4 caps; Manchester United, Birmingham City), dies from cancer at 68
  • 1997-11-30 Ronald Gulliford, English educationalist (Dean of the Faculty of Education, Birmingham University 1979-81), dies at 76
  • 2006-12-23 Johnny Vincent, English footballer for Birmingham City and Middlesbrough (b. 1947)
  • 2019-12-07 Ron Saunders, English soccer striker (Portsmouth) and manager (Manchester City, Aston Villa, Birmingham City), dies at 87
  • 2019-12-10 Jim Smith, English soccer midfielder and manager (Birmingham City, QPR, Portsmouth, Derby County), dies at 79
  • 2020-04-14 Ron Wylie, Scottish soccer forward (Notts County, Aston Villa, Birmingham City) and manager (WBA), dies at 86