On This Day

In this section, we remember significant achievements and moments from Black and Asian history

22 July 1965 - The Arrival of D'Olivera

22nd July 1965 Basil D'Olivera begins his first full season for Essex. He made 106 - followed by 163 out of 289 on a "raging turner" in the return fixture a week later at Brentwood. The doubters were disappearing. He scored 1,691 runs that summer, and Worcestershire retained the Championship.


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21 July 2009 - Latest Immigration Controls

The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 receives Royal Assent. This act amended the rules so people from outside the European Economic Area had to have residential status for eight years before being eligible for naturalisation. Those seeking naturalisation through wedlock had to be married for five years first. 

20 July 2001 - Mini Riot in Brixton

Violence erupts after peaceful protest against fatal shooting of unarmed man. Two police officers in hospital last night after violence involving up to 120 rioters in Brixton, south London. In bursts of aggression, mainly by youths, shop windows were smashed and vehicles vandalised. Hours earlier, a similar number of people had gathered outside Brixton police station in an initially peaceful afternoon protest against the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed man, Derek Bennett.

19 July 1978 - Virk Brothers Sentenced

The Virk Brothers are sentenced to between 2 -7  years after the Judge dimisses their claims that they were defending themselves in 1977 when 5 white men attacked them whilst they were working on their cars. Their case was raised in the House of Lords and their sentences were later reduced.  

18 July 2005 - The Wright Stuff

23 year old Shaun Wright-Phillips completes a £21 million move to Premier League champions Chelsea, returning to his native London. Wright Phillips is the son of All Time Record Arsenal Goalscorer - Ian Wright.

17 Juy 1989 -Gifford Report Published

The Gifford Report** , commissioned in 1986 by the Government to look into patterns of Racisim and Discrimination in Liverpool after the 1985 Toxeth Riots, is published.Lord Gifford states: 

" We concluded from the many witnesses, black and white,that there is a wholly unacceptable level of racist languageand racist behaviour by officers, including officers of rank, in the Merseyside Force."


** Gifford T, Brown W and Bundey R (1989) Loosen the shackles: first report of the Liverpool 8 Inquiry into Race Relations in Liverpool. Liverpool: Karia Press.

16 July 1966 -Colour Bar Lifted At Euston Station

Train staff at Euston end  'colour bar'. A West Indian, Asquith Xavier(pictured) after being  refused a  job transfer for a Guard Job at Euston Station, which was incredibly endorsed by his own Union, refused to take no for an answer.He  led a high profile campaign to change this and after a Government ordered probe, Euston station  overturned a ban on black workers. It led to serious death threats and intimidation against Mr.Xavier.

15 July 1989- Football Ace, Cunningham is Killed

Football superstar Laurie Cunningham formerly of WBA,  Real Madrid ,Man Utd and 6  times for England, is tragically killed in a car crash in the outskirts of Madrid at the age of just 33. 

14 July 1932 - Death of First Black London Mayor

John Archer, British politician and political activist,elected Mayor of Battersea in 1913, becoming the first black mayor in London, dies just before his 60th Birthday  

13 July 1985 - Band Aid Across The World

Black and Asian communities join the world  via Live Concerts held in London and New York and other cities across the world to raise funds for the Ethopian famine crisis. This was a first of its kind and caused controversy and awe in equal measure. The event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people).On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as Australia and Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast


12 July 1969- Baldwins Nigger is Produced

Horace Ové produces a documentary called Baldwin's Nigger about the visit of author James Baldwin to England. Based in London since the 1960s, Ové had photographed the emergence of black politics in Britain, taking pictures of Stokely Carmichael and Michael X at the UK's first Black Power meeting.

11 July 1966 - A Star Is Born

Birthday of Nadeem Aslam FRSL(born 11 July 1966 in Gujranwala, Pakistan). A a prize-winning British Pakistani novelist. His debut novel, Season of the Rainbirds, won the Betty Trask and the Author's Club First Novel Award. His critically acclaimed second novel Maps for Lost Lovers won Encore Award and Kiriyama Prize; it was shortlisted for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, among others. Colm Toibin described him as "one of the most exciting and serious British novelists writing now'.

10 July 1981-Riots Across England

England suffered serious riots across many major cities. They were perceived as race riots between communities, in all cases the main motives for the riots were related to racial tension and city deprivation. The riots were caused by a distrust of the police and authority. The four main riots that occurred were the Brixton riot in London, the Handsworth riots in Birmingham, the Chapeltown riot in Leeds and the Toxteth riots in Liverpool. Riots also breakout in Moss Side, Reading, Wolverhampton, Preston, Hull and Ellesmore Port as diverse communities vent their frustration over Government Policies.

9 July 1903 -Death of A Knight

Death of Sir Samuel Lewis KCMG , a Sierra Leonean mayor of Freetown and lawyer. Lewis was the first West African ever knighted and was buried in West London. His obituary appeared in The Times 10 July 1903, p 8. 

8 July 1996 - Paranoid Schizophrenic School Attack

Horrett Campbell, 33  attacks three children and four women with a machete at an infant school teddy bears' picnic. Mr.Campbell who was a  paranoid schizophrenic was  found guilty of seven counts of attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in December 1996 for the attack at St Luke's infants school, in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton.

7 July 2005 - Bombings In London

London is rocked by Terrorism. The 7 July 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London, which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour. 


On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four British Islamist men detonated four bombs—three in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus inTavistock Square. As well as the four bombers, 52 civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks, the United Kingdom's worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing as well as the country's first ever suicide attack. 


The explosions were caused by homemade organic peroxide-based devices packed into backpacks. The bombings were followed two weeks later by a series of attempted attacks which failed to cause injury or damage. 


The 7 July attacks occurred the day after London had won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, which had highlighted the city's multicultural reputation.


The Black & Asian people among the victims were - Anthony Fatayi Williams,Shahara Islam,Neetu Jain,Shyanuja Parathasangary,Sam Ly,Gladys Wundowa,Arthur Fredrick,Ojara Ikeagwu,Atique Sharifi,Ihab Slimane and Christian Small

6 July 1968 - First Amongst Equals

 UK no.1 is Baby Come Back by the Equals for 3 weeks. In 1965, Eddy Grant formed his first band, the Equals - unique in being one of the UK's first multiracial bands to receive any recognition joining the Foundations from 1967. The track actually was a hit in the German charts, and then across Europe before being re-issued here as an A side and going to no.1. It even made it into the US Top 40.

5 July 1987 - Sunsplash Returns

The Famous Reggae Sunsplash returned to the UK after a successful debut at Crystal Palace in 1984(pictured).In 1984 Reggae Sunsplash expanded overseas with a one-day festival staged at the Crystal Palace in London, England, which drew 25,000 and a 1987 performance in Clapham Common Park in London which attracted nearly 300,000 fans.

4 July 1938-Marcus Garvey's London Magazine is launched.

 "The Black Man: A Monthly Magazine of Negro Thought and Opinion." The magazine was edited by Marcus Garvey, founder and president-general of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.), of London, England, and these issues feature transcripts of speeches that were given by Mr. Garvey at Bethel Church, Halifax, and Menelik Hall, Sydney. These speeches outlined  the work that has been completed by the U.N.I.A. It published over 4 Volumes between 1933 and 1938  

3 July - End Hostile Environment Says MPs

3 July 2018 - The “appalling treatment” of thousands of Windrush victims shows that the Home Office has become a callous and hostile institution in need of “root and branch reform”, a damning report from the home affairs select committee has found.

The introduction of a barrage of hostile environment policies at the same time as legal aid was removed for immigration cases meant the Windrush generation were unable to get help when they found themselves classified as illegal immigrants, consequently losing their jobs and homes or being denied NHS treatment and unable to travel, the report found.

With thanks to The Guardian for the above information. Photo Yuk Mok/PA 

2 July 1981 -Happy Birthday Nathan

Birthday of Nathan Levi Fontaine Ellington (born 2 July 1981) A retired English footballer who played as a striker for several clubs including former Premier League Sides -Wigan Athletic and West Bromwich Albion. He scored almost 150 goals in his career between 1988 and 2013.


1 July 1971 - Constantine Out for 69

Death of Learie Nicholas Constantine, Baron Constantine, Kt. (21 September 1901 – 1 July 1971)  A West Indian cricketer, lawyer and politician who served as Trinidad's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and became the UK's first black peer. He played 18 Test matches before the Second World War and took the West Indies' first wicket in Test cricket. An advocate against racial discrimination, in later life he was influential in the passing of the Race Relations Act in Britain. He was knighted in 1962 and made a life peer in 1969.

30th June 1917- Death of the Grand Old Man of India

Death of Dadabhai Naoroji "The Grand old Man of India" as he was known and the first minority ethnic MP, elected in 1892. He was elected  to represent Finsbury Park on behalf of the Liberal Party. Born in Mumbai and an accomplished professor of mathematics and natural philosophy, he never forgot his roots and campaigned about the terrible conditions in India. He gave his support to the Irish independence movement as well the Pan-African Conference held in London in 1900. In later life he dedicated himself to writing books, such as Poverty and Un-British Rule in India. 

29th June 1966- Akinwade Wins A World Boxing Title

Jeremy Williams comes in as a late replacement for Alexander Zolkin and is levelled by Britains Henry Akinwande, who wins the WBO Heavyweight title.The Title had been vacated by Riddick Bowe, a fight which Akinwande was to win via a 3rd round stoppage. Akinwande went on to defend the belt twice, with victories over Russian Alexander Zolkin by TKO and a decision over fellow Briton Scott Welch, who had won the WBO Intercontinental Title with a stoppage over the 46-year-old Joe Bugner. 

28 June 1948 - Dick Turpin Stands And Delivers

Dick Turpin out-fights Champion Vince Hawkins in front of 40,000 people at Villa Park, England  to become Britains first ever Black Boxing Champion. The fight took place in pouring rain, with both boxers slipping on the drenched canvas. The significance of Turpin simply competing for a British title was made evident by the BBC's decision to cover the fight on radio. The Birmingham Gazette described the event as the "Midlands' biggest boxing attraction for many years", and his achievement was even mentioned in the African-American press. 

27th June -Help Us Make History

Can you help us fill in for day with YOUR famous or noteworthy event in UK Black or Asian History 1900 to 2018 that took place on today's. date ? Send your nomination  to info@ourheritage.tv    

26th June 1959- Call To Boycott South African Goods

The Committee of African Organisations (CAO) held a meeting at Holbourne Hall in London, calling for the British public to boycott South African products, especially fruit, which was widely available in towns and cities throughout the UK. See www.ourheritage.tv/timeline for further information 

25 June 1999 -Hussain Makes History In England Captain Appointment

Essex Cricketer, Nasser Hussain(left in picture) is appointed England Cricket Captain.The first time an Indian born Cricketer is appointed to the Captaincy. See www.ourheritage.tv/halloffame for biography. 

24th June 1989 -Race Rioting Comes To Yorkshire

Race rioting breaks out in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, following a protest in the town against the Islamic community by members of the far right British National Party, formed 7 years ago as a splinter from the National Front.See www.ourheritage.tv for further information 

23rd June 1944- Fiji Solider Takes Own Life To Save Platoon

A wounded in battle Solider, Corporal Sefanaia Sukanaivalu, crawls forward and rescues two fallen colleagues from enemy fire.On return he was injured by enemy fire but to discourage his brave colleagues from risking their lives to save him, he ends it himself. See ww.ourheritage.tv/timeline for full details. 

22 June 1948 - HM Windrush Lands Historic Voyage In Britain.

The merchant vessel Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks carrying 492 workers from the Caribbean. They had come to Britain to assist with post-war reconstruction.The photo shows some of the492 Jamaicans who arrived here from Kingston (Jamaica) and were preparing to disembark from the transport Empire Windrush. From there, they will travel to London under the care of the Colonial Office. They sailed for Britain when they could not find work in their homeland. Fifty two of them will volunteer for the Services, over two hundred have friends who can give them prospects of employment, and most of the remainder are to seek work in Britain after interviews with the Ministry of Labour. Among the party were a number of boxers, with their manager. See www.ourheritage.tv/timeline for more information. 

21st June 2003- World Champion Lewis Quits Boxing

Lennox Lewis retires after he defends his title as he defeats Vitali Klitschko by technical knockout in Round 6 due to a cut in Klitschko's left eye.Klitschko was up on all of the scorecards at the time of the stoppage.There is talk of a rematch, but Lewis instead retires. 

20th June 1981- Youths Riot In Peckham

Over 500 youths involved in rioting in Peckham as riotus disorder breakout in some areas of the country. Again accusations of unfair treatment by the police is put forward as a key reason 

19th June 2002 -Bombay Comes To The West End

Bombay Dreams opens at the Apollo Victoria, London. A Bollywood-themed musical, with music by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Don Black and the book by Meera Syal and Thomas Meehan, and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The London production opened in 2002 and ran for two years. The musical also was produced on Broadway in 2004. The story centres around Akaash, a young man from the slums of Bombay who dreams of becoming the next big star in Bollywood. 

18th June 1976 -Asian SchoolBoy Murdered In Racist Attack

18 year old school boy Gurdip Singh Chaggar is brutally murdered by racists in Southall which leads to extensive civil action by groups in Southall. The target of their anger is the National Front and the local council and police which they see as indifferent to the growing threat of the Racist Party. To this day, no one has been tried and convicted for this murder. 

17th June 1911-Indian Women Lead in Suffragette March

60,000 Women  march in London demanding equal rights for Women including the right to vote.The Indian delegation recruited among Indian women resident in Britain as well as visitors from India, including the Maharani and Gaekwar of Baroda. The Indian representation in the procession was comparatively modest, yet it had an impact insofar as the group received wider comment by officials and in the press. 

16th June 1964 -Historic Drama On The BBC

On BBC1: The Colony, filmed on location in Birmingham becomes  the first TV documentary to give a voice to working class Caribbean settlers. Participants included a railway man from St Kitts, a bus conductor from Jamaica, a family of singers from Trinidad and a nurse from Barbados.

15th June 1944 -HOWZAT as Cricketer Stumps Hotel In Court

Learie Constantine, a black Trinidadian professional cricketer, starts a successful landmark case against Imperial Hotels Ltd who had cancelled his hotel reservation. . Mr Constantine sued for breach of contract years before this practice of denying access to goods and services was outlawed by legislation. For full details see www.ourheritage.tv/timeline

14th June 1958 -Its All Black & White On The Night

The Controversial Black & White Ministrel show is launched as a Light Entertainment Series on the BBC. The show involved White Male Performing in Blackface ie Black Polished faces to become Black Singers.   

13th June 1980- Happy Birthday Vassell

Birthday of retired footballer, Darius Martin Clarke Vassell who played for  Aston Villa, Manchester City, Ankaragücü and Leicester City. He won 22 England Caps and scored 6 goals. See www.ourheirtage.tv/heroes for Biography 

12th June 1986 - A Webbe First For Welsh Rugby

Glen Webbe becomes the first black player to represent the Welsh national rugby union team when he makes his debut versus Tonga. See www.ourheirtage.tv/heroes for Biography 

24 July 1996 - Crimilisation of Illegal Employment

 The Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 received Royal Assent which made it become a criminal offence to employ anyone unless they had permission to live and work in the UK