On This Day

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

December 1968

11 December 1968 -Paul Reaney of Leeds United wins  his first England cap when he came on as a substitute in a match against Bulgaria. Owing to the fact that Paul Reaney never publicly  acknowledged his mixed race heritage ( unlike for example, Rio Ferdinand who also played for Leeds United, his achievement of being the first Black player to play a full international was never acknowledged and ViV Anderson  was stated as the first when he played in October 1978.  


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December 1913

10 December 1913- . Anglo-Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore becomes the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature . Gitanjali, by Rabindranath Tagore, is a collection of his poems translated from Hindustani. In 1913, Tagore was awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature because of his ‘profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse.

See Hall of Fame for biography.

With thanks also to the British Library for the above information.

December 2017

9 December 2017 - James deGale loses his  IBF super-middleweight World Title  to American Caleb Truax in a shock defeat at London's Copper Box Arena.

DeGale lost his IBF world super-middleweight title as Truax won 114-114 115-112 116-112 on the cards. The Briton was as short as 1-100 with some bookmakers as he fought for the first time since January.

December 1960

8 December 1960- A TV drama called The Dark Man stars Earl Cameron as a West Indian cab driver. It tries to honestly examine the reactions and prejudices he faces at work. During the 60s there were an increasing number of programmes that explored the black experience in the UK.

December 1994

7 December 1994 - Covert video shot over several days in Dobson's flat captures him and Norris using strong racist and violent language. Neil Acourt and Luke Knight are also caught on camera using violent and racist language.

December 1937

6 December 1937 - South Shield Yemeni community put on a colourful procession.  There was a large Yemeni population in South shields borne mainly from the families of Arab Seamen who had come to the Seaside Port town for work. Many hundreds of Yemeni Lascars were forcibly deported as a result of the great depression in the 1930's.

With thanks to Chronicle Live for the photograph.

December 1931

5 December 1931 - Eddie Parris becomes the first Black Player to play Football for Wales in a 4-0 defeat to Northern Ireland. It was his first and only Cap. See Hall of Fame for Biography.

December 2011

4 December 2011 -Frank Gilbert Crichlow, 1932 - 2010, human rights campaigner, community organiser and restauranteur. is honoured with a Blue Plaque again organised by Jak Beula's Nubian Jak Community Trust.

December 1954

3 December 1954 - Pianist Winifred Atwell becomes the first  black person to have a number-one hit in the UK Singles Chart and is still the only female instrumentalist to do so. "Let's Have Another Party" Hits No.1  in the UK Singles Charts with this ragtime composition. It was  a composite of several pieces of music, and was a follow up to Atwell's successful hit "Let's Have a Party" of the previous year.

December 2012

2 December 2012- Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, a  Sikh soldier, becomes the first to guard Buckingham Palace without a bearskin and is allowed to wear his turban instead. It breaks over 180 years of tradition and the Ministry of Defence backed the change that was not supported by all his Army colleagues. 

December 1939

1 December 1939- The Indian Comfort Fund (ICF)is established.It was founded by the Dowager Viscountess Chelmsford, the ICF was a registered war charity approved by the Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry to provide for the war needs of Indian troops in Europe and lascar seamen, who were often stranded in Britain as sea routes became increasingly disrupted. During the war years, it was an offical body supplying the needs of Prisoners of War across Europe. See Hall of Fame for Biography.

November 2005

30 November 2005 -John Sentamu is enthroned as archbishop of York, the first black archbishop of the Church of England.. He is the 97th Archbishop of York, Metropolitan of the province of York and Primate of England. The position of Archbishop of York is the second most senior clerical position in the Church of England after that of Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England.

Born near Kampala in present-day Uganda, Sentamu studied law at Makerere University before gaining employment as an advocate of the Supreme Court of Uganda. Speaking out against the regime of President Idi Amin, he was briefly imprisoned before fleeing to the United Kingdom in 1974. Here, he devoted himself to Anglicanism, beginning his study of theology at Selwyn College, Cambridge in 1976 and eventually gaining a doctorate in 1984. He studied for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and was ordained in 1979. In 1996 he was consecrated as the area Bishop of Stepney and in 2002 moved to the position of Bishop of Birmingham. In 2005 he was appointed to the position of Archbishop of York.

November 1977

29 November 1977 - Claudine Eccleston is appointed by Camden Council to become London's first female plumber.

November 1999

28 November 1999 - A naked man bursts into St Andrew's Roman Catholic Church in Thornton Heath, south London during a Sunday morning Mass, and attacks members of the congregation with a samurai sword. One man suffered severe hand and face injuries, and 10 other people were hurt in the attack and the panic that followed.

The attacker was later identified as Eden Strang.

Eden Strang was charged with seven counts of attempted murder and six of assault.

He denied all the charges and said he attacked the parishioners because he believed they were demons.

In June 2000, an Old Bailey jury declared him not guilty for reasons of insanity and the judge ordered he be detained indefinitely at a psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act.

He was released in March 2002 and went to live in a hostel in the Thornton Heath area, monitored by a public protection panel.

PC Tom Tracey, the policeman who helped overpower Strang, received the Commissioner's High Commendation, the Metropolitan Police's top award.

All those injured in the attack survived. 


With thanks to the BBC for the above information

November 2000

27 November 2000 - Damilola Taylor ten-year-old Nigerian schoolboy dies. Several young boys were cleared of murder charges after a lengthy trial, and later two brothers were convicted of manslaughter.

On 27 November 2000, Taylor set off from Peckham Library at 4:51 pm to make his way home. He was captured on CCTV as he walked away. On approaching the North Peckham Estate he received a gash to his left thigh. Running to a stairwell, he collapsed and bled to near death in the space of approximately 30 minutes. He was still alive in an ambulance on his way to hospital.

Different forensic scientists have presented different events that could have given Taylor his fatal wounds. The theory accepted by the Metropolitan Police is that he was attacked and fell on a broken bottle, later bleeding to death. He died 10 days before his 11th birthday.

November 1991

25-26  November 1991 -Winston Silcott and two other men jailed for life in 1987 for killing a police officer cleared of the crime. Winston Silcott and two others were convicted of the murder of PC Keith Blakelock during the Broadwater Farm riots in Tottenham, north London, six years ago. The Appeal Court said new scientific evidence meant Silcott's alleged confession could no longer be replied upon, but Winston Silcott  will remain in prison as he is serving a life sentence for another offence.He was convicted of murdering boxer Anthony Smith at a party before the Broadwater Farm riots. He has always claimed he was acting in self defence.

The other two men in the so-called "Tottenham Three" who were convicted of the murder - Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip - won their appeals on 26 November 1991 .

November 2000

25 November 200 - Footbaler Rio Ferdinand transfers from West Ham United to Leeds United.His £18.5m made him the world's costliest defender. 

November 2007

24 November 2007 - Colin Charvis became the world record try scorer for a forward in test match rugby v South Africa at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff with his 22nd international try.

November 2014

23 November 2014 - The 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix determines the World Drivers' Championship between Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, with the latter winning both the race and the World Championship for the second time. Hamilton won 11 races in the 2014 season.



November 1959

22 November 1959 - Leslie George "Jiver" Hutchinson, Jamaican jazz trumpeter and bandleader is killed in a Car Crash -See Hall of Fame for Biography.. 

November 1969

21 November 1969 - Curry and Chips wasa short lived British sitcom broadcast in 1969 which was produced by London Weekend Television for the ITV network.

Set on a factory floor of 'Lillicrap Ltd', it starred a blacked up Spike Milligan as an Asian immigrant who went by the name of Kevin O'Grady. It also featured Eric Sykes as the foreman, Norman Rossington as the shop steward, and other regulars were Kenny Lynch, and Sam Kydd. The series was written by Till Death Us Do Part writer Johnny Speight, but based on idea by Milligan.

It was the first LWT sitcom to be broadcast in its entirety in colour, and all episodes still exist.

The ambition of Curry and Chips was to highlight discrimination, rather than promote it. The Independent Television Authority disagreed, and Curry and Chips was cancelled by them after only six episodes. Speight himself later remarked: "It was the English who were made to look bigoted in the show but the people at the ITA couldn't understand that. It was London Weekend Television's first year, but only six shows went out. The ITA made LWT take it off, saying it was racist." They weren't alone, as amongst those who originally complained about the show were the Race Relations Board.

Screenonline says of the show "though it again attempted to raise important questions, [it] lacked a strong enough voice to challenge the racist attitudes of its characters, and too much of its humour relied on the use of crude racial abuse and Milligan's caricatured performance as the charmlessly-nicknamed 'Paki Paddy'. The shocked reaction from some viewers and cultural commentators led to the show being dropped by ITV after just six episodes, and in retrospect it's hard to understand how Speight and LWT can have failed to anticipate the offence it caused."

At the time though, the show was just as controversial for the number of swear words in it. The word 'bloody' was used 59 times in one episode. Eric Sykes though refused to swear at all.

The show was also voted amongst the 100 Greatest TV Moments From Hell in a Channel 4 show in the year 2000.

Six years later, Milligan once again blacked up in the BBC series The Melting Pot. Only one episode was shown, and the other five were pulled. Johnny Speight would again ask Spike Milligan to black up on two occasions for his BBC sitcom Till Death us do Part, one of which was to play the part originally created for Curry and Chips, Paki-Paddy.

November 2012

20 November 2012- Kweku Adoboli, a relatively junior City trader who almost destroyed the banking giant UBS through increasingly reckless illicit deals, has been jailed after being convicted of what police describe as the biggest fraud in UK history.

Adoboli, 32, racked up eventual losses for the bank of over £1.5bn during three years of secretive, off-the-books trades, which he managed to conceal from bosses. At one point, the potential liabilities totalled more than £7bn, a sum described by prosecutors as sufficient to bring down the bank.

The judge, Mr Justice Brian Keith, jailed Adoboli for seven years after the jury at Southwark crown court convicted him on two counts of fraud. He was acquitted on four separate charges of false accounting.

With thanks to The Guardian for the above information

See Also Timeline -3 September 2018

November 2014

19 November 2014 - Ram Roy Bhaskar  a British philosopher best known as the initiator of the philosophical movement of critical realism (CR) dies.

November 1990

18 November 1990 - Nigel Benn vs. Chris Eubank. Nigel Benn vs. Chris Eubank I  professional boxing match takes place.Both Benn and Eubank fought at middleweight and super middleweight around the same time in 1985–97, and became rivals on both the domestic and world boxing scene.Eubank's constant pressure and surprisingly hard punching, combined with his unusual style, slowly but surely wears Benn down, as Michael Watson had done 18 months earlier. The fight ends by TKO at 2:56 in round 9 of 12.

November 2001

17 November 2001- Lennox Lewis regains his undisputed World Heavyweight Title by winning the rematch vs Hasim Rahman