It happened today – this day in history – August 23

410: Rome fell to a western group of the tribes known as the Visigoths.

1793: France introduced the first national conscription, claiming all unmarried men aged 18 to 25.

1873: The Albert Bridge across the Thames at Chelsea was opened.

1914: The Battle of Mons, in Belgium near the French frontier, began.

1926: Rudolph Valentino, “the world’s greatest screen lover”, died in New York aged 31 from complications of ruptured appendix and gastric ulcer. Thousands of women lined his funeral route.

1938: Len Hutton scored what was then a world record Test score of 364 against Australia at The Oval.

1939: Germany and Russia signed a short-lived non-aggression pact which left Hitler free to attack Poland.

1940: The Blitz began as German bombers launched an all-night raid on London.

1960: Oscar Hammerstein II, American lyricist, died. His collaboration with Richard Rodgers to produce Oklahoma in 1943 changed the whole form and shape of the musical. They followed with South Pacific, The King And I, and The Sound Of Music.

1987: French racing driver Didier Pironi was killed in a power boat race off the Isle of Wight.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: New aerial images provided a rare glimpse of an isolated tribe in Brazil’s Amazon.

BIRTHDAYS: Shelley Long, actress, 70; Rick Springfield, singer, 70; Edwyn Collins, singer, 60; Shaun Ryder, singer, 57; Mark Butcher, former cricketer, 47; Scott Caan, actor, 43; Ritchie Neville, singer, 40; Glen Johnson, footballer, 35.