It happened today – this day in history – September 3

1189: Richard the Lionheart was crowned king of England at Westminster after the death of his father, Henry II.

1651: Oliver Cromwell’s army defeated Royalist forces at the Battle of Worcester during the English Civil War.

1658: Oliver Cromwell, Puritan leader and Lord Protector of England, died of pneumonia.

1752: What should have been September 3 became September 14 with the introduction of the Gregorian calendar. Crowds flocked through the streets crying: “Give us back our 11 days.”

1783: Britain finally recognised the United States of America by signing the Treaty of Paris, ending the American War of Independence.

1913: American film star Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Although only 5ft 6in tall, it did not hamper his career since leading ladies stood in trenches or he stood on boxes.

1916: The first pilot to shoot down a Zeppelin was Captain William Leefe Robinson. During a raid on London, his tiny biplane attacked the airship which caught fire and crashed in Cuffley, Hertfordshire. He was later awarded the VC.

1939: Great Britain, Australia and France declared war on Germany.

1962: The Trans-Canada highway, 4,800 miles from St John’s Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, was opened.

1976: The US spacecraft Viking II landed on Mars after a journey lasting six days short of one year.

2004: After three days, the Beslan school siege ended when special forces stormed the building in an unplanned onslaught. The Russian massacre claimed the lives of more than 330 people – about half of them children.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Some 400 prisoners escaped from a jail in Libya’s capital city.

BIRTHDAYS: Pauline Collins, actress, 79; Al Jardine, singer, 77; Valerie Perrine, actress, 76; Derek Redmond, former athlete, 54; Charlie Sheen, actor, 54; Gareth Southgate, football manager, 49; Fearne Cotton, TV and radio presenter, 38; Chris Fountain, actor, 32.