1512: Death of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
1630: Native Amerian Indians introduce pilgrims to popcorn at Thanksgiving.
1732: Birth of George Washington, first president of the US.
1797: The Last Invasion of Britain by the French, begins near Fishguard.
1821: Spain sells (east) Florida to the United States for $5 million.
1892: “Lady Windermere’s Fan” by Oscar Wilde premieres at St James Theatre, London.
1933: Malcolm Campbell sets world land speed record speed of 272.46 mph driving his Bluebird car at Daytona Beach, Florida.
1967: The Beatles record the giant chord at the end of ‘A Day In The Life’ at EMI Studios in Abbey Road.
1972: The IRA bombs Aldershot military barracks, the headquarters of the British Parachute Regiment, killing seven people.
1979: St Lucia gains independence from Britain.
1980: Afghanistan declares martial law.
1983: Hindus kill 3000 Muslims in Assam, India.
1987: Artist Andy Warhol died of a heart attack after a gall bladder operation.
2006: At least six men stage Britain’s biggest ever robbery, stealing £53m from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.
2009: Heath Ledger posthumously wins Academy Award, Best Supporting Actor, for his performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight”.
2011: An earthquake measuring 6.3 in magnitude strikes Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 181 people.
BIRTHDAYS: Julie Walters, actress, 70; Nigel Planer, actor, 67; John Sparks, bassist (Dr Feelgood) 67; Kyle MacLachlan, actor, 61; Rachel Dratch, comedian/actress, 54; James Blunt (Blount) singer/songwriter, 46; Chris Moyles, broadcaster, 46; Drew Barrymore, actress, 45.