1558: Elizabeth I aged 25 ascends throne upon death of her half sister Queen Mary.
1603: Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial for treason.
1796: Death of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia.
1839: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Oberte Conti Di” premieres in Milan.
1855: David Livingstone becomes the first European to see the Victoria Falls.
1863: President Abraham Lincoln begins the first draft of his Gettysburg Address.
1869: The Suez Canal in Egypt opens, linking the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
1873: The rival cities of Buda and Pest unite to form the capital of Hungary.
1878: The first assassination attempt against King Umberto I of Italy.
1888: Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony premieres in St Petersburg.
1913: The first ship sails through the Panama Canal.
1917: Death of sculptor Auguste Rodin aged 77.
1922: The last sultan of the Ottoman Empire Mehmed VI is expelled to Malta.
1929: Nikolai Bukharin is expelled from the Soviet Politburo amidst a power struggle with Stalin.
1945: A new world air speed record of 606 mph is set by H J Wilson of the RAF.
1948: The House of Commons votes to nationalize the steel industry.
1970: Douglas Engelbart patents the first computer mouse.
1973: President Nixon tells the Associated Press: “..people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”
1979: Jethro Tull bass player John Glassock does after heart surgery aged 27.
1989: A student demonstration in Prague is put down by riot police, leading to an uprising (the Velvet Revolution) that will topple the communist government on December 29.
1993: A military coup is staged in Nigeria.
1995: Lindisfarne singer/songwriter Alan Hull dies aged 50.
2000: Alberto Fujimori is removed from office as President of Peru.
2003: Death of soul singer Arthur Conley and country artist Don Gibson.
2014: The Church of England adopts legislation enabling the appointment of female bishops.
2015: Actor Charlie Sheen confirms he is HIV positive.
BIRTHDAYS: Martin Scorsese, director, 77; Danny Devito, actor/director, 75; Lorne Michaels, comedy producer/writer, 75; Martin Barre, guitarist (Jethro Tull) 73; Peter Cox, singer (Go West) 64; Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, actress, 61; Jonathan Ross, TV host, 59; Ru Paul (Andre Charles), drag queen, 59; Rachel McAdams, actress, 41; Zoe Bell, actress/stuntwoman 41; Sarah Harding, singer (Girls Aloud) 38.