1305: Scottish patriot William Wallace is executed for high treason by Edward I.
1500: Governor Francisco De Bobadilla arrives in the Indies, arrests Christopher Columbus and sends him back to Spain in chains.
1541: Explorer Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada.
1617: The first one-way streets open in London.
1754: Birth of Louis XVI of France.
1799: Napoleon leaves Egypt for France to seize power.
1839: The British capture Hong Kong from China.
1866: The Treaty of Prague ends the Austro-Prussian War.
1873: Opening of the Albert Bridge across the River Thames.
1911: Prime Minister Herbert Asquith holds a secret meeting about British strategy in case of war with Germany.
1914: German troops begin to plunder Belgium. On the same day, Japan declares war on Germany.
1915: Tsar Nicholas II takes control of the Russian Army.
1917: Race riot in Houston Texas.
1921: The British declare a truce with Irish Nationalists Sinn Féin.
1924: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth since the 10th century.
1926: Silent film idol Rudolph Valentino dies from pleuritis aged 31.
1933: Mahatma Gandhi is released from Indian jail following another hunger strike.
1939: John Cobb of Britain drives 365.85mph at Bonneville Flats. On the same day, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact and secretly divide Poland between themselves, setting the stage for World War II.
1940: The Luftwaffe begins night bombing on London.
1942: 600 Luftwaffe planes bomb Stalingrad, killing 40,000 people.
1943: The Red army recaptures Charkow.
1944: Allied troops capture Marseille. On the same day, in a Romanian Royal coup: King Michael orders forces to cease fire against the Allies and dismisses pro-Axis premier, Marshal Ion Antonescu. Also, a US B-24 crashes into a school in Freckelton, Lancs, killing 76.
1953: Ferrari driver Alberto Ascari clinches his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by winning Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten.
1960: Death of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein aged 65.
1961: Police launch a murder hunt after a man is found shot dead and his companion seriously wounded in a lay-by on the A6 in Beds.
1962: John Lennon married Cynthia Powell at Liverpool’s Mount Pleasant register office.
1966: The Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from Moon.
1967: Whilst celebrating at his 21st birthday party an inebriated Keith Moon of The Who drove a Lincoln Continental into the swimming pool of the Holiday Inn, in Flint, Michigan.
1973: The Intelsat communications satellite is launched.
1975: Communists take over Laos. On the same day, guitarist Paul Kossoff is revived after suffering a heart attack.
1976: Thousands die when an earthquake strikes China.
1979: Kurds in Iran oust government troops from a large area near the Iraqi border. On the same day, Bolshoi Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov defects to the west in New York city.
1985: The head of West German counter intelligence, Hans-Joachim Tiedge, is exposed as an East German spy when he defects.
1987: Singles chart:
- Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
- What Have I Done To Deserve This – The Pet Shop Boys ft Dusty Springfield
- I Just Can’t Stop Loving You – Michael Jackson with Siedah Garrett
- Toy Boy – Sinnita
- Call Me – Spagna
- Sweet Little Mystery – Wet Wet Wet
- True Faith – New Order
- Funky Town – Pseudo Echo
- Animal – Def Leppard
- Somewhere Out There – Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
- Hysteria – Def Leppart
- Hits 6 – Various Artists
- Substance 1987 – New Order
- Presley – The All Time Greatest Hits – Elvis Presley
- Who’s That Girl – Original Soundtrack
- Whitney – Whitney Houston
- Introducing The Hardline According To… – Terence Trent D’Arby
- Sixties Mix – Various Artists
- The Joshua Tree – U2
- True Blue – Madonna
1990: Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein appears on state television with western hostages, provoking a storm of outrage. On the same day, Armenia declares independence.
1991: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev begins his purge of cabinet members and officials involved in the failed coup four days earlier.
1995: Actor Larry Hagman receives a liver transplant.
2004: Kelly Holmes wins the 800m at the Athens Olympics.
2005: Hurricane Katrina forms over the Bahamas.
2011: Muammar al-Gaddafi is overthrown after National Transitional Council forces take control of his Bab al-Azizia compound during the Libyan Civil War.
2013: UN inspectors are stopped by the Syrian government from investigating a reported site of a massacre using chemical weapons.
2014: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie marry in France.
BIRTHDAYS: Barbara Eden, actress, 89; Roger Greenaway, songwriter, 82; Willy Russell, dramatist, 73; Geoff Capes, Olympic shot putter, 71; Shelley Long, actress, 71; Edwyn Collins, singer-songwriter, 61; Shaun Ryder, singer (The Happy Mondays/Black Grape) 58; Roger Avary, screenwriter, 55; Jay Mohr, actor, 50; Julian Casablancas, singer (The Strokes), 42; Richie Neville, singer (Five) 41; Glen Johnson, footballer, 36.