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1859: The world’s first oil well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania, by Edwin Drake.
1883: Krakatoa, a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java, erupted with thousands killed by the resulting tidal waves.
1899: CS Forester, English novelist, was born in Cairo. He published The African Queen in 1935 and two years later created a series of historical
novels his most popular character, Captain Horatio Hornblower.
1912: Tarzan Of The Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first went into print as a magazine serial.
1966: Francis Chichester left Plymouth in Gipsy Moth IV on his single-handed voyage around the world.
1967: The man who helped make The Beatles, Brian Epstein, died in his London home from an overdose of sleeping pills.
1975: The last descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, died, aged 83.
1979: Earl Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin, was killed when the IRA exploded a remote-controlled 50lb bomb on his boat Shadow V off the coast of County Sligo, Ireland.
1991: EC members recognised the independence of the Baltic states.
2009: English youth Michael Perham, aged 17 years, five months, became the youngest person to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world by sailboat, breaking the previous record by two months.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Listening to yoga music at bedtime is good for the heart, scientists suggested.
BIRTHDAYS: Tuesday Weld, actress, 76; Barbara Bach, actress, 72; John Lloyd, former tennis player, 65; Glen Matlock, rock musician, 63; Bernhard Langer, golfer, 62; Gerhard Berger, former motor racing driver, 60; Siobhan Redmond, actress, 60; Jeanette Winterson, writer, 60; Denise Lewis, Olympic heptathlon gold medallist, 47; Dietmar Hamann, footballer 46; Aaron Paul, actor, 40.