1460: Death of King James II of Scotland aged 29.
1492: Christopher Columbus sets sail on his first voyage with three ships, Santa María, Pinta and Niña from Palos de la Frontera, Spain for the “Indies”.
1778: The Scala opens in Milan.
1798: Admiral Horatio Nelson forces the remnants of the French fleet to surrender at the Battle of The Nile.
1829: Gioacchino Rossini’s “William Tell” premieres in Paris.
1860: The Second Maori War begins in New Zealand.
1867: Birth of first Labour Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in Bewdley.
1887: Birth of war poet Rupert Brooke in Rugby.
1904: British journalist Francis Younghusband visits the forbidden city of Lhasa.
1908: Brothers Amadee and Jean Bouyssonie discover the fossil remains of a nearly complete 60,000 year-old Neanderthal man at La Chappelle-aux-Saints, France.
1914: The first unofficial trip through the Panama Canal by the SS Christobel. On the same day, Belgium rejects demand to allow free crossing for the German Army leading to their invasion hours later. Germany also declares war on France leading British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey to remark: “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.”
1923: Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes US President upon the death of President Warren G. Harding the day before.
1924: Death of writer Joseph Conrad aged 66.
1925: The last US troops leave Nicaragua after 13 years.
1926: Traffic lights are installed at Piccadilly Circus in London.
1932: Official automatic timing and photo-finish camera for track events is used for the first time at the Los Angeles Olympics.
1934: Adolf Hitler merges the offices of German Chancellor and President, declaring himself “Führer”.
1936: African American sprinter Jesse Owens wins the 100m (10.3 seconds) in front of Adolf Hitler at the Berlin Olympics. His first of four gold medals at the Games.
1940: Italian troops invade British Somalia.
1943: General George Patton slaps an American GI in hospital, accusing him of cowardice.
1944: Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp gases 4,000 gypsies.
1952: Ferrari driver Alberto Ascari clinches the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by winning the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. On the same day, the Olympic Games close in Helsinki, Finland.
1954: Death of French novelist Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle) aged 81.
1957: Tunku Abdul Rahman, a British-educated Malay prince, is elected as head of state ahead of independence from Britain.
1958: The USS Nautilus becomes the first submarine to reach the North Pole. On the same day, British racing driver Peter Collins dies aged 26 when his Ferrari crashes during the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.
1960: Niger gains independence from France.
1963: The Beatles played their last ever performance at The Cavern Cub in Liverpool.
1966: The South African government bans Beatles records. On the same day, comedian Lenny Bruce dies at his home in the Hollywood Hills from a morphine overdose aged 39.
1967: 45,000 US soldiers are sent to Vietnam.
1971: Paul McCartney announced the formation of his new group Wings with his wife Linda and former Moody Blues guitarist and singer Denny Laine.
1974: Guitarist Jeff Baxter leaves Steely Dan and joins the Doobie Brothers.
1978: The Queen opens the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada.
1979: At 67 years, 2 months and 7 days, Sam Snead sets the record for the oldest golfer to make the cut in a major – PGA Championship.
1980: The Olympic Games close in Moscow.
1981: US President Ronald Reagan issues an ultimatum to 13,000 striking air traffic control workers: “if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated.”
1984: A bomb attack on Madras airport, India, kills 34. On the same day, Mary Lou Retton scores 10 for her final vault to win the individual all-round competition in Los Angeles and become first American woman to win an Olympic gymnastics medal.
1990: The US commits naval forces to the Gulf regions following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
1994: King Hussain pilots the first Jordanian plane to fly over Israeli airspace.
1995: Hollywood actress and one of the first female directors, Ida Lupino, dies aged 77.
1996: Andre Agassi wins the men’s singles Tennis gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics beating Spaniard Sergi Bruguera 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.
1999: Arsenal completes a huge signing coup snapping up ace French striker Thierry Henry for a bargain £10 million from Juventus.
2001: A car bomb explodes in Ealing Broadway, injuring seven people.
2003: Singles chart:
- Breathe – Blu Cantrell Ft Sean Paul
- Never Leave You – Lumidee
- Something Beautiful – Robbie Williams
- Never Gonna Leave Your Side – Daniel Bedingfield
- Crazy In Love – Beyonce
- Satisfaction – Benny Benassi
- All In My Head – Kosheen
- Spanish – Craig David
- Bring Me To Life – Evanescence
- Fly On The Wings Of Love – XTM & DJ Chucky
- Magic And Medicine – The Coral
- Dangerously In Love – Beyonce
- Gotta Get Thru This – Daniel Bedingfield
- You Gotta Go There To Come Back – Stereophonics
- Innocent Eyes – Delta Goodrem
- Youth And Young Manhood – Kings Of Leon
- Dutty Rock – Sean Paul
- Permission To Land – The Darkness
- The Very Best Of.. – George Benson
- The Ultimate Yes – Yes
2006: Arthur Lee of 1960s band Love died in Memphis at the age of 61 following a battle with acute myeloid leukaemia.
2007: Queen guitarist Brian May handed in his astronomy PhD thesis – 36 years after abandoning it to join the band.
2008: Film star Morgan Freeman is injured near Ruleville, Mississippi, when his car flips over several times. On the same day, Russian writer and Nobel Prize winner, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, dies aged 80.
2012: The United Nations General Assembly reproaches The UN Security Council over its lack of action in Syria. On the same day, swimmer Michael Phelps wins the 100m butterfly in the London Olympics to take his all-time Games gold medal tally to a record 17.
2014: The Israeli Defence Force remove much of its ground forces from the Gaza Strip following the destruction of 32 tunnels built by Hamas and other militants. At least 13 Palestinians are reported killed in ongoing air raids and tank shelling.
2015: The Athens Stock Exchange re-opens after a month and falls by 22%.
2017: Brazilian footbaler Neymar transfers from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record transfer fee of €222 on a 5-year deal. On the same day, Massachusetts woman Michelle Carter is sentenced to 2 1/2 years for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide and Rapper Kidd Creole is arrested and charged with stabbing a homeless man to death in New York City. Also, actor Robert Hardy dies aged 91.
2019: A suspected domestic terrorist shoots and kills 22 and injures 24 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. On the same day, a gunman kills nine and injures 27 at a bar in Dayton, Ohio.
BIRTHDAYS: Tony Bennet (Benedetti) singer, 94; Steven Berkoff, actor/theatredirector, 83; Martin Sheen (Ramon Estevez) actor, 80; Martha Stewart, TV Personality/businesswomsn, 79; Eamon Dunphy, journalist/author/former footballer, 75; John Landis, director, 70; Osvaldo Ardiles, former footballer, 68; Kirk Brandon, singer/guitarist (Spear of Destiny) 64; Martin Atkins, drummer (Nine Inch Nails) 61; James Hetfield, guitar/vocals (Metallica) 57; Isaiah Washington, actor, 57; Skin, (Deborah Anne Dyer), singer (Skunk Anansie) 53; DJ Spinderella (Dierdrie Roper) DJ (Salt -N-Pepa) 49; Stephen Carpenter, musician (The Deftones) 47; Evangeline Lilly, actress, 41.