1497: Explorer John Cabot returns to Bristol from Newfoundland – the first European to do so since the Vikings.
1623: Death of Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare.
1637: Death of playwright and poet Ben Jonson aged 65.
1661: The Treaty of The Hague is signed whereby the Dutch Republic sells New Holland (Brazil) for 63 tonnes of gold to Portugal.
1675: Tsar Alexis bans foreign hair styles to those below the nobility.
1809: Birth of Alfred Tennyson in Lincs.
1825: Bolivia gains independence from Peru.
1856: The Great Bell, Big Ben, is cast in the Great Clock of Westminster.
1861: The British annex Lagos, Nigeria.
1881: Birth of bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, inventor of penicillin in Scotland.
1896: France annexes Madagascar.
1910: New York City Mayor William J Gaynor is seriously wounded during an assassination attempt.
1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia. On the same day, Serbia declares war against Germany.
1918: The Second Battle of the Marne ends.
1926: Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel in 14 hours, 39 minutes.
1930: Remains of the balloon expedition of Solamon August Andrées to the North Pole in 1897, found at Kvit oya Spitsbergen.
1931: Death of jazz cornetist Bix (Leon Bismarck) Beiderbecke aged 29.
1932. The first Venice Film Festival opens.
1934: US troops leave Haiti after 19 years.
1937: Franco’s artillery fires on Madrid.
1940: Estonia is annexed into the Soviet Union.
1942: Churchill fires General Auchinlek as Middle-East commander.
1944: The deportation of 70,000 Jews from Lodz to Auschwitz begins.
1945: The first atomic bomb is dropped by the US on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
1948: Dutch super athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen wins the London Olympics 200m in 24.4 to become the first women to win three individual track & field gold medals.
1961: The USSR launches it second cosmonaut, Major Gherman Titov, into space for a whole day. On the same day, Sterling Moss scores his 16th and final Formula 1 victory in the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.
1962: Jamaica becomes independent after 300 years of British rule.
1965: Pakistani soldiers cross the Line of Control into Kashmir.
1966: Muhammad Ali knocks out Brian London with a barrage of punches in Round 3 at Earls Court to retain his undisputed world heavyweight title.
1970: The 10th National Jazz, Blues and Pop four day Festival began at Plumpton Racecourse in Sussex featuring Family, Groundhogs, Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, Yes, Black Sabbath, Caravan and Wishbone Ash.
1971: Chay Blyth becomes the first to sail the world non-stop in the “wrong” direction – east to west – against the prevailing winds and currents.
1972: Gary Player wins the PGA Championships at Oakland Hills.
1973: Stevie Wonder was seriously injured when the car he was riding in crashed into a truck in North Carolina, leaving him in a coma for four days. On the same day, Dad’s Army actor James Beck died from pancreatitis aged 44 and blues musician Memphis Minnie (credited as a co-writer on Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks”) died aged 76.
1978: Pope Paul VI dies from a heart attack aged 80.
1979: Marcus Hooper, 12, becomes the youngest person to swim English Channel.
1984: Carl Lewis wins the long jump (8.54m), his second of four gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics.
1987: SDP leader Dr David Owen resigns after the party votes to merge with the Liberals.
1989: Broadway’s longest-running musical revue “Oh! Calcutta” closes after 5959 performances. On the same day, 20 former South African political prisoners, in defiance of the restriction orders, launch a campaign against apartheid laws.
1990: Pakistan president Ghulam Ishaq Kahn dismisses Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. On the same day, the UN Security Council votes 13-0 (Cuba and Yemen abstain) to place economic sanctions against Iraq.
1991: Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web and WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.
1994: Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards booked into a private clinic to be treated for nervous exhaustion.
1996: Korean Air Flight 801 crashes in Guam, killing 228 people. On the same day, fashion designer Ossie Clark dies aged 54.
2000: Singles chart:
- Rock DJ – Robbie Williams
- 7 Days – Craig David
- Time To Burn – Storm
- Freestyler – Bomfunk MCs
- Life Is A Rollercoaster – Ronan Keating
- We Will Rock You – Five & Queen
- The Real Slim Shady – Eminem
- I Can Only Disappoint U – Mansun
- 2 Faced – Louise
- Battle – Wookie ft Lain
- Ronan – Ronan Keating
- In Blue – The Corrs
- The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem
- Parachutes – Coldplay
- White Ladder – David Gray
- Play – Moby
- The Greatest Hits – Whitney Houston
- Oops! I Did It Again – Britney Spears
- Affirmation – Savage Garden
- 7 – S Club 7
2005: The Athletics World Championships open in Helsinki.
2008: Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz stages a military coup in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.
2012: Mount Tongariro in New Zealand, erupts for the first time in a century. On the same day, composer Marvin Hamlisch dies aged 68.
2019: The Philippines declares a national dengue fever epidemic. On the same day, a lawyer representing 800 boy scouts identifies 350 sex abusers within the Boy Scouts of America movement, saying: “It’s the largest paedophile ring on earth”.
BIRTHDAYS: Dame Barbara Windsor, actress, 83; Catherine Hicks, actress, 69; Michelle Yeoh, actress, 58; M. Night Shyamalan, director, 50; Geri Horner (Halliwell), singer (Spice Girls) 48; Vera Farmiga, actress, 47; Robin van Persie, former footballer, 37.