1670: Jews are expelled from Austria by order of Leopold I.
1678: The Earl of Shaftesbury is freed from the Tower of London.
1807: Birth of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Portland, Maine.
1814: Ludwig van Beethoven’s 8th Symphony in F premieres.
1827: The first Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans.
1844: The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti.
1848: Birth of composer Hubert Parry in Bournemouth.
1854: Composer Robert Schumann is saved from a suicide attempt in The Rhine.
1902: Birth of author John Steinbeck in Salinas, California.
1919: The first public performance of Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite.
1933: The Reichstag, the German parliament building, destroyed by fire; set by the Nazis, who blame it on Communists.
1939: Borley Rectory, in Essex, “the most haunted house in England”, is destroyed in a fire,
1949: Chaim Weizmann becomes first president of Israel.
1950: General Chiang Kai-shek is elected president of Nationalist China.
1962: South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem;s palace is bombed by dissident air pilots in a failed assassination attempt.
1968: Frankie Lymon, lead singer of The Teenagers, died of a heroin overdose in his grandmother’s New York home aged 25.
1969: General Hafez al-Assad becomes head of Syria in military coup. On the same day, President Richard Nixon visits West Berlin.
1977: Keith Richards was arrested at Toronto’s Harbour Castle Hotel, after an ounce of heroin was found following a raid of his hotel room by 15 Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
1991: James Brown was paroled after two years of a six-year prison sentence, imposed for resisting arrest after a car chase across two states.
1993: Death of silent film star Lillian Gish aged 99.
1998: House of Lords agrees to end 1,000 years of male precedence by giving a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first born son.
2002: Death of Spike Milligan aged 83.
2003: Rowan Williams is enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.
2010: “Supernatural” star Jared Padelecki marries co-star Genevieve Cortese.
2011: Natalie Portman and Colin Firth win best actor Oscars for Black Swan and The King’s Speech respectively at the 83rd Academy Awards.
2013: Pope Benedict XVI presents his farewell address to Vatican City.
2014: Arseniy Yatsenyuk is appointed Prime Minister of the Ukraine.
2015: Russian politician Boris Nemtsov is assassinated in Moscow. On the same day, actor/director Leonard Nimoy dies aged 83.
2016: Actor George Kennedy dies aged 91.
2018: Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Trump, has his top-secret security clearance at the White House downgraded.
2019: Second summit begins between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam. On the same day, Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen testifies before the House Oversight Committee saying Trump is “racist”, a “con man” and “a cheat”, Pakistan shoots down an Indian fighter jet and captures the pilot, further escalating tensions in the disputed Kashmir region, and actor Luke Perry suffers a fatal stroke at 52.
BIRTHDAYS: Joanne Woodward, actress, 90; Steve Harley, singer/songwriter 69; Neil Schon, guitarist (Journey) 66; Gary Christian, singer, 65; Adrian Smith, guitarist (Iron Maiden) 63; Timothy Spall, actor, 63; Johnny van Zant, singer (Lynyrd Skynyrd) 61; Paul Humphries, musician (OMD) 60; Adam Baldwin, actor, 58; Donal Logue, actor, 54; Derren Brown, illusionist, 49; Peter Andrre, singer, 47; Josh Groban, singer, 39; Kate Mara, actress, 37.