1595: Henry IV of France declares war on Spain.
1706: Birth of US Founding Father, inventor, ambassador and writer Benjamin Franklin.
1773: Captain James Cook becomes the first to cross the Arctic circle.
1827: The Duke of Wellington is appointed British supreme commander.
1899: Al Capone is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1904: Anton Chekhov’s play “Cherry Orchard” opens at Moscow Art Theatre.
1912: Captain Robert Scott’s expedition arrives at the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.
1920: First day of prohibition of alcohol comes into effect in the US.
1929: Popeye makes 1st appearance, in comic strip “Thimble Theater”.
1938: Joe Kennedy becomes US ambassador to Britain.
1945: Auschwitz concentration camp begins evacuation. On the same day, the Soviet army enters the devastated city of Warsaw and clears German resistance.
1961: Three days before leaving office, President Eisenhower allegedly orders the assassination of Congo’s Patrice Lumumba.
1977: Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah state prison.
1987: President Reagan signs a secret order permitting covert sale of arms to Iran.
1991: Operation Desert Storm begins with US-led coalition forces bombing Iraq.
1994: Earthquake hits Los Angeles killing 60.
2015: Deontay Wilder wins the WBC heavyweight championship by unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.
2016: Mott the Hoople drummer Dale Griffin died aged 67. On the same day, Mic Gillette, trombonist and trumpeter with Tower of Power died of a heart attack.
2017: President Barack Obama commutes WikiLeaks discloser Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence from 35 to seven years.
BIRTHDAYS: Betty White, actress, 98; James Earl Jones, actor, 89; Mick Taylor, guitarist, 72; Ryuichi Sakamoto, musician, 68; Steve Earle, singer/songwriter 65; Paul Young, singer, 64; Susannah Hoffs, guitarist/singer (The Bangles) 61; Jim Carrey, actor, 58; Andy Rourke, bassist (The Smiths) 57; Michelle Obama, 56; Kid Rock (Robert Ritchie) 49; Ricky Wilson, singer (Kaiser Chiefs) 42; Zooey Deschanel, actress/musician, 40; Calvin Harris, DJ, 36.