241BC: The Romans sink the Carthaginian fleet bringing the First Punic War to an end.
37AD: Death of Roman Emperor Tiberius aged 78.
1624: England declares war on Spain.
1629: Charles I dissolves parliament.
1801: The first official census in Great Britain, revealing a population of approximately 10 million.
1831: The French Foreign Legion is established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria.
1862: Britain and France recognise the independence of Zanzibar.
1876: Alexander Graham Bell makes the first telephone call, saying to his assistant Thomas Watson in another room: “”Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you”.
1893: The Ivory Coast becomes a French colony.
1902: A US court of appeals rules that Thomas Edison did not invent the movie camera.
1906: Baker Street & Waterloo Railway opens. The name was soon truncated to Bakerloo Line.
1910: China officially abolishes slavery.
1914: Suffragettes in London damage Rokeby’s painting Venus of Velasquez.
1920: The Home Rule Act is passed by Parliament, dividing Ireland into two parts; it is rejected by the south, where the Ango-Irish war continues for a year.
1927: Ernest Hemingway divorces first wife Elizabeth Hadley Richardson.
1931: Oswald Mosley leaves the Labour party and founds the fascist “New Party”
1933: Nevada becomes the first US state to regulate narcotics.
1944: A German submarine sinks HMS Asphodel in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 92 of the 97 men aboard.
1945: Japan grants occupied Vietnam independence. On the same day, B29 bombers blitz Tokyo, killing more than 100,000 people.
1948: Death of writer Zelda Fitzgerald aged 47.
1951: FBI director J Edgar Hoover declines an offer to assume the post of baseball commissioner.
1952: Military coup in Cuba led by Gen Fulgencio Batista.
1956: Greek Cypriots demonstrate and strike after Britain arrests and deports Archbishop Makarios to The Seychelles.
1957: Thousands of soccer fans riot in Italy.
1959: Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth” premieres in New York. On the same day, the Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation begins in Lhasa.
1964: Simon and Garfunkel record The Sound Of Silence as an acoustic duo. It wasn’t until record company producers added electric guitar, bass and drums, without the knowledge of Paul and Art, that the song would become a hit in late 1965.
1969: James Earl Ray is jailed for 99 years by a court in Memphis, Tennessee, after admitting the murder of Dr Martin Luther King.
1971: Three members of the Royal Highland Fusiliers are killed by the IRA.
1973: British governor, Sir Richard Sharples, and his assistant are assassinated in Bermuda.
1977: At 7am in the morning on a trestle table set up outside Buckingham Palace, The Sex Pistols sign to A & M Records (the real signing had taken place the day before). At a party later at the record company offices the group set about reeking havoc on the building with Sid Vicious smashing a toilet and cutting his foot, trailing blood everywhere he went, while Johnny Rotten cursed and threatened every upscale executive in sight and guitarist Steve Jones was found with an unnamed fan in the restrooms. The contract was cancelled after six days.
1985: Death of Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko aged 73.
1986: Death of Hollywood actor Ray Milland aged 81.
1988: The Prince of Wales narrowly avoids death on the ski slopes of Switzerland in an avalanche which kills one of his closest friends.
1990: A court in Baghdad imposes the death sentence on The Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft on a charge of spying.
1991: Singles chart:
- Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Clash
- The Stonk – Hale and Pace & The Stonkers
- Do The Bartman – The Simpsons
- Crazy For You – Madonna
- You Got The Love – The Source
- Because I Love You (The Postman Song) – Stevie B
- Move Your Body (Elevation) – Xpansions
- Joyride – Roxette
- It’s Too Late – Quartz ft Dina Darroll
- (I Wanna Give You Devotion) – Nomad ft MC Mikee Freedom
- Spartacus – The Farm
- Auberge – Chris Rea
- The White Room – The KLF
- Ex-El – 808 State
- The Complete Picture: The Very Best of – Deborah Harry and Blondie
- The Very Best Of – Elton John
- Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
- Kill Uncle – Morrissey
- Circle Of One – Oleta Adamss
- Listen Without Prejudice Volume 1 – George Michael
1998: Death of actor Lloyd Bridges aged 85.
2000: Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde is arrested for leading an animal rights protest against the clothing firm Gap at their store in Manhattan.
2003: During a concert in London, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines says that the band is “ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas” (referring to President Bush coming from their home state). The comment sparks intense controversy and outrage among a large share of American country music fans. On the same day, motorcycle racing champion Barry Sheene dies from cancer aged 52.
2005: Michael Jackson arrives in a Santa Barbara court an hour late dressed in his pyjamas for his child abuse trial. On the same day, Irish comedian Dave Allen dies aged 68.
2009: Tickets for a one-off gig by Sir Paul McCartney in Las Vegas sell out seven seconds after going on sale.
2010: Pink Floyd win a court battle with EMI that prevented the record company from selling single downloads and ringtones on the Internet from the group’s albums. On the same day Mickey Jones of the band Man dies aged 63 from a brain tumour and actor Corey Haim dies aged 39.
2013: Aung San Suu Kyi is re-elected leader of the Burmese National League for Democracy.
2015: The family of Marvin Gaye win a record $7.3 million lawsuit for music copyright infringement against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. over the song Blurred Lines.
2017: American singer/songwriter Joni Sledge, of Sister Sledge, dies aged 60. On the same day, former Formua 1 driver John Surtees dies aged 83
2020: Russian lower house of Parliament passes legislation to allow Vladimir Putin to hold the office of president for life.
BIRTHDAYS: Sepp Blatter, former president of FIFA, 86; Chuck (Carlos) Norris, actor, 82; Tom Scholz, guitar, keyboards, songwriter (Boston) 75 Tina Charles (Hoskins), singer, 68; Shannon Tweed, actress, 65; Sharon Stone, actress, 64; Rick Rubin, producer, 59; Jeff Ament, bassist (Pearl Jam) 59; Neneh Cherry, singer-songwriter, 58; HRH Prince Edward, 58; Edie Brickell (Simon), singer-songwriter, 56; Paget Brewster, actress, 53; Jon Hamm, actor, 51; Chris Sutton, footballer, 49; Rita Simons, actress, 45; Colin Murray, broadcaster, 45; Robin Thicke, singer-songwriter, 45; Samuel Eto’o, footballer, 41; Carrie Underwood, country singer, 39; Rafe Spall, actor, 39; Olivia Wilde (Cockburn), actress/director/screenwriter, 38; Emeli Sande, singer, 35.