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.
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.
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 officailly 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 British corvette HMS Asphodel in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 92 of the 97 men aboard.
1945: Japan grants occupied Vietnam independence.
1948: Death of writer Zelda Fitzgerald aged 47.
1951: FBI director J Edgar Hoover declines an offer to assue the post of baseball commissioner.
1952: Military coup in Cuba led by Gen Fulgencio Batista.
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.
1969: James Earl Ray pleads guilty to the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.
1971: Three members of the Royal Highland Fusiliers are killed by the IRA.
1977: At 7am 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). An after party was held at the record company offices where the group set about reeking havoc, with Sid Vicious smashing a toilet and cutting his foot, trailing blood everywhere he went, while Johnny Rotten cursed and threatened every executive in sight and guitarist Steve Jones was discovered with a fan in the restrooms The contract was cancelled six days later.
1985: Death of Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko aged 73.
1986: Death of Hollywood actor Ray Milland aged 81.
1988: Andy Gibb died in hospital from myocarditis following a long battle with cocaine addiction. On the same day, an avalanche at the Swiss Ski resort Klosters nearly kills Prince Charles. His friend, Major Hugh Lindsay, perishes.
1997: Rhythm and blues singer Lavern Baker died from coronary complications aged 57.
1998: Death of actor Lloyd Bridges aged 85.
2000: Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde was 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 said that the band was “ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas” (referring to President Bush coming from their home state). The comment sparked 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 arrived 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 sold out seven seconds after going on sale.
2010: Pink Floyd won 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 died from a brain tumour aged 63 and actor Corey Haim died aged 39.
2013: Aung San Suu Kyi is re-elected leader of the Burmese National League for Democracy.
2017: American singer/songwriter Joni Sledge, of Sister Sledge, died from natural causes age 60. On the same day, former Formua 1 driver John Surtees dies aged 83
BIRTHDAYS: Sepp Blatter, former head of FIFA, 84; Chuck Norris, actor, 80; Tom Scholz, guitarist/songwriter (Boston) 73; Tina Charles, singer, 66; Sharon Stpne, actress, 62; Gary Clark, songwriter, 58; Rick Rubin, producer, 57; Jeff Ament, bassist (Pearl Jam) 57; Neneh Cherry, songer/songwriter, 56; HRH Prince Edward, 56; Edie Brickell (Mrs Paul Simon) singer/songwriter, 54; Paget Brewster, actress, 51; Timbaland (Timothy Mosley) producer, 49; John Hamm, actor, 49; Eva Herzigovia, model, 47; Chris Sutton, football pundit, 47; Robin Thicke, singer/songwriter, 43; Samuel Eto’o, former footballer, 39; Timo Glock, racing driver, 38; Carrie Underwood, country singer, 37; Rafe Spall, actor, 37; Olivia Wilde, actress, 36; Emeli Sande, singer, 33.