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1454: Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci is born in Florence.
1497: Nicholaus Copernicus’ first recorded astronomical observation.
1522: Martin Luther begins preaching his “Invocavit Sermons” in the German city of Wittenberg.
1562: Kissing in public is banned in Naples – punishable by death.
1566: David Rizzio, the private secretary to Mary I of Scotland, is murdered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
1721: Chancellor of the Exchequer John Aislabie is confined in the Tower of London.
1741:The British fleet begins an assault on Cartagena.
1796: Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais.
1842: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Nabucco” premieres in Milan.
1844: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Hernani” premieres in Venice.
1864: Ulysses S Grant is appointed commander of Union Army.
1892: Birth of novelist and poet Vita Sackville-West in Kent.
1908: Inter Milan founded as Foot-Ball Club Internazionale.
1916: Mexican General Francisco “Pancho” Villa invades US. On the same day, Germany declares war on Portugal.
1918: The Russian Bolshevik Party becomes the Communist Party.
1930: Birth of jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman.
1932: Eamon De Valera becomes President of Ireland.
1935: Adolf Hitler announces the creation of a new air force, the Luftwaffe.
1945: 334 US B-29 Superfortresses attack Tokyo with 120,000 fire bombs.
1951: Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam submit a classified paper at the Los Alamos lab, in which they proposed their revolutionary new design, staged implosion, for a practical megaton-range hydrogen bomb.
1956: Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus is arrested and exiled to The Seychelles.
1959: Barbie makes her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York.
1962: Egyptian President Nasser declares Gaza belongs to Palestinians.
1963: The Beatles begin their first British tour, supporting Tommy Roe and Chris Montez.
1966: Recording began on the Brian Wilson and Tony Asher song ‘God Only Knows’, which is generally accepted as one of the finest pop sings ever written.
1971: Three off-duty Scottish soldiers are killed by the Provisional IRA. 4000 shipyard workers take to the streets to demand internment in response.
1974: A Japanese soldier, a guerrilla operating in The Philippines, surrenders, 29 years after World War II ended.
1983: Zimbabwe opposition leader Joshua Nkomo flees to Botswana.
1986: NASA announces searchers found the remains of the Shuttle Challenger astronauts.
1988: Actress Audrey Hepburn is appointed a UNICEF special ambassador.
1992: Death of former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin aged 85.
1994: The IRA launch a mortar attack on Heathrow Airport. On the same day, author Charles Bukowski dies of leukaemia aged 73.
1997: Rapper Notorious B.I.G (Christopher Wallace) is shot dead in Los Angeles aged 24.
1998: Dr Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment signs an unknown rapper called Eminem.
2006: Water is discovered on Enceladus, the sixth largest moon of Saturn.
2007: Brad Delp, lead singer with Boston, commits suicide at 55.
2010: Lil Wayne is sentenced to a year in prison at New York City’s Rikers Island after pleading guilty to gun possession.
2011: Space Shuttle Discovery makes its final landing after 39 flights.
2015: President Barack Obama signs an executive order declaring Venezuela a national security threat to the US.
BIRTHDAYS: John Cale, musician, 78; Gary Walker (Leeds), drummer (The Walker Brothers) 78; Robin Trower, guitarist, 75; Martin Fry, singer (ABC) 62; Linda Fiorentino, actress, 60; Juliette Binoche, actress, 56; Shannon Leto, musician (30 Seconds to Mars) 50; Clint Dempsey, footballer, 37; Wretch 32 (Jermaine Sinclair) rapper, 32.