1138: An earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, kills an estimated 230,000 people.
1737: An earthquake kills 300,000 and destroys half of Calcutta, India.
1864: Slavery is abolished in the US state of Maryland.
1896: Death of Austrian composer Anton Bruckner.
1899: South African Boers declare war on Great Britain.
1915: English nurse Edith Cavell is executed in Belgium by German troops for aiding the escape of Allied prisoners.
1922: The FBI appoints its first female investigator, Alaska Davidson.
1939: Albert Einstein informs President Franklin D Roosevelt of the possibilities of an atomic bomb.
1945: Beginning of the Chinese civil war between the government of Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong’s communists.
1961: Death of Chico (Leonard) Marx aged 71.
1962: Love Me Do, the debut single from The Beatles enters the chart at number 17.
1963: Death of French singer Edith Piaf aged 47. On the same day, French poet and writer Jean Cocteau dies aged 73.
1969: Three people are shot dead during street violence in the loyalist Shankill area of Belfast.
1975: Saturday Night Live is broadcast for the first time on NBC in the US.
1976: Chairman Mao’s widow Jiang is arrested in China and charged as part of the “Gang of Four” with plotting a coup.
1981: Prince opens for the Rolling Stones at the LA Coliseum and runs off the stage after 15 minutes when the audience throws things at him.
1982: Henry VIII’s flagship, The Mary Rose, sank by the French in 1545, is raised from the sea bed at Portsmouth.
1984: The first spacewalk by an American woman – Dr Kathryn D Sullivan.
1986: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev open talks at a summit in Reykjavik in Iceland.
1990: UK Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd says force will be used if Iraq does not withdraw from Kuwait. On the same day, drummer Dave Grohl played his first gig with Nirvana.
2006: Madonna adopted one-yea-old David Banda in Malawi.
2010: George Michael was released from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk, after serving four weeks of an eight week sentence for driving under the influence of drugs.
2013: 27 people are killed after a migrant boat sinks in the Channel of Sicily.
2016: Rod Stewart is knighted by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.
BIRTHDAYS: Bobby Charlton, former footballer, 82; Rodney Marsh, former footballer, 75; Daryl Hall, singer, 73; Dawn French, comedienne, 62; Joan Cusack, actress, 57; Jame Krakowski, actress, 51; Emily Deschanel, actress, 43; Cardi B (Belcalis Almanzar), rapper, 27.