1715: King Louis XIV of France, called the “Sun King”, died in Versailles after reigning for 72 years – the longest in European history.
1853: The first triangular-shaped postage stamps were issued by the Cape of Good Hope.
1859: Pullman (sleeping cars) carriages were introduced, on the Bloomington to Chicago line.
1875: Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, was born in Chicago. He never visited Africa where his stories were set.
1923: An earthquake in Japan left the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama in ruins and killed more than 300,000 people.
1939: Germany invaded Poland and bombed Warsaw at 6am. For the first time in history, the King went to Downing Street instead of the Prime Minister going to the Palace, as Neville Chamberlain needed to stay near his telephone.
1951: Britain’s first supermarket opened, the Premier in Earl’s Court, London.
1969: Colonel Gaddafi seized power in Libya, overthrowing King Idris I.
1971: The British penny and the threepenny piece coins ceased to be legal tender as decimalisation continued.
1990: The Prince of Wales was recovering after surgeons operated for the second time on his right arm, broken when he fell from his polo pony.
2012: Super cyclist Sarah Storey flew to a gold medal in the Paralympics – just hours after her husband Barney won one.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Children’s programme Thomas And Friends announced it was to introduce an “inclusive” gender-balanced, multicultural set of characters as part of a revamp.
BIRTHDAYS: Lily Tomlin, comedienne, 80; Barry Gibb, singer (Bee Gees), 73; Bruce Foxton, bass player (The Jam), 64; Gloria Estefan, singer, 62; Ruud Gullit, former footballer/manager, 57; Scott Speedman, actor, 44; Daniel Sturridge, footballer, 30; Romeo Beckham, 17.