490BC: The Greeks defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon.
1321: Italian poet Dante Alighieri died of malaria.
1759: The British under General Wolfe won the Battle of Quebec but Wolfe was shot and died in the fighting.
1788: New York became federal capital of the new United States of America.
1874: Composer Arnold Schoenberg was born in Vienna. As a triskaidekaphobe (someone afraid of the number 13), he predicted he would die on the 13th at the age of 76 (7+6=13). He did, on July 13, 1951 at 13 minutes to midnight. His last word was “harmony”.
1909: The first performance took place of Oscar Strauss’s The Chocolate Soldier, the operetta based on George Bernard Shaw’s Arms And The Man.
1915: The process for making breakfast cereal flakes was patented by Frank Martin, as previously the combination of corn, oats and grain had proved indigestible for the public.
1944: William Heath Robinson, the English artist known for his drawings of complex machinery which performed simple tasks, died.
1957: The Mousetrap became Britain’s longest running play, reaching its 1,998th performance.
1985: The World Health Organisation declared Aids to be a worldwide epidemic.
1996: Hip hop star Tupac Shakur dies of gunshot wounds suffered in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.
2008: Hurricane Ike ravaged parts of Texas and Louisiana with 110mph gusts of wind and torrential rain.
BIRTHDAYS: Jacqueline Bisset, actress, 75; Don Was, music producer, 67; Bobby Davro, comedian, 61; Zak Starkey, rock musician (Oasis/The Who), 54; Michael Johnson, former athlete, 52; Shane Warne, cricketer, 50; Goran Ivanisevic, former tennis player, 48; Stella McCartney, fashion designer, 48; Niall Horan, singer (One Direction), 26.