EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries
National day of Malta
1327: Edward II was murdered in the dungeon of Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, to ensure that his son, Edward III, could succeed to the throne.
1621: James VI & I gave Sir Alexander Stirling a royal charter for the colonisation of Nova Scotia.
1677: John and Nicolaas van der Hayden patented the fire extinguisher.
1745: Battle of Prestonpans and defeat of the Hanoverian army under General John Cope by Prince Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites.
1776: A quarter of New York City burned down in a great fire, five days after the city was taken by British forces.
1802: France’s Napoleon Bonaparte annexed Piedmont.
1837: Charles Tiffany founded his gold and jewellery stores.
1860: In the second Opium War, British and French troops defeated the Chinese at the Battle of Baliqiao.
1893: The first petrol-powered car was demonstrated in the United States by Frank Duryea of Springfield, Massachusetts.
1896: General Kitchener’s army occupied Dongola, Sudan.
1911: Liberal prime minister Wilfrid Laudier lost the Canadian general election to Robert Borden of the Conservative Party.
1913: Turkey and Bulgaria signed a peace treaty in Constantinople.
1917: Independence of Latvia was proclaimed.
1921: Pope Benedictus XV donated one million lire to feed starving Russians.
1934: A typhoon struck Honshu island, Japan, killing 4,000 people.
1936: The Spanish fascist junta named Franco to be supreme commander.
1939: Premier Armand Calinescu of Romania was assassinated by the Iron Guard.
1947: An American Skymaster flew from Ohio to Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, without a crew, under automatic control and guided by radio impulses.
1949: West Germany came into existence as US, British and French occupation zones were transferred to German control.
1949: People’s Republic of China was proclaimed by its Communist leaders.
1964: Malta became independent, after 164 years of British rule.
1965: British Petroleum became the first company to strike oil in the North Sea.
1973: Jackson Pollock’s painting Blue Poles sold for $2 million.
1978: Leaders of Syria, Algeria, South Yemen, Libya and the Palestine Liberation Organisation announced in Damascus they were severing relations with Egypt because of that nation’s accord with Israel.
1981: Belize, previously known as British Honduras, became independent.
1985: Mexico counted at least 2,000 dead from an earthquake that devastated four states.
1988: British rower Sean Crowley, 25, became the youngest person to row the Atlantic solo.
1991: Boxing safety row erupted after Michael Watson was critically injured in middleweight title fight with champion Chris Eubank.
1994: Scientists announced that 4.4-million-year-old human remains found in Ethiopia represented the missing link between apes and early man.
1999: Chi-Chi earthquake occurred in central Taiwan, leaving about 2,400 people dead.
2008: The United States claimed their first Ryder Cup win since 1999 with a crushing 16½ - 11½ victory over Europe.
Stephen King, American novelist, 68; Sir Curtly Ambrose, West Indian cricketer, 52; Charles Clarke, home secretary 2004-6, 65; Ethan Coen, scriptwriter and film producer, 58; Shirley Conran, writer, 83; John Crawley, cricketer, 44; Faith Hill, singer, 48; Simon Mayo, radio broadcaster, 57; Bill Murray, American actor, producer and writer, 65; Nancy Travis, actress, 54; Sir Jimmy Young CBE, radio presenter, 94; Angus MacFadyen, Glasgow-born actor, 52.
Births: 1452 Girolamo Savonarola, Italian political reformer and monk (hanged as a heretic); 1722 John Home, Leith-born dramatist; 1756 John McAdam, Ayr-born surveyor who introduced “macadam” road-surfacing; 1866 HG Wells, novelist; 1874 Gustav Holst, composer; 1921 Chico Hamilton, American jazz drummer; 1930 Dawn Addams, actress; 1947 Keith Harris, ventriloquist.
Deaths: 19BC Virgil, Roman poet; 1832 Sir Walter Scott, novelist and poet; 1936 Frank Hornby, toy manufacturer; 1974 Walter Brennan, three-time Oscar-winning actor; 1974 Jacqueline Susann, novelist; 1996 Dorothy Lamour, actress and singer.