Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 21 November
National day of Lebanon.
1497: Vasco da Gama, with a fleet of four ships, became first European navigator to round the Cape of Storms (later Cape of Good Hope).
1830: Container transport introduced by carriers Pickford’s.
1906: The international radio distress signal SOS was adopted.
1927: The first performance of George Gershwin’s Funny Face took place in New York, starring Fred and Adele Astaire.
1946: The first Biro ballpoint pen went on sale. It was invented by a Hungarian, Laslo Biro.
1963: US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on a visit to Dallas, Texas. His alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was later shot dead while in police custody.
1966: First US serviceman died in the Vietnam War.
1975: The monarchy was restored in Spain when Juan Carlos was sworn in as King in Madrid, two days after the death of General Franco.
1977: Concorde, British/French supersonic airliner, began service at New York’s Kennedy International Airport.
1986: Mike Tyson, at 20, became the youngest heavyweight boxing champion when he defeated Trevor Berbick in Las Vegas.
1986: Iranian surface-to-surface missile hit residential area in Iraqi capital of Baghdad, wounding 20 civilians.
1987: Authorities accused Tamil rebels of attacking Indian troops in northern Sri Lanka in violation of 48-hour truce.
1989: In Beirut, Lebanese president Rene Moawad was among 16 killed in a bomb attack, 17 days after he took power.
1990: Four crew of trawler Antares drowned when submarine HMS Trenchant snagged their nets in the Firth of Clyde.
1990: The Margaret Thatcher era ended when the prime minister told her Cabinet she would not fight on for the Tory leadership.
1995: Rosemary West was given multiple life sentences after being found guilty of murdering ten people in Gloucester.
2001: Jack McConnell was elected First Minister of Scotland to succeed Henry McLeish.
2002: In Nigeria, more than 100 people were killed at an attack aimed at the Miss World contest.
2004: The Orange Revolution began in Ukraine.
2005: Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany.
2010: Irish prime minister Brian Cowen announced he would call a general election in the New Year following a day of political turmoil over an EU-led bail-out.
Jamie Lee Curtis, actress, 55; Boris Becker, Wimbledon tennis champion, 46; John Bird, actor and writer, 77; Tom Conti, Scottish actor and writer, 71; Terry Gilliam, film director and animator, 73; Sir Peter Hall CBE, film and theatre director, 83; Stephen Hough, concert pianist, 52; Billie-Jean King, winner of a record 20 Wimbledon titles, 70; Robert Vaughn, actor, 81.
Births: 1753 Dugald Stewart, Edinburgh-born philosopher; 1847 André Gide, writer; 1819 George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), novelist; 1866 Wassily Kandinsky, abstract painter; 1890 Charles de Gaulle, French general-statesman; 1913 Lord (Benjamin) Britten, composer.
Deaths: 1594 Sir Martin Frobisher, navigator; 1774 Robert Clive of India (suicide); 1916 Jack London, author; 1963 John F Kennedy, United States president (assassinated in Dallas); 1963 CS Lewis, writer; 1980 Mae West, ilm actress; 2000 Emil Zatopek, Olympic gold medallist athlete.