1606: The Union Flag was adopted as the flag of England, Wales and Scotland.

1606: The Union Flag was adopted as the flag of England, Wales and Scotland.

1709: Tatler magazine first published.

1815: Austria declared war on Joachim Murat, King of Naples, for occupying Rome.

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1850: French troops restored Pope Pius IX and occupied Rome.

1861: The American Civil War began with the bombardment of Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina by the southern Confederate army under General Pierre Beauregard.

1903: The world’s first motor omnibus service was inaugurated between Eastbourne Station and Meads, Sussex.

1914: George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion opened in London with Mrs Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle and Sir Herbert Tree as Professor Higgins.

1954: Bill Haley recorded Rock Around The Clock, the first record to sell a million in Britain alone. It was featured in 14 films and recorded in 35 languages.

1957: West German nuclear physicists refused to co-operate in producing or testing of atomic weapons.

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1961: Soviet Union put first man in space – Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made safe landing after one orbit of Earth.

1966: American bombers carried out their first strikes against North Vietnam.

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1989: Lord Lloyd-Webber’s Cats was performed for the 3,358th time at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane, making it Britain’s longest-running musical. Seats were booked to the end of 1999.

1990: The Soviet Union admitted the massacre of up to 15,000 Polish officers at Katyn in the Soviet Union in 1940.

1993: Serbian shelling killed 56 people, including 15 children, in the besieged Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

1995: The home secretary, Michael Howard, announced tougher laws to protect children from “video nasties”.

1996: The government’s majority in the House of Commons was reduced to one after Labour won Staffordshire South-east from the Conservatives in a by-election.

1996: West Indies captain Brian Lara scored a Test record 400 not out against England, in Antigua.


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Bill Bryden CBE, Greenock-born theatre director and writer, 68; Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE, playwright, 71; Montserrat Caball, opera singer, 77; David Cassidy, pop singer, 60; Shannen Doherty, actress, 39; Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, MP 1978-99, secretary-general of Nato 1999-2003, 64.


Births:1853 William Conway, first Baron, art critic and mountaineer; 1925 Oliver Postgate, creator of Bagpuss and other characters; 1941 Bobby Moore, footballer.

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Deaths:1988 Alan Paton, politician and author; 1989 Sugar Ray Robinson, welterweight and middleweight boxing champion.