1721: Robert Walpole became Britain’s first prime minister, an office he held until 12 February, 1742.
1776: Russia, by treaty of Copenhagen with Denmark, ceded her claim to Holstein.
1833: Attempt by revolutionaries to take over Frankfurt Diet in Germany was crushed.
1882: Jesse James, American outlaw and robber, was murdered, shot in the back while adjusting a picture on his cabin wall. The killer was his cousin, Robert Ford.
1902: Tarmacadam was patented by Edgar Hooley.
1913: Emmeline Pankhurst, suffragette, was found guilty of inciting supporters to place explosives at the London residence of David Lloyd George. She was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
1921: Coal rationing imposed in Britain.
1922: Josef Stalin appointed general secretary of the Communist Party in Russia.
1930: Ras (Prince) Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael became Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). He ruled for 44 years and became the focus of the Rastafarian religion.
1941: Hungarian premier Count Paul Teleki took his own life rather than ally his country with Germany.
1947: Bupa, the private medical company, was founded.
1949: Armistice with Israel was concluded by Arab nations.
1978: The first regular BBC radio broadcasts of proceedings in parliament began.
1982: Dick Saunders, 48, became the oldest winner of the Grand National, riding Grittar.
1982: Commons held emergency Saturday session on Falklands crisis as United Nations Security Council voted 10-1 for resolution demanding withdrawal of Argentine forces, who took island of South Georgia the same day.
1993: Grand National was declared void for the first time in its history after two false starts when the starting tape failed to rise properly.
1993: The American and Russian presidents, Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, began their first summit meeting, in Vancouver, Canada.
2004: Islamic terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks were trapped by the police in their apartment hideout and killed themselves.
2013: More than 50 people died in floods resulting from record-breaking rainfall in La Plata and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Alec Baldwin, actor, 56; Doris Day, singer, film actress and animal welfare activist, 92; William Gaunt, actor, 77; Dame Jane Goodall DBE, scientific director, Gombe Wildlife Research Institute, 80; Helmut Kohl, German chancellor 1982-98, 84; Jonathan Lynn co-writer of Yes, Minister, 71; Bobby McGregor MBE, Olympic swimmer, architect, 70; Eddie Murphy, actor and comedian, 53; David Hyde Pierce, actor (Niles Crane in Frasier), 55; Charles Peattie, cartoonist, 56; Andy Robinson OBE, rugby coach, 50; Richard Thompson OBE, guitarist and songwriter (Fairport Convention), 65.
Births: 1367 King Henry IV; 1783 Washington Irving, author of Rip Van Winkle; 1893 Leslie Howard, film actor; 1924 Marlon Brando, film actor; 1925 Tony Benn, former MP and Cabinet minister; 1926 Andrew Keir, actor.
Deaths: 1862 Sir James Clark Ross, Arctic explorer; 1897 Johannes Brahms, composer; 1950 Kurt Weill, composer; 1986 Sir Peter Pears, tenor; 1991 Graham Greene, novelist; 1999 Lionel Bart, composer and lyricist.