1789: First meeting of United States Congress was held, at Federal Hall in New York City.
1824: Royal National Lifeboat Institution was founded by Sir William Hillary.
1857: Peace of Paris ended British-Persian War, and Shah recognised independence of Afghanistan.
1882: The first electric tramcars ran in London, at Leytonstone.
1890: The Forth Bridge was opened by the Prince of Wales, who drove home the last rivet.
1909: The first electric fans went on sale at Selfridges in Oxford Street, London.
1917: German army began major withdrawal on Western Front.
1945: German radio reported that city of Dresden had been “wiped off the map” of Europe by Allied bombers.
1945: Princess Elizabeth joined the ATS as Second Subaltern Windsor 230873.
1946: BBC Housewives’ Choice, presented by Robert McDermott, began.
1965: Syria ordered nationalisation of nine oil companies, including affiliates of two US concerns.
1967: The first North Sea gas was pumped ashore at Easington, Co Durham.
1972: Soviet Union signed agreement with Libya to develop and refine Libyan oil, a pact seen as a pressure tactic against western oil companies.
1973: Eight Black September terrorists ended their occupation of Saudi Arabian embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, after killing three foreign diplomats.
1974: Edward Heath resigned as Conservative prime minister and a minority Labour government, led by Harold Wilson, took office.
1977: Earthquake devastated Bucharest and other towns in Romania, and death toll reached more than 1,000.
1986: The first edition of Eddy Shah’s national newspaper Today was published.
1990: ANC loyalists overthrew the government of South African homeland of Ciskei.
1991: Flight Lieutenant John Peters, RAF pilot captured after his Tornado was shot down over Iraq on 17 January, was handed over to International Red Cross with two other British prisoners of war.
1994: Control of Celtic passed from the White-Kelly family dynasty, who had run the football club for 100 years, to tycoon Fergus McCann.
2001: A massive car bomb exploded outside BBC Television Centre in London, seriously injuring one person. The attack was attributed to the Real IRA.
2002: Canada banned human cloning, but permitted government-funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility treatment or abortions.
Kenny Dalglish MBE, footballer and manager, 62; Evan Dando, rock singer and guitarist (Lemonheads), 46; James Ellroy, crime writer, 65; Jan Garbarek, jazz saxophonist, 66; Harvey Goldsmith CBE, impresario, 67; Chris Rea, rock musician, 62; Peter Skellern, composer and singer, 66; Shakin’ Stevens, pop singer, 65; Sam Taylor-Wood OBE, artist and film-maker.
Births: 1678 Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, Italian composer and violinist; 1756 Sir Henry Raeburn, artist; 1885 William Foyle, bookseller and bookshop founder; 1936 Jim Clark, world champion motor racing driver.
Deaths: 1915 William Willett, builder and promoter of “daylight-saving”; 1993 Albert Sabin, developer of oral polio vaccine; 2012 Paul McBride QC, Scottish criminal lawyer.