687: St Sergius began his reign as Pope.
1612: German astronomer Simon Marius became the first to observe Andromeda through a telescope.
1840: The state funeral of Napoleon Bonaparte took place in Paris, 19 years after his death.
1916: French defeated Germans in Battle of Verdun, which resulted in the deaths of 364,000 Allied soldiers and 338,000 Germans.
1917: Armistice was signed by the new Soviet government, in agreement with the Central Powers (Austro-Hungarian empire, Bulgaria, German Empire and Ottoman empire).
1944: The plane carrying bandleader Glenn Miller disappeared over the English Channel while he was enroute to Paris where he was due to play for the troops.
1944: US Congress gave General Eisenhower his fifth star.
1957: UN rejected Greek proposal that Cyprus was entitled to self-determination.
1961: Adolph Eichmann, the Nazi who organised the execution of millions of Jews, was sentenced to death after four-month trial in Jerusalem. He was hanged on 31 May, 1962.
1961: UN General Assembly voted to admit Chinese People’s Republic.
1964: The Maple Leaf adopted as national emblem of Canada.
1965: US Mariner spacecraft relayed data about Venus as it flew past that planet.
1973: John Paul Getty III was released by kidnappers in Italy who had held him for five months and cut off one of his ears.
1976: The oil tanker Argo Merchant ran aground on Nantucket Shoals and spilled 7.6 million gallons of oil, one of the largest oil spills in marine history.
1979: Deposed Shah of Iran flew from US to “temporary” exile in Panama.
1982: Gibraltar’s frontier with Spain was opened to pedestrians after 13 years.
1985: Street battles broke out in Johannesburg between police and anti-apartheid crowd demanding freedom for Nelson Mandela.
1986: Frank Sinatra, Vladimir Horowitz and Isaac Stern performed, Leonard Bernstein conducted in a gala concert to reopen Carnegie Hall, New York, following a seven-month, $50 million refurbishment.
1989: Panamanian Assembly named Manuel Noriega head of government and declared “a state of war” with the US.
1991: Liz McColgan was voted BBC television’s sports personality of the year.
1993: John Major and Irish premier Albert Reynolds signed a joint declaration aimed at bringing peace to Ulster.
2000: The third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant was shut down.
2001: The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened after 11 years and £20 million to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean.
2004: David Blunkett resigned as home secretary over claims he helped the nanny of his former lover, Kimberly Quinn, get a visa.
2014: A cafe in Sydney, Australia was under siege for 16 hours as an armed terrorist held the occupants hostage. The siege ended when security forces stormed the building. Three people, including the gunman, died.
Births: AD37 Nero, fifth Roman Emperor; 1832 Gustave Eiffel, designer of tower; 1859 Ludovic Zamenhof, creator of Esperanto; 1892 J Paul Getty, oil magnate; 1899 Harold Abrahams CBE, Olympic champion sprinter; 1900 Francesco Messina, sculptor; 1907 Oscar Niemeyer, architect; 1913 Doctor Robert McIntyre, physician and politician, SNP’s first MP and president 1958-80.
Deaths: 1263 King Haakon IV of Norway; 1675 Jan Vermeer, artist; 1683 Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler; 1890 Sitting Bull, chief of the Sioux; 1943 Thomas “Fats” Waller, jazz pianist; 1944 Glenn Miller, bandleader; 1962 Charles Laughton, actor; 1966 Walt Disney, cartoon producer; 1984 Lennard Pearce, actor; 1996 Sir Laurens van der Post CBE, author, journalist, explorer and godfather to Prince William; 2010 Blake Edwards, film director and producer; 2011 Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist; 2013 Joan Fontaine, actress.