1562: Kissing in public was banned in Naples, contravention being punishable by death.
1776: Foundation of modern economics, with publication of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, written in Kirkcaldy by Adam Smith.
1796: Napoleon married Josephine. Both parties gave their ages as 28, although Napoleon was only 27 and Josephine was nudging 33.
1802: The upright piano was patented by Thomas Loud.
1831: The French Foreign Legion was founded by King Louis Philippe, with headquarters at Sidi-bel-Abbes in Algeria.
1862: First battle of iron-clad ships took place in American Civil War.
1876: Graham Bell filed patent for the first telephone – only three hours ahead of a similar one by Elisha Gray.
1891: Hurricane winds with snow swept across Britain, particularly in south-west regions, felling trees and sinking 14 ships. The storms continued for four days and there were 60 deaths.
1915: Defence of the Realm Act was passed.
1916: Pancho Villa led his famous raid into New Mexico, killing 17 Americans.
1932: Eamon de Valera was elected president of the Irish Free State.
1932: Pu-yi, the Chinese boy-emperor deposed in 1912, was installed by Japanese as head of puppet state of Manchuria.
1946: Thirty-three football fans died and more than 400 were injured when crash barriers collapsed at Burnden Park, before an FA Cup match between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City.
1959: A doll named Barbara Millicent Roberts – Barbie for short – was exhibited at the New York toy fair.
1967: Svetlana Alliluyeva, Stalin’s 41-year-old daughter, defected to the West.
1974: Britain returned to a five-day working week, having been on three days since December, 1973, to conserve fuel restricted by Arab-Israeli war.
1987: Iran accused Iraq of using chemical bombs in gulf war.
1990: National Union of Mineworkers’ executive ordered independent inquiry into alleged financial irregularities by Arthur Scargill and others.
1990: Two Germanies began preliminary reunification talks.
1991: Yugoslav military moved into Belgrade with dozens of tanks after thousands of anti-Communist rebels clashed with police in street battles, leaving at least two people dead.
1994: IRA terrorists launched mortar-bomb attack on Heathrow Airport. All the missiles failed to explode.
1995: The Queen visited Northern Ireland for the first time since the IRA and Loyalist ceasefires were announced.
1997: Observers in China, Mongolia and eastern Siberia were treated to a rare double feature as an eclipse permitted the comet Hale-Bopp to be seen during the day.
2007: The Common Riding event in the Borders town of Hawick was named as one of the top annual celebrations in the world by a party guide.
2008: Police in China revealed that they had thwarted an attempt to sabotage the Beijing Olympics.
2010: The Northern Ireland Assembly agreed to devolved policing and justice powers.
2012: Labour MP Eric Joyce was fined £3,000 and banned from pubs for three months after he admitted assaulting politicians in a House of Commons bar.
Juliette Binoche, actress, 51; Bill Beaumont CBE, rugby player and broadcaster, 63; John Cale OBE, rock musician (Velvet Underground), 73; Ornette Coleman, jazz saxophonist, 85; Linda Fiorentino, actress, 55; Martin Fry, British singer (ABC), 57; Martin Johnson CBE, rugby player and coach, 45, David Matthews, composer, 72; Howard Shelley OBE, pianist and conductor, 65; Brittany Snow, actress, 29; Robin Trower, rock guitarist (Procul Harum), 70; Steve Wilkos, American talk show host, 51.
Births: 1454 Amerigo Vespucci, Italian navigator after whom America is named; 1839 Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, composer; 1881 Ernest Bevin, union leader and politician; 1890 Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet political leader; 1892 Vita Sackville-West, novelist, poet and member of the Bloomsbury group; 1910 Samuel Barber, composer; 1918 Mickey Spillane, crime novelist; 1934 Yuri Gagarin, Russian astronaut, first man in space; 1943 Bobby Fischer, world chess champion 1972-75.
Deaths: 1566 David Rizzio, confidential secretary to Queen Mary (murdered in Palace of Holyroodhouse); 1747 Simon Fraser, 12th Baron Lovat, Jacobite, executed for treason; 1988 Richard C Adams, inventor of the paint roller; 1992 Menachim Begin, former Israeli prime minister; 1996 George Burns, American comedian/actor.