523: Saint John I began his reign as catholic Pope.
1521: Spanish conquistadors, under Hernán Cortés, captured Aztec emperor Cuauhtemoc, marking the end of the Aztec empire.
1624: Cardinal Richelieu was appointed chief minister of France by Louis XIII.
1784: Britain’s India Act placed East India Company under government-appointed Board of Control.
1814: The Cape of Good Hope was formally ceded to Great Britain by the Netherlands.
1826: Edinburgh-born explorer Alexander Gordon Laing became the first Christian to reach Timbiktu, Mali.
1868: Earthquake killed 25,000 people in Peru and Ecuador.
1919: British troops opened fire on demonstrators in Armritsar, India, killing 350 people.
1923: The Turkish National Congress elected Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as president.
1937: Japanese attacked Chinese city of Shanghai.
1940: During Hermann Goering’s “Eagle Day” in the Battle of Britain, 45 to 48 German aircraft were shot down.
1944: The British 8th Army occupied Florence.
1945: World Zionist Congress demanded admission of one million Jews to Palestine.
1957: Scotland’s first nuclear power station, at Dounreay, went “critical”, beginning an era of power generated from atomic sources.
1960: Central African Republic and Chad declared independence from France.
1961: East German border guards stopped vehicles passing through the Brandenburg Gate, thus sealing the border and preventing exodus to the West. Barbed wire was erected, later to be replaced by the Berlin Wall.
1964: The last hangings in Britain took place: Peter Allen at Walton prison, Liverpool, and John Walby at Strangeways prison, Manchester.
1966: Chairman Mao announced Cultural Revolution in China.
1972: Last American troops pulled out of Vietnam.
1986: Jack Nicklaus won the US Masters golf championship for a record sixth time.
1987: CBS broadcast the final episode of The Waltons.
1991: Prince of Wales resigned as patron of National Museums of Scotland when design by modernist architects Gordon Benson and Alan Forsyth won contest for new £25m building.
1994: Fifty-nine people were injured when a runaway locomotive with no-one on board crashed into a crowded InterCity train in Edinburgh.
1997: The first episode of South Park was broadcast.
2004: 156 Congolese Tutsi refugees were massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi.
2008: Michael Phelps set the Olympic record for the most gold medals (eight in Beijing and six in Athens) won by an individual in Olympic history with his win in the men’s 200m butterfly.
2012: Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus was stripped of his shot-put Olympic gold medal after failing a drugs test.