1756: Frederick II of Prussia invaded Saxony, marking start of Seven Years War in which Holland and Sweden decided to remain neutral.
1782: The 100-tonne battleship HMS Royal George sank while at anchor at Spithead, with the loss of more than 900 lives, including Admiral Richard Kempenfelt.
1797: Battle of Tranent. A demonstration against conscription under the Militia Act was broken up by the Cinque Ports Dragoons and the East Lothian Yeomanry with the deaths of 12 participants.
1835: Melbourne in Australia was founded and was named after Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister of Britain at the time.
1842: The Treaty of Nanking was signed, ending the Opium War (1839-42) between China and Britain and ceding Hong Kong to Britain.
1929: Graf Zeppelin airship completed its tour of the world.
1930: St Kilda was evacuated on “economic” grounds.
1966: The last live performance by the Beatles took place in Candlestick Park, San Francisco.
1972: North and South Korean Red Cross officials met in North Korea openly for first time to discuss reunifying divided families.
1978: China’s Communist Party chairman Hua Guofeng completed visit to Eastern Europe, marking a historic break with China’s traditional isolation.
1990: The Birmingham Six, jailed in 1975 for the pub bombings that killed 21 people, had their cases considered by the Court of Appeal for the third time. They were eventually released.
1994: Israel struck an outline deal with the PLO on self-government for Palestinians on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Jericho.
1995: Eduard Shevardnadze, president of Georgia, survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded outside the parliament building in the capital, Tblisi.
2003: Alastair Campbell resigned as prime minister Tony Blair’s director of communications in the wake of the death of the government’s chief weapons inspector, Doctor David Kelly, and its row with the BBC over the war in Iraq.
2005: Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, causing massive flooding and thousands of deaths. Martial law was declared amid reports of looting and rapes, and President George Bush came under fire over the slowness of the relief operation.
2007: Six US cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads were flown without proper authorisation from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base.
2010: Five years on from Hurricane Katrina, United States president Barack Obama pledged to continue to help residents in their bid to rebuild New Orleans and the stricken Gulf of Mexico coast.