On this day: Premium bonds on sale for first time
National day of Algeria.
1512: The world’s most famous ceiling was unveiled in the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo had not wanted to do it, because he felt himself to be a sculptor, not a painter. It took him four and a half years to complete, working alone.
1695: The Bank of Scotland was founded.
1755: An earthquake reduced two-thirds of Lisbon to rubble – it was said that 60,000 died.
1912: British Army introduced the Vickers machine gun.
1927: Betting tax was first levied in Britain. Two days later, the bookies went on strike at Windsor in protest.
1929: The Pony Club movement was founded in Britain.
1936: Benito Mussolini proclaimed Rome-Berlin axis.
1945: Britain said all evidence indicated that Adolf Hitler had killed himself in Berlin bunker.
1956: Premium bonds first went on sale in Britain.
1961: The body of the disgraced Stalin was removed from Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Square in Moscow.
1963: In army coup in South Vietnam, president Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated.
1966: Five building workers killed when three-storey steel and concrete framework of Aberdeen University’s new zoology building collapsed in high winds.
1982: Channel 4 television began transmissions.
1990: Sir Geoffrey Howe resigned as Leader of the House of Commons over Margaret Thatcher’s attitude to Europe and ERM.
1991: British Telecom provoked political storm by announcing pre-tax profits of £1.61bn, or £101 per second.
1993: The European Union came into being at midnight with the implementation of the Maastricht Treaty.
1996: There was widespread condemnation of the decision to include Rangers player Paul Gascoigne in the England squad after he was involved in wife-beating allegations.
2000: Serbia joined the United Nations.
2002: Royal butler Paul Burrell was cleared at the Old Bailey of stealing items belonging to Princess Diana, after an intervention by the Queen who revealed he had told her he was safeguarding Diana’s possessions.
2010: The Shetland Islands were named as one of the top-ten must-see places for 2011 by the Lonely Planet Travel Guide.
Toni Collette, actress, 42; Rick Allen, drummer (Def Leppard), 51; Sharron Davies MBE, Olympic swimmer and broadcaster, 52; Larry Flynt, publisher, 72; Michael Kelly, public relations consultant, journalist, Lord Provost of Glasgow 1980-4, 74; Mark Hughes OBE, Welsh footballer and manager, 51; Lyle Lovett, country singer, 57; Jenny McCarthy, actress, model TV presenter, author, 42; Nick Owen, broadcaster, chairman of Luton Town FC, 67; Gary Player, South golfer and course designer, 79.
Births: 1694 Francis Hutcheson, Scottish philosopher; 1762 Spencer Perceval, only British prime minister to have been assassinated; 1825 William Whiting, hymn writer; 1887 LS Lowry, artist of industrial Lancashire; 1896 Edmund Blunden, First World War poet; 1947 Gordon Brown, Scotland and British Lions rugby player.
Deaths: 1793 Lord George Gordon, anti-Catholic agitator and leader of Gordon Riots in 1780; 1972 Ezra Pound, poet and critic; 1985 Phil Silvers, comedy actor (Sergeant Bilko); 2008 Jacques Piccard, deep sea explorer.