On this day: Rasputin is murdered by political enemies
1460: The Duke of York was killed and his army routed by forces loyal to King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster at the Battle of Wakefield during the Wars of the Roses.
1703: Approximately 37,000 people were killed when an earthquake struck Tokyo, Japan.
1803: Sindhia of Gwalior submitted to British in India.
1835: HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, set sail from New Zealand to Australia.
1879: Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Pirates Of Penzance was first performed at Paignton, Devon, and in New York.
1887: A petition addressed to Queen Victoria with more than one million names of women appealing for public houses to be closed on Sundays was handed to the home secretary.
1900: Flooding and gales hit Britain, causing 50 deaths.
1906: Iran became a constitutional monarchy.
1915: The British cruiser HMS Natal exploded in Cromarty Harbour with the loss of 405 lives.
1916: Rasputin, Russian religious fanatic who claimed to have magic healing powers, was killed aged 44. It was said that enemies poisoned his wine and put cyanide in his food, but he was unaffected. He was then shot and stabbed nine times to no avail. He was finally drowned.
1919: The first female law student was admitted at Lincoln’s Inn, London.
1922: Russia officially became the USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
1944: King George II of Greece abdicated.
1947: King Michael of Romania abdicated in favour of a Communist republic.
1950: Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia became independent states within the French union.
1962: The worst snowstorms since 1881 hit Britain.
1964: United Nations Security Council resolved to call for end to all foreign intervention in the Congo, a ceasefire there, and withdrawal of mercenaries.
1966: The movie One Million Years BC, starring Raquel Welch, was released in the UK.
1968: Frank Sinatra first recorded My Way, the lyrics written by Paul Anka.
1987: Iraq said its warplanes attacked ship in gulf off Iran as toll grew in worst month of the “tanker war”.
1988: The government announced it would give £150,000 to the Lockerbie air disaster appeal.
1989: Polish parliament approved reforms allowing formation of political parties, protection of private property and ending of Communist Party’s monopoly on power.
1990: The government announced plans for common pension age for both sexes – 63 – that would cost £800 million a year.
1993: Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic relations.
1996: Proposed budget cuts by Benjamin Netanyahu sparked protests from 250,000 workers, who shut down services across Israel.
2010: The top-selling toy of the year in the UK was Lego, underlining its popularity for more than 50 years.
Births: AD39 Titus, emperor of Rome; 1865 Rudyard Kipling, poet and writer; 1884 Hideki Tojo, Japanese army general and prime minister, hanged for war crimes; 1933 Andy Stewart, entertainer, songwriter; 1945 Davy Jones, singer (The Monkees).
Deaths: 1460 Duke of York, Battle of Wakefield (father of Edward IV and Richard III); 1916 Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic and adviser to the Romanovs; 12006 Saddam Hussein, fifth president of Iraq (executed); 2011 Ronald Searle CBE, artist and cartoonist.