On this day: Royal Albert Hall opened
1461: England’s bloodiest battle raged for ten hours around the village of Towton in Yorkshire – it was fought in a blinding snowstorm, and 28,000 soldiers were killed.
1867: Independence of Canada began when parliament created the Dominion of Canada.
1871: The Royal Albert Hall, London, built in memory of Prince Albert, was opened by Queen Victoria. One of the prince’s own compositions was played at the opening.
1886: First batch of Coca Cola was brewed in Atlanta, Georgia.
1928: The House of Commons overwhelmingly passed the Equal Franchise Bill, giving the vote to all women aged 21 or over.
1939: The Spanish Civil War was declared to have ended.
1967: France launched its first nuclear submarine.
1971: Lieutenant William Calley was found guilty by United States military tribunal of My Lai massacre during Vietnam War.
1973: Last American troops left South Vietnam, ending direct military role of United States in Vietnam war.
1981: The first London Marathon was run.
1986: World’s first test-tube quins were born in London.
1990: Prime minister Bob Hawke claimed victory in Australian election, becoming first Labour winner of four consecutive terms.
1990: Viscount Linley waived £30,000 of £35,000 libel damages against Today newspaper.
1993: The president of Hoover Europe was dismissed after a free-travel sales promotion, heavily over-subscribed, ended in chaos.
1993: Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven won him his first Oscars – for Best Film and Best Director.
2004: The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants.
2004: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined Nato.
2010: Thirty-nine people were killed and more than 60 injured in two suicide bomb attacks on the Moscow Metro.
2012: Respect Party candidate George Galloway took Bradford West parliamentary seat from Labour, winning the by-election by 10,140 votes. Mr Gallowaysaid it was the “most sensational victory” in by-election history.
Elle Macpherson, model and entrepreneur, 50; Jennifer Capriati, tennis player, 38; Julie Goodyear MBE, actress, 72; Eric Idle, comic actor, 71; Terry Jacks, singer, 70; Christopher Lambert, actor, 57; Lucy Lawless, actress, 46; Sir John Major, MP 1979-2001, Conservative prime minister 1990-7, 71; Chapman Pincher, investigative journalist, 100; Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, director-general, National Trust, 2001-2012, 56; John Suchet, Alloa-born television reporter, 70; Lord Tebbit of Chingford, MP 1970-1992, 83; Vangelis (Evangelos Papathanassiou), composer, 71.
Births: 1869 Sir Edwin Lutyens, architect; 1902 Sir William Walton, composer; 1913 RS Thomas, poet; 1913 Jack Jones MBE, trade unionist and pensioners’ champion; 1915 George Chisholm, jazz trombonist; 1935 Ruby Murray, singer.
Deaths: 1788 Charles Wesley, evangelist and hymn writer; 1822 Ewan MacLachlan, Gaelic poet, librarian at King’s College, Aberdeen, translator of Homer into Gaelic; 1891 Georges Seurat, artist; 1912 Captain Robert Falcon Scott, on return from South Pole.