On this day: Single women called up for war work
1697: The rebuilt St Paul’s Cathedral formally opened.
1804: Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I of France.
1815: Britain and Rajah of Nepal signed peace treaty.
1823: United States declared the Monroe Doctrine, opposing European attempts to interfere in the Americas.
1852: Second French Empire proclaimed, with Napoleon III as emperor.
1875: Gelignite was patented by Nobel Peace Prize founder Alfred Nobel.
1901: King Camp Gillette patented the safety razor, and nearly went bankrupt, selling only 51 in his first year of trading.
1916: The lights of the Statue of Liberty were turned on by US president Woodrow Wilson.
1917: World’s first aircraft carrier, HMS Argus, launched.
1929: Britain’s first public telephone boxes came into service.
1932: “Bodyline” Test series began between England and Australia. English tactics of bowling at batsmen’s bodies caused several injuries and much tension.
1933: Fred Astaire’s first film released, with leading lady Joan Crawford. It was called Dancing Lady and the studio’s report on Fred read: “Can’t act, can’t sing, balding, can dance a little”.
1941: All single women aged 20-30 were called up for war work.
1942: The world’s first nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated at the University of Chicago, by physicists Enrico Fermi and Arthur Compton.
1966: Prime Minister Harold Wilson met Ian Smith on HMS Tiger off Gibraltar for talks on the independence of Rhodesia.
1971: Persian Gulf sheikhdoms formed United Arab Emirates.
1982: First artificial heart fitted, to dentist, Dr Barney Clark, at University of Utah Medical Centre. He survived for six months.
1990: Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s centre-right coalition won crushing victory in first all-German elections since 1932.
1991: Shares in Robert Maxwell’s public companies, Mirror Group Newspapers and Maxwell Communication Corporation, were suspended as City concern mounted over his private finances.
1993: Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar shot and killed in Medellin.
Britney Spears, pop singer, 33; Richard Quinn, Scottish jockey, 53; John D Collins, actor, 72; Nelly Furtado, singer-songwriter, 36; Patricia Hewitt, MP, health secretary 2005-7, 66; Lucy Liu, actress, 46; Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal and chief butler of England, 58; Monica Seles, tennis player, 41; Rick Savage, musician (Def Leppard), 54; Alfred Enoch, actor, 26; Steven Bauer actor, 58; Nick Williams, rugby player, 31; Chris Burke, Scottish footballer, 31; Tom McGuinness, musician (Manfred Mann; McGuinness Flint), 73.
Births: 1837 Doctor Joseph Bell, Edinburgh doctor (believed to be the prototype of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes); 1899 John Cobb, British racing driver; 1915 Randolph A Hearst, newspaper publisher; 1924 Alexander Haig, US Army general and secretary of state; 1946 Gianni Versace, fashion designer.
Deaths: 1547 Hernán Cortés, conqueror of Mexico; 1814 the Marquis de Sade, aristocrat; 1859 John Brown, anti-slavery activist; 1863 Jane Pierce, US first lady; 1936 John Ringling, circus owner; 1982 Marty Feldman, comedy writer, comedian and actor; 1985 Philip Larkin, poet and librarian;