1815: Austria, Britain and France formed defensive alliance against Prussia and Russia.
1911: Sidney Street siege, with more than 1,000 troops and armed police involved when three anarchists were trapped inside No 100 Sidney Street in London’s East End. The house burned down and two charred bodies were found, but one, “Peter the Painter”, is believed to have escaped.
1915: The first use of tear-gas in warfare was reported – by Germans against Russians in Poland.
1919: Prof Ernest Rutherford split the atom for first time.
1958: Sir Edmund Hillary reached South Pole with a New Zealand party, the first to do so overland since Captain Scott.
1961: US severed relations with Cuba.
1971: The Open University was inaugurated.
1974: Kuwait reached agreement with Gulf Oil and British Petroleum Companies for 60 per cent takeover of their operations in Persian Gulf state.
1977: Largest loan in 30-year history of International Monetary Fund, almost $4 billion, was made to Britain to bolster its currency.
1988: Margaret Thatcher became longest serving prime minister of the century.
1988: Israeli jets devastated three command centres of Palestinian guerrilla force responsible for November hang-glider attack on Israel.
1989: Amnesty International accused Turkish authorities of routinely torturing political detainees.
1990: General Manuel Noriega surrendered to US troops in Panama and was flown to Florida to face drug charges in America.
1990: Employment secretary Norman Fowler resigned to spend more time with his family.
1990: Lord Young, former trade secretary, refused to give evidence to the public accounts committee on the sale of Rover to British Aerospace.
1996: Jackie Stewart announced that he was to make a comeback in Formula 1 racing as a team owner, 22 years after his third world driver’s championship.
1999: The Mars Polar Lander was launched.
2012: Scotland was hit by another fierce storm following the so-called “Hurricane Bawbag” the previous month. This time, winds reached 102mph causing millions of pounds of damage and 85,000 homes were left without power.
Gavin Hastings, former Scotland rugby captain, 52; David Atherton OBE, conductor, 70; Michael Barratt, broadcaster, 86; Fran Cotton, rugby player and clothing manufacturer, 66; Mel Gibson, actor, 58; Gavin Hastings, former Scotland rugby captain, 52; Lord Hughes of Woodside, MP 1970-97, 81; John Paul Jones, musician (Led Zeppelin), 68; Sir George Martin CBE, composer and Beatles record producer, 88; Victoria Principal, actress, Stephen Stills, singer (Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills and Nash), 69.
Births: 106BC Marius Tullis Cicero, Roman orator; 1883 Clement Attlee, Labour leader and prime minister 1945-51; 1888 James Bridie (Osborne Henry Mavor), Glasgow-born playwright; 1892 JRR Tolkien, author; 1909 Victor Borge, pianist; 1935 David Vine, sports commentator; 1942 John Thaw, actor.
Deaths: 1795 Josiah Wedgwood, potter; 1859 Edwin Muir, writer; 1946 William Joyce (“Lord Haw Haw”); 1967 Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of president JF Kennedy; 1980 Joy Adamson, naturalist.