On this day: Spectacular fire in Edinburgh
1775: United States Marine Corps was formed.
1871: Henry Morton Stanley was said to have spoken the immortal words “Doctor Livingstone, I presume”, when the two met at Ujiji, Tanganyika.
1910: Edward Elgar conducted the first performance of his violin concerto, played by Fritz Kreisler, in the Queen’s Hall, London.
1919: Britain’s first regular airmail service inaugurated, between Hounslow and Paris.
1930: Elephants broke away from the Lord Mayor’s Show procession in London and trampled several spectators.
1931: Graham Greene’s first novel, Rumour and Nightfall, was published.
1955: In one of Edinburgh’s most spectacular fires, the boot and shoe warehouse of CW Carr Aitkman in Jeffrey Street was destroyed.
1956: Baghdad Pact nations boycotted Britain.
1961: Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd.
1962: President of Yemen accused Britain of plotting to overthrow regime.
1965: A new colony, the British Indian Ocean Territory, was set up.
1971: Kenny Dalglish made his football international debut for Scotland as a substitute in a match against Belgium.
1975: Angola became independent of Portugal in midst of civil war.
1980: Michael Foot was elected leader of the Labour Party by ten votes.
1985: Gary Kasparov, 22, became world chess champion, beating Anatoly Karpov in Moscow.
1989: Some 100,000 East Germans poured through the Berlin Wall, which was being destroyed to create crossing points.
1992: John Major, the prime minister, announced a judicial inquiry into the arms-to-Iran affair.
1994: The High Court in London ruled that the foreign secretary, Douglas Hurd, had acted unlawfully in authorising £234 million in aid for the Pergau Dam project in Malaysia.
1995: Nigeria defied world opinion and executed writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other environmental campaigners in what were seen as trumped-up murder charges.
1997: WorldCom and MCI Communications announced a $37 billion merger (the largest merger in US history at the time).
2006: Sri Lankan Tamil Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj is assassinated in Colombo.
2010: The Scottish Parliament passed a raft of new restrictions on the sale of alcohol in a bid to tackle the country’s binge-drinking culture.
Hugh Bonneville, actor, 51; Sir Tim Rice, lyricist, 70; Roland Emmerich, film director, 59; Albert Hall, American actor, 77; Eddie Irvine, racing driver, 49; Greg Lake, British rock musician (Emerson, Lake and Palmer), 67; Archie Macpherson, television sports commentator, 77; Randy Mamola, American motorcycling champion, 55; Mackenzie Phillips, actress and singer, 55; Ellen Pompeo, actress, 45; Heather Matarazzo, actress, 32; Wilfried Zaha, footballer, 22; Neil Gaiman, author, 54; DJ Ashba, musician, singer-songwriter (Guns N’ Roses), 42; Shefki Kuqi, Finnish footballer, 38; Jens Lehmann, German goalkeeper, 45; Faustino Asprilla, Colombian footballer, 45; Steve Brookstein, jazz and soul singer, first winner of X Factor, 46; Robert Engle, economist, 72.
Births: 1341 Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland; 1483 Martin Luther, German religious reformer; 1683 King George II; 1697 William Hogarth, painter; 1728 Oliver Godsmith, novelist, playwright and poet; 1861 Robert Innes, Scottish astronomer; 1880 Sir Jacob Epstein, sculptor; 1889 Claude Rains, actor; 1911 Harry Andrews, actor; 1919 Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russian general and inventor who developed the AK-47 assault rifle; 1925 Richard Burton, actor; 1931 Don Henderson, actor; 1932 Roy Scheider, actor; 1940 Screaming Lord Sutch, musician and founder of Monster Raving Loony Party; 1977 Brittany Murphy, actress and singer.
Deaths: 461AD, Saint Leo the Great, pope; 627 Justus, Archbishop of Canterbury; 1241 Pope Celestine IV; 1549 Pope Paul III; 1556 Richard Chancellor, explorer; 1796 Catherine II (the Great), Empress of Russia; 1891 Jean-Arthur Nicholas Rimbaud, poet; 1931 Lilly Pulitzer, socialite and fashion designer (the “Queen of Prep”); 1938 Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of Turkish Republic; 1959 Lupino Lane, actor and theatre manager; 1981 Abel Gance, French film director, produce, actor and writer; 1982 Leonid Brezhnev, premier of Soviet Union; 1990 Lady (Mary) Ogilvie, pioneer of women’s education; 1996 Marjorie Proops OBE, Daily Mirror agony aunt; 1998 Mary Miller, actress; 2001 Ken Kesey, author; 2006 Jack Palance, actor; 2006 Diana Coupland, actress.