On this day: ‘Winnie’ Ewing won Hamilton by-election for SNP
1619: Patent granted to Nathaniel Udwart of Edinburgh for a monopoly in the manufacture of soap.
1785: First unsinkable lifeboat patented by Lionel Lukin, a London coachbuilder.
1853: First public meeting of the National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights was held in Edinburgh.
1871: All prisoners in Britain were photographed, thereby starting the “Rogues’ Gallery”.
1880: James Garfield was elected as the 20th US president.
1896: The first motor insurance policies were issued in Britain. They excluded damage caused by frightened horses.
1899: The Boers began the siege of Ladysmith in Natal.
1903: First edition of the Daily Mirror published.
1914: Great Britain annexed Cyprus.
1917: Balfour Declaration written by British Foreign Secretary AJ Balfour to Zionist leader Lord Rothschild declared support for the idea of a Jewish national home in Palestine.
1924: The Sunday Express became the first British newspaper to print a crossword puzzle.
1930: Tafare Makkonen was crowned Haile Selassie,emperor of Ethiopia.
1936: First high-definition television broadcast from Alexandra Palace, London by the BBC.
1944: Erwin Rommel, German military commander known as the “Desert Fox”, died by self-administered poison.
1947: The US defeated Britain 11-1 in the Ryder Cup at Portland Golf Club, Oregon.
1947: Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” - a prototype aircraft designed for military transport – made its first and only flight.
1949: The Netherlands recognised Indonesia as a soveriegn state.
1953: Pakistan became an Islamic republic.
1954: Comedy series Hancock’s Half Hour began on BBC radio.
1959: £22 million M1 between London and Birmingham opened in Luton by minister of transport Ernest Marples.
1960: In Tanzania, Mary Leakey and her team discovered the first fossils of Homo Habilis from between 1.4 and 2.3 million years ago.
1960: The Lady Chatterley trial ended with publisher Penguin Books cleared of obscenity.
1964: King Faisal succeeded his brother to the throne of Saudi Arabia.
1967: Winifred “Winnie” Ewing won Hamilton by-election for the Scottish National Party.
1981: Citizens’ Band radio became legal in Britain.
1986: Britain’s first artificial heart transplant operation was performed at Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire.
1997: Typhoon Linda killed more than 200 people in Vietnam.
1990: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Television forced merger with rival British Satellite Broadcasting.
2005: David Blunkett resigned from the Cabinet, for the second time in a year, over his business dealings.
2008: Lewis Hamilton became the youngest world champion in Formula One history after a nail-biting Brazilian Grand Prix. Hamilton took the title by one point from Felipe Massa.
2014: Sixty people were killed and 110 injured by a suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan.
Keith Emerson, rock musician (The Nice and Emerson, Lake and Palmer), 70; Samantha Womack, singer and actress (ex-EastEnders), 42; Paul Johnson, author and columnist, 86; Graham Mitchell, footballer, 52; Nelly, rapper, 40; Said Aouita, Olympic champion athlete and world record breaker, 55; Stefanie Powers, actress, 72; Ken Rosewall MBE, tennis player, 80; David Schwimmer, actor (Ross in Friends), 48; Bruce Welch OBE, guitarist (The Shadows) 73; Alan Jones MBE, racing driver, 68; Mitchell Johnson, Test cricketer, 34; Danny Cipriani, rugby union internationalist, 28.
Births: 1470 Edward V, king of England; 1734 Daniel Boone, US frontiersman; 1755 Marie Antoinette, queen consort of Louis XVI of France; 1865 Warren Harding, US president 1921-23; 1901 James Dunn, actor; 1906 Luchino Visconti, film, theatre and opera director; 1913 Burt Lancaster, film actor.
Deaths: 1874 Thomas Anderson, Scottish chemist;1950 George Bernard Shaw, author and dramatist; 1961 James Thurber, cartoonist and writer; 1992 Hal Roach, comedy film-maker; 2014 Acker Bilk, jazz clarinetist and vocalist.