Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 16 October
1793: Marie Antoinette, Queen of France as wife of Louis XVI, was convicted of treason and guillotined in Paris.
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte arrived as an exile on the Atlantic island of St Helena.
1834: The Palace of Westminster was burned down; firemen saved Westminster Hall and St Stephen’s Chapel.
1859: American anti-slavery campaigner John Brown, who inspired the song John Brown’s Body, raided the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He was later hanged for the offence.
1869: Girton College, the oldest women’s college of Cambridge University, was opened.
1902: The first young offenders’ home opened in the village of Borstal, Kent.
1908: The first aeroplane flight in Britain took place, at Farnborough in Hampshire, by American Samuel Frank Cody.
1916: World’s first birth control clinic opened in Brooklyn, New York.
1922: The world’s longest main-line tunnel, the Simplon II under the Alps, was completed after four years’ work.
1942: Hurricane took 11,000 lives in Bengal, India.
1946: The Nuremberg executions took place. The war criminals hanged included Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Wilhelm Keitel.
1949: Civil war ended in Greece.
1958: Blue Peter started on BBC television with presenters Leila Williams and Christopher Trace.
1964: Harold Wilson became Labour prime minister.
1964: China said it had tested its first nuclear bomb.
1978: Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope in conclave in Vatican, taking the name John Paul II and the first non-Italian Pope since 1522.
1994: A biography of the Prince of Wales by broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby said he was forced into a loveless marriage by the Duke of Edinburgh. The Prince described life at Gordonstoun school as “absolute hell”.
1997: The government announced it would ban high-calibre handguns and semi-automatic weapons after Lord Cullen’s report into the Dunblane massacre in which 16 children and a teacher died.
2009: Three suicide bombers attacked a police station in north-west Pakistan and killed 13 people.
Dame Angela Lansbury DBE, actress, 89; Tim Robbins, actor, 56; Peter Bowles, actor, 78; Michael ‘Flea’ Balzary, bassist (Red Hot Chili Peppers), 52; Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, MP 1983-97, secretary of state for Scotland 1995-7, 60; Günter Grass, German novelist and poet, 87; Terry Griffiths OBE, snooker player and commentator, 67; Gary Kemp, actor and musician (Spandau Ballet), 55; Davina McCall, television presenter, 47; John and Edward Grimes, singing twins – “Jedward”, 23; Shayne Ward, singer, 30; Bob Weir, singer-songwriter (The Grateful Dead), 67; Paulo Roberto Falcão, Brazilian head coach and former footballer, 61; Fred Turner, musician, 71.
Births: 1430 King James II of Scotland; 1803 Robert Stephenson, civil engineer; 1854 Oscar Wilde, playwright; 1863 Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain KG, statesman and recipient of Nobel peace prize; 1923 Bill McLaren CBE, rugby commentator.
Deaths: 1774 Robert Fergusson, poet;1946 Joachim von Ribbentrop, foreign minister of Nazi Germany, hanged as a war criminal; 2007 Deborah Kerr, Helensburgh-born actress.