EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries
AD304: Saint Agnes was martyred at the age of 13. A Roman girl, she refused to marry the husband chosen by her father, so he had her burnt at the stake.
1506: Formal founding of the Swiss Guard, the Vatican papal guard, which was created in 15th century and is the oldest army still in existence in the world.
1793: Louis XVI, King of France since 1774, was guillotined in the Place de la Revolution after being found guilty of treason.
1876: Fourteen people were killed in a collision on the Great Northern Railway at Ripon. It prompted the end of the old-style semaphore signalling system.
1911: The first Monte Carlo Rally was held, won seven days later by Henri Rougier from France.
1914: Finishing touches were made to Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.
1922: Provisional Irish parliament voted narrowly to approve treaty with Britain and so begin independence moves.
1936: Edward VIII was proclaimed king.
1942: German forces started offensive in western African desert in Second World War.
1970: Five members of the crew of the Fraserburgh lifeboat, the Duchess of Kent, a non-self-righting type, were lost when she was turned over by a freak wave 36 miles off Kinnaird Head while escorting a Danish fishing vessel to safety. The only survivor was picked up by a Russian trawler.
1970: Iraq foiled attempt to overthrow its government and executed 12 men.
1976: Concorde entered supersonic service with simultaneous take-offs from London to Bahrain and Paris to Rio de Janeiro.
1988: Microlight pilot Brian Milton touched down in Darwin, Australia, 51 days after leaving London dockland in 440cc aircraft Dalgety Flyer.
1990: East Germany’s Communist Party expelled Egon Krenz, the ousted leader who oversaw the opening of the Berlin Wall.
1991: Latvia’s parliament formed volunteer home guard, and authorities bolstered defences at public buildings hours after Soviet commandos staged a pre-dawn assault on republic’s police HQ.
1992: United Nations Security Council urged Libya to surrender two agents indicted by United States in bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed on Lockerbie.
1994: Jury in Virginia found Lorena Bobbitt not guilty by reason of insanity of maliciously wounding her husband by cutting off his penis.
1996: Palestinians on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip chose Yasser Arafat as their first democratically elected leader after almost 30 years of military and political struggle.
2003: A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Mexican state of Colima, killing 29 and leaving approximately 10,000 people homeless.
2008: Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. The FTSE-100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks drop as much as 14 per cent.
Births: 1824 Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, American Confederate general; 1855 John Moses Browning, American inventor of the automatic pistol and machine-gun; 1905 Christian Dior, French fashion designer; 1912 Sir Laurence Whistler, artist and poet; 1925 Benny Hill, comedian; 1933 Norman Willis, British trade unionist.
Deaths: 1802 John Moore, physician and writer; 1924 Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), founder of Bolshevism and Soviet Communist leader; 1933 George Moore, novelist; 1950 George Orwell (pen-name of Eric Arthur Blair), author; 1959 Cecil B DeMille, film director; 2013 Michael Winner, British film director; 2014 Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, member European Commission 1989-99.