EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries
1205: A great frost gripped the whole country, lasting until 22 March.
1690: the clarinet was invented in Nuremburg, Germany.
1699: Massachusetts held a day of fasting for wrongly persecuting “witches”.
1724: King Philip V abdicated the Spanish throne.
1784: The US Congress of the Confederation ratified the Treaty of Paris at the end of the US Revolutionary War.
1814: The last London Frost Fair was held. Crowds flocked on to the frozen Thames to enjoy a variety of entertainment.
1858: French emperor Napoleon III escaped an attempt on his life by Felice Orsini, an Italian patriot who was later executed.
1878: Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his telephone to Queen Victoria, who made the first private call in the British Isles from her residence on the Isle of Wight.
1897: Aconcagua, Argentina, the highest peak in the western hemisphere (22,834ft) first climbed by William Martin, Baron Conway of Allington, British climber and art critic.
1907: More than 1,000 people died as the result of an earthquake in Jamaica.
1937: The first Gallup opinion poll took place in Britain, conducted by Doctor Henry Durant.
1938: Walt Disney’s first full-length Technicolor cartoon Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had its première in the US. It opened in London in 1939.
1939: Norway claimed Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.
1943: The Casablanca conference, between President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, began.
1950: US recalled all consular personnel from China.
1960: The US Army promoted Elvis Presley to sergeant.
1975: Seventeen-year-old heiress Lesley Whittle was kidnapped in Shropshire by Donald Neilson, known as the “Black Panther”, who was later sentenced to life imprisonment for her kidnap and murder.
1986: Law requiring motorists to wear seatbelts in front seats came into effect.
1987: Guinness board sacked Ernest Saunders.
1989: The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie, was publicly burned at a demonstration by more than 1,000 Muslims in Bradford city centre.
1991: Yasser Arafat’s deputy, Salah Khalaf, was assassinated in Tunis after criticising PLO support for Saddam Hussein.
1992: Israel opened peace talks with Jordan and resumed bargaining with Palestinians.
2000: A UN tribunal sentenced five Bosnian Croats to up to 25 years for the 1993 killing of over 100 Muslims in a Bosnian village.
2005: Landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn’s moon Titan.
2011: Ben Ali, the former Tunisian president, fled the country to Saudi Arabia after popular protests precipitated his departure.
Births: 83BC Mark Antony, Roman general and politician; 1847 Wilson Carlile, clergyman and founder of Church Army; 1886 Hugh Lofting, author (creator of Dr Doolittle); 1892 Hal Roach, producer and director of comedy classics; 1904 Sir Cecil Beaton, photographer and theatrical designer; 1906 William Bendix, actor; 1926 Warren Mitchell, actor; 1934 Richard Briers CBE, actor; 1947 Bill Werbeniuk, snooker player; 1948 Tim Harris, drummer (the Foundations).
Deaths: 1742 Edmond Halley, Astronomer Royal; ; 1848 Robert Adamson, Scottish chemist and photography pioneer; 1898 Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), author of Alice in Wonderland; 1957 Humphrey Bogart, actor; 1977 Anthony Eden, British prime minister 1955 to 1957; 1978 Harold Abrahams, British Olympic champion athlete; 2006 Shelley Winters, actress; 2009 Ricardo Montalban, actor; 2012 Janey Buchan, Glasgow-born MEP 1979-94.