EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries
1154: Henry II became King of England on the death of Stephen.
1688: William of Orange entered London; King James II’s wife Mary and son James fled to France.
1783: William Pitt the Younger became prime minister of Britain at the age of 24.
1932: The BBC launched its Empire Service (forerunner of the world Service) and made its first overseas transmission on shortwave from Daventry’s Borough Hill.
1939: German luxury liner Columbus was scuttled by her crew after being intercepted by a British destroyer.
1941: Adolf Hitler, facing military setbacks, dismissed his chief of staff and took personal command of the German army.
1946: War broke out in Indochina when Ho Chi Minh attacked the French in Hanoi.
1950: Tibet’s Dalai Lama fled the Chinese invasion.
1967: Australian prime minister Harold Holt was officially declared dead, having mysteriously gone missing when swimming in the sea near Melbourne.
1972: US Apollo 17 spacecraft splashed down in Pacifc Ocean, winding-up Apollo programme of landing men on Moon.
1975: Ronnie Wood joined the Rolling Stones.
1981: The Penlee lifeboat disaster occurred as it attempted to rescue the crew of the coaster Union Star in violent seas off the Cornish coast. Sixteen people died as both boats were lost.
1983: The Jules Rimet trophy – the original World Cup – was stolen from the Brazilian football Federation in Rio de Janeiro. It is believed the trophy was melted down into gold bars.
1984: British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and China’s premier Zhao Ziyang signed the Hong Kong Treaty which transferred the sovereignty of Hong Kong to China.
1989: The Prince of Wales condemned the “wasteland of banality, cliche and casual obscenity” in modern English.
1989: The government agreed to pay £150m compensation to Barlow Clowes investors.
1990: Seven George Medals were awarded, two posthumously, for bravery during Piper Alpha disaster.
1991: Twelve Tory MPs, including Margaret Thatcher, abstained from voting to support the government after a debate on the Maastricht summit.
1996: The Duke of Edinburgh caused an outcry among gun law reformers and Dunblane massacre families when he said that gun clubs were no more dangerous than squash clubs or golf clubs. He later apologised.
1998: The US House of Representatives forwarded articles I and III of impeachment against president Bill Clinton to the Senate in relation to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
2009: Around 2,500 people spent hours trapped inside the Channel Tunnel after fve Eurostar trains broke down due to cold weather .
Births: 1554 Philip William, Prince of Orange; 1790 Sir William Edward Parry, Arctic explorer; 1832 John Kirk, Scottish physician, nayuralist and companion to explorer David Livingstone; 1902 Sir Ralph Richardson, actor; 1906 Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet Communist Party chief; 1915 Edith Giovanna Gassion (Edith Piaf), singer; 1922 Eamonn Andrews, television presenter; 1923 Gordon Jackson, OBE, Scottish actor; 1927 James Booth, actor; 1946 Robert Urich, actor.
Deaths: 1741 Vitus Bering, discoverer of various seas, straits and islands that bear his name; 1813 James McGill, Scottish businessman and philanthropist who founded McGill University, Montreal; 1848 Emily Brontë, poet and novelist; 1864 Dr Alois Alzheimer, psychiatrist and neuropathogist who identified “pre-senile dementia”; 1915 Joseph Mallord William Turner, painter; 1996 Ronald Howard, actor and writer; 2004 Renata Tebaldi, operatic soprano; 2005 Vincent Gigante, Mafia boss.