Highlights in history on this date:
1540 – Pope Paul III approves the first outline of the Jesuit Order’s organisation.
1601 – Force of 3000 Spaniards lands at Kineale, Ireland, to support rebel Earl of Tyrone.
1788 – A report from this date records that 52 people (3 marines, 26 male convicts, 12 female convicts and 11 children) had died in the first eight months since settlement in Sydney.
1818 – Conference opens at Aix-la-Chapelle between Austria, Prussia, Russia, France and Britain to discuss French war indemnity payments.
1825 – George Stephenson drives the steam locomotive he designed on the opening run of the first passenger railway, from Stockton to Darlington, England.
1854 – First great disaster to an Atlantic Ocean liner occurs when steamship Arctic sinks with 300 people aboard.
1902 – Dame Nellie Melba, opera singer, made a triumphant return in a concert at Melbourne’s Town Hall.
1917 – Death of Hilaire-Germaine-Edgar Degas, French artist.
1923 – Martial law is declared in Germany.
1932 – Lores Bonney becomes first woman to fly around Australia.
1939 – Warsaw surrenders to Germans after 19 days of resistance in World War II.
1959 – Deadly Typhoon Vera batters the Japanese island of Honshu, killing almost 5000 people.
1963 – Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies receives Aboriginal delegation seeking a referendum on racial discrimination.
1964 – The Warren Commission issues a report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating US President JF Kennedy.
1968 – France bars Britain’s entry into European Common Market.
1968 – Antonio Salazar retires as prime minister of Portugal after suffering a stroke. He had been dictator since 1932.
1970 – Jordan’s King Hussein and Al Fatah guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat meet in Cairo with 10 Arab chiefs of state and sign 14-point agreement ending civil war in Jordan.
1973 – Soviet Union launches spacecraft into orbit around earth with two cosmonauts aboard.
1979 – Gracie Fields, popular English music hall entertainer, dies at 81.
1990 – Britain and Iran resume diplomatic relations, broken by Tehran in March 1989 over the issue of British author Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses.
1995 – The Israeli cabinet overwhelmingly agrees to hand over to Palestinians control of much of the West Bank occupied by Israel for 28 years.
1996 – Islamic Taliban rebels seize control of Kabul and hang former president Najibullah.
1998 – Gerhard Schroeder and his Social Democrats win German elections after 16 years of conservative rule under Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
1999 – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak wins his fourth six-year term, taking nearly 94 per cent of the vote in a referendum on his presidency.
2000 – At the Sydney Olympics, Australian Lauren Burns emerges from obscurity to win gold in the under-47 kg division in taekwondo.
2006 – California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs into law a sweeping global warming initiative that imposes the first cap on greenhouse gas emissions in the US.
2007 – Soldiers fire into fleeing crowds in the bloodiest day in the month-long protest against Myanmar’s junta, killing at least nine people.
2008 – Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang completes China’s first spacewalk.
2012 – The body of ABC employee Jill Meagher is discovered in a shallow grave outside Melbourne, six days after she went missing.
2014 – US actor George Clooney and British-Lebanese human-rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin marry in Venice.
2016 – Hundreds of people gather in Western Australia to farewell 14-year-old Elijah Doughty, the Aboriginal boy whose death sparked racially-charged riots in Kalgoorlie.
2017 – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman introduces a decree allowing women to drive for the first time.
Cosimo de Medici, Italian founder of the Medici dynasty (1389-1464); King Louis XIII of France (1601-1643); George Raft, US actor (1896-1980); William Conrad, US actor (1920-1994); Meat Loaf, US singer (1947-); Graham Richardson, Australian politician (1949-); John Marsden, Australian children’s author and teacher (1950-).; Geoff Gallop, former WA premier (1951-); Greg Ham, Australian musician and songwriter (Men at Work) (1953-2012); Ray Hadley, Australian radio broadcaster (1954-); Irvine Welsh, Scottish writer (1958-); Gwyneth Paltrow, US actress (1972-); Lil Wayne, US rapper (1982-); Avril Lavigne, Canadian singer (1984-).
Thought For Today:
Sanity is a madness put to good uses – George Santayana, Spanish-American philosopher (1863-1952).