1621 - Galileo invented the telescope.
1894 - Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson - Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - died in Samoa, aged 44.
1910 - Neon lighting was displayed for the first time, at the Paris Motor Show.
1917 - The Quebec Bridge, the world’s longest cantilever, was opened: 87 lives were lost during its construction.
1926 - Agatha Christie disappeared from her Surrey home. She was later found in a Harrogate hotel with no recollection of how she came to be in Yorkshire.
1927 - Putting Pants on Philip, the first Laurel and Hardy film, was released.
1931 - Alka Seltzer went on sale for the first time.
1944 - Britain’s Home Guard was officially stood down at a special farewell parade in London’s Hyde Park.
1948 - John Michael Osbourne - Ozzy - was born in Birmingham.
1963 - Nelson Mandela’s trial began. He was accused of treason.
1967 - In cape Town, Dr Christiaan Barnard carried out the world’s first heart transplant.
1976 - An assassination attempt was made on singer Bob Marley. He was shot twice, but played a concert only two days later.
1979 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became the first Supreme Leader of Iran.
1984 - The world’s oldest bridegroom, 103-year-old Harry Stevens, married 83-year-old Thelma Lucas in Wisconsin.
1984 - A toxic gas leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant three miles from Bhopal, India, killed more than 3,800 people outright and injured tens of thousands more, some of whom later died from their injuries.
1988 - Junior health minister Edwina Currie claimed most of Britain’s egg production was infected by salmonella.
1992 - Two bombs exploded in the centre of Manchester injuring 65 people. The IRA admitted responsibility the following day.
1993 - Princess Diana announced she was withdrawing from public life.