1614 - James I banned all duelling.
1789 - George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the US Electoral College.
1794 - The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic, however it was reestablished in the French West Indies in 1802.
1927 - British driver Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record in his car, Bluebird, with a speed of 174.88mph.
1929 - The first ‘green belt’ land was approved, near Hendon.
1932 - The first Winter Olympics were held in the United States, at Lake Placid.
1936 - Radium became the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.
1937 - Disney’s first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, went on general release in America.
1948 - Vincent Damon Furnier, better known as Alice Cooper, was born in Detroit.
1948 - Ceylon, later renamed Sri Lanka, became an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth.
1962 - The Sunday Times launched the first colour supplement.
1971 - Rolls Royce went into receivership.
1974 - American newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
1975 - Edward Heath resigned as Tory leader.
1983 - Singer Karen Carpenter died at the age of 32 from a heart attack, brought on by anorexia.
1987 - Flamboyant pianist and entertainer Liberace died at the age of 67.
1990 - New Zealand cricketer Richard Hadlee became the first person to take 400 Test wickets.
2001 - Divers found the wreckage of Sir Donald Campbell’s Bluebird in Coniston Water, 35 years after he was killed in an accident while attempting a world water speed record.
2003 - Yugoslavia was formally abolished and replaced with a loose union of Serbia and Montenegro.
2004 - Social networking site Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.