In 1497 - Portugese navigator Vasco da Gama left Lisbon for a voyage which would lead him to discover the Cape route to India.
1884 - The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) was founded in London.
1901 - The speed limit for cars in French towns was set at 10 miles an hour.
1908 - George Davidson invented the ‘gyrocopter’ a flying machine with two rotary fans.
1932 - The Rector of Stiffkey was found guilty of disreputable association with women.
1942 - Actor Cary Grant married Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton.
1946 - Margaret Roberts (later Thatcher) was elected President of the Oxford University Conservatives.
1947 - Reports were broadcast that a UFO crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico in what became known as the Roswell UFO incident.
1961 - For the first time since 1914, Britain provided both finalists for the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles title - Christine Truman and Angela Mortimer.
1965 - Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs escaped from Wandsworth Prison by scaling a 30ft wall with three other prisoners. He went on the run for nearly 40 years before returning voluntarily to Britain from Brazil in 2001.
1978 - Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler became the first team to climb Everest without oxygen.
1996 - Nursery worker Lisa Potts hit the headlines when she defended children in her care from a machete attack in Wolverhampton.
1996 - Fifteen-year-old Martina Hingis became the youngest-ever Wimbledon champion, when she won the Ladies’ Doubles title with Helena Sukova.
1998 - Christies sold a first edition of ‘The Canterbury Tales’ for £4,621,500. It was part of the first run of books printed in England in 1476, and became the world’s most expensive book ever sold at auction.
2000 - Venus Williams became the first black woman to win the Wimbledon Singles title for 42 years.