In 1850, the first hippo arrived in Britain.
1871 - Parliament passed the Bank Holiday Act, creating the now familiar national annual holidays.
1895 - The playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde was convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons” and sentenced to serve two years in prison.
1914 - The House of Commons passed the Home Rule Act for devolution in Ireland.
1923 - The first 24-hour motor race was held at Le Mans.
1927 - The Ford Motor Company announced it was to stop manufacturing the popular Model T.
1931 - 28,000 people tried to gain entrance to Whipsnade Zoo, causing mayhem.
1940 - The German 2nd Panzer Division captured the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer; the surrender of the last French and British troops marked the end of the Battle of Boulogne.
1955 - British climbers George Band and Joe Brown became the first to reach the summit of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain at 8,586 metres (28,160 feet). The ascent took the pair three months.
1959 - America launched a spaceship that took two monkeys into space.
1962 - The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, went out of business.
1967 - Celtic became the first British team to win the European Cup, beating favourites Inter Milan 2-1.
1977 - Star Wars was released in American cinemas. It had been made on a budget of $11 million.
1977 - The Chinese government removed a decade old ban on William Shakespeare’s work, effectively ending the Cultural Revolution started in 1966.
1982 - HMS Coventry was sunk during the Falklands War.
1983 - Return of the Jedi grossed $6.2 million on its opening day.
1986 - Bob Geldof organised a Race Against Time for SportAid. More than 30 million people took part around the world.
1988 - Broadcaster, author and journalist Muriel Gray became the first female Rector of Edinburgh University.