Today in History, 12/10

2002: Bombs kill 202 people, including 88 Australians, in the tourist district of Kuta, Bali

Highlights in history on this date:

1492 - Christopher Columbus lands on island later to be named Bahamas.

1702 - The start of the 11-day War of the Spanish Succession, where Admiral Rooke, with 30 British ships, defeats the Spanish at the battle of Vigo Bay and seizes 11 ships full of treasure.

1810 - Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig marries Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The festivities become an annual event, evolving into the present-day Oktoberfest.

1870 - Death of Robert E Lee, commander of the Southern armies during the American civil war.

1915 - British nurse Edith Cavell is executed in Brussels during World War I.

1928 - The first "iron lung" used at Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts.

1933 - US bank robber John Dillinger escapes from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff.

1940 - US silent film star Tom Mix is killed in car crash.

1942 - American forces defeat Japanese in Battle of Cape Esperance on Guadalcanal in World War II.

1945 - Allied Control Council in Germany orders dissolution of Nazi Party after World War II.

1960 - Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev upsets decorum of UN General Assembly by pounding a desk with his shoe.

1964 - The Soviet Union launches a Voskhod space capsule with a three-man crew, the first manned mission involving more than one crew member.

1967 - Sixty-six people are killed when a BEA Comet airliner crashes in the Mediterranean.

1973 - Juan Peron is inaugurated as Argentine president, with his wife Isabel as vice-president.

1975 - Pope Paul VI canonises an Irish archbishop, Oliver Plunkett, who was executed by the British in 1681.

1982 - Australian National Gallery is opened to the public by the Queen.

1984 - Five people are killed when an IRA bomb explodes at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, during the annual Conservative Party conference.

1986 - A summit conference between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ends in Reykjavik without reaching any agreement on arms control.

1989 - Christer Pettersson, sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, is freed by the Court of Appeal.

1994 - US Magellan space probe ends its four-year mapping mission of Venus, plunging into the planet's atmosphere.

1997 - US singer John Denver is killed aged 53 when his privately-built aircraft crashes in Monterey Bay, California.

1999 - The Pakistan army, under General Pervez Musharraf, seizes power in a bloodless coup after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attempts to sack him.

2001 - NBC announces that an assistant to anchorman Tom Brokaw has contracted the skin form of anthrax after opening a "threatening" letter to her boss that contained a suspicious powder.

2002 - Bombs explode in a resort area on the Indonesian island of Bali, destroying two nightclubs and killing 202 people, including 88 Australians.

2007 - Former US vice-president Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change win the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

2008 - The Australian government guarantees all money deposits of any size (up from the cap of $20,000) for the next three years, as a key step towards safeguarding the nation from the impact of the global financial crisis.

2011 - The Gillard government secures passage of its controversial carbon tax through the lower house of federal parliament with the support of key crossbench MPs.

2012 - Australia commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings which killed 202 people, 88 of them Australians, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard visiting the site of the blasts.

2014 - A US health worker who treated a man who later died of Ebola tests positive for the deadly disease.

2015 - Mining giant Glencore puts its Cobar copper mine in NSW and the Lomas Bayas copper mine in Chile up for sale in attempt to reduce $US30 billion in debt.

2016 - Maurice Blackburn lawyers file a $250 million class action against law firm Slater and Gordon alleging it misrepresented its financial prospects to shareholders in April 2015 and was aware it was in financial trouble. The case is later settled for $32.5 million.

2017 - Boxer Jeff Horn wins the Don Award as the athlete to have more inspired Australia in 2017 after his stunning victory over Filipino Manny Pacquaio.

Today's Birthdays:

England's King Edward VI (1537-1553); James Ramsey MacDonald, English labour leader (1865-1937); Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer (1872-1958); Luciano Pavarotti, Italian opera singer (1935-2007); Sam Moore, US soul singer, (1935-); Trevor Chappell, former Australian cricketer (1952-); Hugh Jackman, Australian actor (1968-); Martie Maguire, US musician of the Dixie Chicks (1969-); Marion Jones, US athlete (1975-); Baden Cooke, Australian cyclist (1978-); Josh Hutcherson, US actor (1992-).

Thought For Today:

The wise man is astonished by anything - Andre Gide, French author and critic (1869-1951).