Highlights in history on this date:
1609 - English explorer Henry Hudson sails into the New York river that now bears his name.
1711 - A French force sacks Rio de Janeiro.
1733 - Francois Couperin, the most famous of the distinguished family of French musicians and composers, dies.
1772 - Russia takes Baku and Derbent on Caspian Sea from Persia.
1801 - Alexander I of Russia announces annexation of Georgia.
1803 - John Bowen arrives in the future Tasmania with two convict ships to set up a new British colony.
1816 - NSW convicts seize the ship Trial and escape but the vessel is later wrecked.
1848 - Switzerland adopts new constitution as a federal union with strong central government.
1890 - British South Africa Company sets up Salisbury in Rhodesia.
1910 - The world's first recorded female police officer, Alice Stebbins Wells, is appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department.
1943 - German paratroopers take Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he is being held by the Italian government.
1944 - First US troops reach German soil in World War II.
1953 - Nikita Khrushchev becomes First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.
1959 - Soviet Union launches Luna 2, the first spacecraft to strike the moon.
1964 - Dissident army officers try unsuccessfully to overthrow government of South Vietnam.
1968 - Albania announces it is withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact.
1970 - Palestinian guerillas blow up three hijacked airliners in Jordan.
1976 - Chinese leaders gather in Beijing for funeral of Mao Tse-Tung.
1980 - Turkish military seizes power and keeps it until 1983.
1998 - Azem Hajdari, a leading Albanian opposition lawmaker, is assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
2001 - Stunned rescue workers continue to search for bodies in the rubble of the World Trade Centre a day after a terrorist attack shut down the financial capital, badly damaged the Pentagon and left thousands dead.
2002 - Brazilian diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello takes over as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, succeeding Mary Robinson.
2003 - The UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions against Libya that had been in place for 11 years as a response to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
2003 - Country singer Johnny Cash dies aged 71.
2005 - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe quietly adopts constitutional changes that make it easier for the state to seize private property and prevent opponents from travelling abroad to criticise his 25-year rule.
2006 - Solomon Islands government expels Australia's high commissioner Patrick Cole in retaliation for Canberra's opposition to an inquiry into riots in the Pacific nation.
2007 - Authorities confirm a new foot-and-mouth outbreak on the outskirts of London, just days after the government lifted livestock restrictions.
2011 - A leaking gasoline pipeline explodes in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, sending flames racing through a slum and killing at least 75 people.
2012 - A mob armed with guns and grenades launches a fiery attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing the US ambassador and three other Americans.
2013 - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad publicly agrees to a Russian plan to secure and destroy his chemical weapons, but says the proposal will work only if the US halts threats of military action.
2014 - Olympian Oscar Pistorius is found guilty of culpable homicide, one day after his shock murder acquittal over the death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
2015 - Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announces on Facebook that a NSW bid to move the Australian Grand Prix to Sydney has failed.
2016 - The NSW government offers a record $1 million reward for information relating to missing toddler William Tyrell who disappeared two years ago from the NSW coast.
2017 - The UN joins the growing international condemnation of Myanmar's violence against Rohingya Muslims.
2018 - The Costume Shop in Sydney's Waterloo closes its doors after 30 years and puts 10,000 outfits up for sale.
Richard Jordan Gatling, inventor of the multi-barrelled machine gun, (1818-1903); Herbert Henry Asquith, British prime minister (1852-1928); Maurice Chevalier, French actor-entertainer (1888-1971); Jesse Owens, US athlete (1913-1980); Linda Gray, US actress (1940-); Digby Richards, Australian entertainer (1941-1983); Barry White, US singer (1944-2003); Max Walker, Australian cricketer and TV personality (1948-2016); Rachel Ward, Australian-based actress (1957-); Paul Walker, US actor (1973-2013); Nathan Bracken, Australian cricketer (1977-); Grant Denyer, Australian TV personality (1977-); Yao Ming, Chinese basketball player (1980-); Jennifer Hudson, American actress and singer (1981-).
Thought for Today:
In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap - Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).