HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE
1284 - One hundred and thirty children in the German city of Hamelin mysteriously disappear. The reasons behind the event are obscured by legend, including that of the Pied Piper, who lured them away in revenge for not being paid for clearing the town of rats.
1483 - Richard III of England begins his rule after deposing his nephew Edward V.
1541 - Spanish conqueror of Peru Francisco Pizarro is slain at his palace in Lima by followers of a rival conquistador.
1797 - First merino sheep lands in Australia brought out by Henry Waterhouse and William Kent.
1830 - Death of George IV of Great Britain, king since 1820 and regent since 1811, when his father George III was declared insane.
1836 - Death of Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, French author and composer of the national anthem La Marseillaise.
1843 - Hong Kong is proclaimed a British Crown Colony.
1858 - Treaty of Tientsin ends war between Britain and China, whereby China opens additional ports to British commerce and legalises opium trade.
1906 - First Grand Prix motor-race is held over two days at Le Mans, France.
1945 - Charter establishing United Nations is signed in San Francisco by 50 nations.
1948 - US, Britain and France start ferrying supplies to the isolated western sector of Berlin after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes.
1950 - Twenty-nine people die when an ANA DC4 aircraft crashes in Western Australia.
1960 - The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar becomes independent from France as the Malagasy Republic.
1963 - US President John Kennedy visits West Berlin, where he makes his famous declaration: "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner).
1977 - Elvis Presley performs his final concert at Indianapolis - he died two months later.
1978 - South Yemeni President Salim Rubai Ali is overthrown and executed.
1990 - Nelson Mandela addresses the US Congress, thanking them for imposing sanctions against South Africa and asking that sanctions be maintained until irreversible reforms are enacted.
1993 - President Bill Clinton announces the US has launched missiles against Iraq because of "compelling evidence" Baghdad had plotted to assassinate former president George Bush.
1995 - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak survives an assassination bid unscathed when gunmen spray bullets at his armoured limousine in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
1996 - Afghan guerilla leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar returns to Kabul and takes over as prime minister.
1997 - US Supreme Court strikes down a congressional attempt to keep pornography off the internet, saying it violates the First Amendment.
1998 - US Supreme Court issues a landmark sexual harassment ruling, putting employers on notice that they can be held responsible for supervisors' misconduct even if they know nothing about it.
2000 - Proclaiming a "historic point in the 100,000-year record of humanity," scientists announce the human genetic code has essentially been deciphered.
2001- Seven North Koreans take refuge in a UN office in Beijing and request asylum, highlighting the plight of North Korean famine victims whom China refuses to regard as refugees.
2003 - The US Supreme Court rules 6-3 that a Texas law banning sodomy between consenting same-sex adults is unconstitutional.
2007 - Pope Benedict XVI changes the rules for electing popes, requiring that two-thirds of the cardinals in a conclave agree on the new pontiff.
2013 - Julia Gillard is toppled by Kevin Rudd in a leadership vote. With a 57-45 win, Rudd is sworn in as prime minister the next day.
2014 - The leaders of Britain, France, Germany and other European nations commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I and vow to preserve peace on the continent.
2015 - The US Supreme Court rules 5-4 in favour of same-sex marriage, a decision that means it will become legal in all 50 states.
2017 - Japanese air bag maker Takata files for bankruptcy in the United States and Japan after it is overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to it's production of faulty airbag inflators.
Charles Messier, French astrologer (1730-1817); George Morland, English artist (1763-1804); Baron William Homson Kelvin, English physicist (1824-1907); Robert Borden, Canadian prime minister (1854-1937); Pearl Buck, US novelist (1892-1973); Wilhelm Messerschmitt, German aircraft designer (1898-1978); Peter Lorre, Hungarian actor (1904-1964); Eleanor Parker, US actor (1922-2013); June Bronhill, Australian singer-actor (1929-2005); Georgie Fame, English singer-musician (1943-); Gary Gilmour, Australian cricketer (1951-2014); Mick Jones, British singer of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite fame (1955-); Chris Isaak, US singer (1956-); Chris O'Donnell, US actor (1970-); Jai Taurima, Australian Olympic long-jumper (1972-); Gretchen Wilson, US country singer (1973-); Jason Schwartzman, US actor (1980-); Urgyen Trinley Dorje, Tibetan spiritual leader (1985-); Irv Gotti, American record producer (1970-); Ariana Grande, US singer and actor (1993-).
Thought For Today:
When a diplomat says yes, he means perhaps; when he says perhaps, he means no; when he says no, he is no diplomat - Anonymous.