Highlights in history on this date:
1663 - Britain's King Charles II grants charter to Royal African Colony.
1776 - British-born political writer Thomas Paine publishes his influential pamphlet, Common Sense.
1862 - Death of Samuel Colt, firearms manufacturer who invented the revolver that bears his name.
1863 - London's Metropolitan, the world's first underground passenger railway, opens to the public.
1912 - The first flying boat, designed by Glenn Curtiss, makes its maiden flight at Hammondsport, New York.
1917 - Death of William Frederick Cody, US army scout and Indian fighter known as Buffalo Bill.
1920 - The League of Nations is established as the Treaty of Versailles goes into effect.
1928 - Leon Trotsky, one of the chief architects of the Soviet Union, is ordered into exile by the Soviet government.
1929 - Tintin and his dog Snowy, cartoon creations of Belgian artist Herge (Georges Remi), make their first appearance.
1936 - Hollywood silent movie stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford are divorced.
1942 - Japanese invade Dutch East Indies in World War II.
1946 - The League of Nations is officially superseded by the United Nations when the first meeting of the General Assembly begins in London.
1956 - Elvis Presley records his first songs for RCA, including subsequent No 1 hit Heartbreak Hotel.
1961 - Death of Samuel Dashiell Hammett, US crime writer.
1968 - John Gorton, government leader in the Senate, is sworn in as Australian prime minister, following disappearance of Harold Holt.
1968 - US Surveyor 7 spacecraft makes a soft landing on Moon, ending a series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.
1971 - Death of French fashion designer Coco Chanel.
1989 - Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester is fatally shot in the driveway of his Canberra home.
1990 - China ends seven months of martial law in Beijing.
1995 - Stewart Report on Australian soccer reports "mafia-like" practices and calls for action against high-ranking officials.
1998 - The German government reaches an agreement to pay $US110 million to Holocaust survivors in eastern Europe.
2003 - North Korea withdraws from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, accusing the US of trying to topple its political system.
2006 - Six Australians are killed and 26 injured in a bus crash near Cairo in Egypt.
2007 - Bradley John Murdoch fails in an appeal against his conviction and life sentence in the Northern Territory over the murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio.
2010 - The Centaur, an Australian WWII hospital ship that was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese in May 1943 off Queensland, is seen in underwater images for the first time.
2016 - British singer David Bowie dies of cancer in New York, aged 69.
2017 - A woman is killed and three other people injured when a plane crashes on a beach near the central Queensland town of 1770.
Lazaro Spallanzani, Italian scientist (1729-1799); John Dalberg Action, English historian (1834-1902); Frank Sinatra Jr, US singer (1944-2016); Jim Croce, American musician (1943-1973); Rod Stewart, British pop singer (1945-); Donald Fagen, US singer-musician (1948-); George Foreman, US heavyweight boxing champion (1949-); Pat Benatar, US singer (1953-); Fran Walsh, New Zealand screenwriter (1959-); Jeremy Sims, Australian actor and director (1966-); Jemaine Clement, New Zealand actor and comedian (1974-).
Thought for Today:
The force that rules the world is conduct, whether it be moral or immoral - Nicholas Murray Butler, American educator (1862-1947).