Highlights in history on this date:
1489 - Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus and last of the Lusignan dynasty, sells her kingdom to Venice.
1492 - Queen Isabella orders 150,000 Jews expelled from Spain unless they accept Christian baptism.
1558 - Ferdinand I assumes title of Holy Roman Emperor without being crowned by the Pope.
1689 - Convention Parliament meets in Scotland, and William and Mary are proclaimed King and Queen of England.
1794 - Eli Whitney receives a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionises the cotton industry.
1863 - Goulburn, 195km southwest of Sydney, is proclaimed Australia's first inland city.
1883 - Death of German philosopher and economist Karl Marx in London.
1885 - Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Mikado premieres at London's Savoy Theatre.
1891 - The submarine Monarch lays telephone cable along the English Channel bed to prepare for the first telephone links across the Channel.
1917 - China severs diplomatic relations with Germany in World War I.
1939 - Robert Menzies resigns as Australia's attorney-general and deputy leader of the United Australia Party over its refusal to adopt a national insurance scheme.
1942 - Australians are required to carry identity cards in World War II.
1945 - The heaviest bomb of World War II, the 9988kg Grand Slam, is dropped by the RAF's Dambuster Squadron on the Bielefeld railway viaduct in Germany.
1951 - During the Korean War, United Nations forces recapture Seoul.
1964 - Jack Ruby is found guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of US President John F Kennedy.
1973 - US relaxes embargo on arms shipments to Pakistan and India.
1975 - Death of US actress Susan Hayward.
1979 - At least 200 people die when a Trident aircraft crashes on a factory outside Beijing.
1980 - Some 87 people, including a 14-man US boxing team, die in an air crash in Warsaw.
1983 - OPEC agrees to cut its oil prices by 15 per cent for first time in its 23-year history.
1988 - Iran and Iraq unleash missiles on each other's capitals as so-called "war of the cities" erupts.
1991 - The Birmingham Six, six Irishmen wrongly accused of the 1974 bombing of pubs in Birmingham, England, are freed after 16 years in jail.
1994 - Former West Australian premier Carmen Lawrence enters federal parliament for Labor through Fremantle by-election.
2003 - US President George W Bush waives sanctions on Pakistan imposed after the military coup of 1999.
2004 - Russian President Vladimir Putin claims victory after voters hand him an expected landslide 71 per cent win for a second four-year term.
2008 - Former NSW Aboriginal Affairs minister and Labor MP Milton Orkopoulos is found guilty on 30 child sex and drugs charges.
2013 - Xi Jinping becomes president of China, four months after he took charge of the Communist Party.
2015 - Australia prepares to send emergency response teams to Vanuatu, after Cyclone Pam wreaked devastation on the island nation.
2017 - Employers may bar staff from wearing visible religious symbols, the European Union's top court has ruled in its first decision on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work.
Johann Strauss Snr, Austrian composer (1804-1849); Umberto I, King of Italy (1844-1900); Maxim Gorky, Russian novelist (1868-1936); Albert Einstein, German-born physicist (1879-1955); Michael Caine, English actor (1933-); Quincy Jones, US composer-conductor (1933-); Billy Crystal, US actor-comedian (1948-); Prince Albert of Monaco (1958-); Jamie Bell, British actor (1986-).
Thought For Today:
The basic tenet of black consciousness is that the black man must reject all value systems that seek to make him a foreigner in the country of his birth and reduce his basic dignity. - Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist (1946-1977)