Highlights in history on this date:
54 - Roman emperor Claudius I dies, after being poisoned by his wife, Agrippina.
1792 - Cornerstone of the White House is laid during a ceremony in the District of Columbia.
1815 - British occupy South Atlantic island of Ascension to prevent Napoleon's escape from St Helena, the closest island.
1844 - Greenwich Mean Time introduced.
1903 - Australian senate votes and selects Bombala in south-eastern New South Wales as site for Australia's capital.
1923 - Ankara, formerly Angora, becomes new capital of Turkey.
1933 - Australia's first traffic lights installed in Sydney.
1937 - Germany guarantees inviolability of Belgium.
1943 - Italy declares war on Germany, its former World War II Axis partner.
1944 - British and Greek advance units land at Piraeus during World War II.
1952 - Egypt reaches agreement with Sudan on Nile waters.
1965 - Congo President Joseph Kasavubu dismisses 15-month-old government of Premier Moise Tshombe, and names Evariste Kira as new head of government.
1969 - Soviet Union sends third spacecraft into orbit in as many days, putting seven cosmonauts in space.
1970 - Canada and China announce they will establish diplomatic relations. Taiwan promptly breaks ties with Canada.
1974 - Death of American TV personality-columnist Ed Sullivan.
1987 - Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias Sanchez wins Nobel Peace Prize for sponsoring plan to end civil wars in Central America.
1988 - Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz becomes first Arabic-language writer to win Nobel Prize for literature.
1990 - Le Duc Tho, co-founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party, dies in Hanoi aged 79.
1992 - The pyramids, the Sphinx and other monuments survive a Cairo earthquake that kills at least 400 and injures more than 4000.
1993 - A fanatical fan of tennis player Steffi Graf is convicted of stabbing her arch-rival Monica Seles but receives only a two-year suspended sentence.
1994 - Swiss police say cult guru Luc Jouret was among the charred bodies found in the deaths that cost the lives of 52 of his disciples.
1995 - A Dusseldorf court finds four young right-wing extremists guilty of setting a fire to a house in Solingen, killing five Turks in the deadliest attack on foreigners in Germany since the Nazi era.
1997 - Queen Elizabeth II begins a controversial visit to India to mark the 50th anniversary of the subcontinent's independence from Britain.
1998 - A gas explosion sets off a pile of gunpowder used to make illegal fireworks in Tultepec, Mexico, obliterating a two-block area and killing at least 10 people.
1999 - French lawmakers adopt a law giving unwed gay and straight couples the same rights previously limited to the married.
2000 - Muslim Christian riots result in the deaths of 13 Nigerians in Lagos.
2003 - Philippines security forces shoot and kill Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi, allegedly a major figure in regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah, following his escape from a Manila prison in July.
2004 - Investigators conduct their first scientific exhumation of "killing fields" in Hatra, northern Iraq, discovering hundreds of bodies they hope will help convict Saddam Hussein of crimes against humanity.
2006 - Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded win the Nobel Peace Prize for their pioneering use of tiny loans - microcredit - to lift millions out of poverty.
2008 - Victorian MP Theo Theophanous stands aside from his portfolios after allegations he raped a woman 10 years earlier. He was cleared of the charges in July 2009 and retired from politics in 2010.
2010 - The rescue of 33 Chilean miners trapped beneath 610 metres of rock ends the longest underground entrapment in history.
2013 - Bill Shorten wins Labor leadership and Tanya Plibersek becomes deputy leader.
2014 - Tony Abbott's promise to shirtfront Vladimir Putin at the G20 meeting to demand answers about the MH17 disaster prompts a barrage of insults from a Russian news site.
2015 - Investigators find a Russian-made missile brought down MH17 over Ukraine.
2016 - Vincent Stanford is sentenced to life in prison for the murder and sexual assault of NSW bride-to-be Stephanie Scott, whose burnt body was found near Leeton five days after she disappeared in April 2015.
Yves Montand, Italian-born singer-actor (1921-1991); Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister (1925-2013); Lenny Bruce, US comedian (1925-1966); Frank Gilroy, US playwright (1925-2015); Nana Mouskouri, Greek singer and politician (1934-); Paul Simon, US singer-musician (1941-); Marie Osmond, US singer (1959-); Kelly Preston, US actress (1962-); Sacha Baron Cohen, British comedian (1971-); Ian Thorpe, Australian swimmer (1982-).
Quote From History:
"One man's transparency is another's humiliation."
- Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, political ally of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).