Highlights in history on this date:
1742 - Death of English astronomer Edmond Halley, who calculated the orbit of Halley's Comet.
1784 - United States ratifies peace treaty with England, formally ending American War of Independence.
1809 - England and Spain form alliance against Napoleon Bonaparte.
1830 - Explorer Charles Sturt discovers river joining Murrumbidgee system which he calls the Murray (unaware same river had already been found by Hamilton and William Hume in 1824 and called the Hume.)
1852 - Melbourne fails in its bid to become Australia's capital.
1878 - The first private connection by telephone in Britain is made on the Isle of Wight when Queen Victoria speaks to Thomas Biddulph.
1898 - Death of Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, British author of Alice in Wonderland.
1900 - Puccini's opera Tosca receives a mixed reception at its Rome world premiere.
1939 - Sydney swelters on one of its hottest days: a high of 45.3C.
1953 - Josip Broz Tito elected president of Yugoslavia by parliament.
1957 - Death from cancer of US actor Humphrey Bogart, star of The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and The African Queen.
1958 - Qantas begins a round-world service with two Super Constellation aircraft.
1960 - The Reserve Bank of Australia is founded.
1977 - Death of Australian actor Peter Finch, aged 60. He would win a posthumous Oscar for his role in Network.
1979 - Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen achieves a record 10 years, five months and six days as Queensland premier.
1994 - In post-Cold War breakthroughs, US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign Kremlin accords to stop aiming missiles at any nation and to dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine.
1995 - The British Army ends 25 years of daylight patrols in Belfast in a wind-down of a guerilla conflict which engulfed Northern Ireland.
1998 - An international treaty comes into effect protecting the entire continent of Antarctica as a global wilderness preserve.
2000 - Five Bosnian Croats are found guilty of crimes against humanity in The Hague for the brutal massacre of 116 Muslims, in Ahmici, Bosnia in 1993.
2004 - US President George W Bush outlines a dramatic shift in US space policy targeting a return to the Moon and an eventual manned mission to Mars.
2008 - HIH founder Ray Williams is released from Sydney's Silverwater Jail after serving just under three years for the collapse of the insurance giant.
2010 - Protesters enraged over soaring unemployment and corruption drive Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power, after 23 years of iron-fisted rule.
2011 - The body of a woman, the 16th victim of the devastating Queensland floods, is found at Grantham, in the Lockyer Valley.
2016 - British actor Alan Rickman dies of cancer in London, aged 69.
2017 - Broadway star Jennifer Holliday backs out from performing at Donald Trump's presidential inaugural celebrations.
Valdemar I, the Great, Danish king (1131-1182); Benedict Arnold, US general (1741-1801); Albert Schweitzer, German-French missionary and doctor (1875-1965); Sir Cecil Beaton, English photographer and stage designer (1904-1980); Faye Dunaway, US actress (1941-); Graham Marsh, Australian golfer (1944-); Emily Watson, British actor (1967-); Dave Grohl, US singer-musician (1969-); Jason Bateman, US actor (1969-); Stuart Diver, sole survivor of Australia's 1997 Thredbo landslide (1970-).
Thought for Today:
Dignity is like a perfume; those who use it are scarcely conscious of it - Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689).