HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE
641 - An army commanded by Amr Ibn al-As conquers Egypt for Islam by seizing the fort of Babylon in the Nile Delta. Alexandria capitulates the following November.
1241 - Mongol horsemen under Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, defeat Teutonic Knights at Liegnitz, Silesia.
1454 - The Italian states of Milan, Florence and Venice sign the Peace of Lodi, recognising each other's status.
1626 - Death of English writer and statesman Francis Bacon.
1783 - Tippoo of Mysore forces British to surrender Bednore.
1865 - Confederate General Robert E Lee capitulates to Union General Ulysses S Grant, ending US Civil War.
1940 - German forces invade Norway and Denmark in World War II.
1942 - Japanese aircraft sink and destroy the RAN's HMAS Vampire and aircraft carrier HMS Hermes off the coast of Sri Lanka. Ten crew die.
1942 - American-Filipino forces on Bataan surrender to Japanese.
1959 - NASA announces the selection of the first seven US astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.
1966 - Italian film star Sophia Loren marries director Carlo Ponti, who still has a wife in Italy.
1970 - Paul McCartney seeks a High Court writ to wind up the Beatles business partnership, effectively ending the group's career.
1983 - The US space shuttle Challenger ends its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
1986 - West Berlin expels two Libyan diplomats and says it has "several indications" Libya is behind bombing of a Berlin discotheque.
1989 - Wayne Gardner wins inaugural Australian 500cc motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island, Victoria.
1990 - A three-decade ban on political activity is lifted in Nepal, and hundreds of thousands celebrate.
1996 - Rebels in Monrovia, Liberia, hold hundreds of foreigners hostage after days of fighting and looting.
2003 - US-led forces take control of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.
2006 - Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer denies UN accusations his department was involved in alleged kickbacks paid by the country's monopoly wheat exporter to Saddam Hussein's regime.
2011 - Thousands of demonstrators barricade themselves in Cairo's central square with burned-out troop carriers and barbed wire and demand the removal of the military council ruling Egypt.
2013 - Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq and the most powerful rebel group in Syria officially join ranks against President Bashar al-Assad to forge a potent militant force in the Middle East.
2016 - Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini confesses to being "the man in the hat" caught on video with suicide bombers at Brussels airport in December 2015.
2017 - Comedian and satirist John Clarke dies aged 68 while hiking in Victoria's Grampians National Park.
Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of King Charles I and claimant to British throne (1649-1685); Paul Robeson, US singer (1898-1976); Sir Robert Helpmann, Australian ballet dancer and actor (1909-1986); Joern Utzon, Danish architect of the Sydney Opera House (1918-2008); Hugh Hefner, US publisher (1926-2017); Dennis Quaid, US actor (1954-); Seve Ballesteros, Spanish golfer (1957-2011); Cynthia Nixon, US actor and politician (1966-); Jacques Villeneuve, Canadian racing driver (1971-); Kristen Stewart, US actor, (1990-); Elle Fanning, US actor (1998-).
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all. - Dame Rebecca West, Irish-born author and journalist (1892-1983).