Highlights in history on this date:
1492 - Christopher Columbus discovers island of Hispaniola, now divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
1534 - Spanish conquistadors establish presence in Quito, an Inca city in the Andes.
1857 - British forces recapture Cawnpore in India.
1877 - Thomas Edison demonstrates the first sound recording, reciting Mary had a Little Lamb at West Orange, New Jersey.
1916 - Bucharest, capital of Romania, falls to German troops.
1917 - Collision between Belgian and French ammunition ships at Halifax, Nova Scotia, takes 1600 lives.
1921 - Britain signs peace treaty with Ireland under which Irish Free State is established and Ireland accepts Dominion status.
1938 - France and Germany sign pact on inviolability of their existing frontier.
1941 - US President Franklin D Roosevelt appeals for peace to Japan's Emperor Hirohito, one day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
1957 - America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit blows up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1969 - A concert by The Rolling Stones at the Altamont Speedway in Livermore, California, is marred by the deaths of four people, including one who is stabbed by a Hell's Angel.
1973 - Gerald Ford is sworn in as US vice-president following the resignation of Spiro Agnew over alleged financial irregularities.
1975 - Six-day Balcombe Street Siege begins in London when four IRA gunmen take a middle-aged couple hostage.
1985 - The National Gallery of Victoria buys Pablo Picasso's Weeping Woman for $1.6 million.
1988 - Death of Roy Orbison, one of the greatest stars in American rock and country music.
1991 - John Kerin is replaced as Australia's federal treasurer after five months, by Ralph Willis.
1993 - Serb forces shell Sarajevo for five hours, taking aim at shoppers bartering for food and mourners burying their dead.
1998 - Six years after staging a bloody coup attempt, former Lt Col Hugo Chavez is elected president of Venezuela.
1999 - NASA says it has not detected a signal from the Mars Polar Lander, two days after it began its descent to Mars.
2000 - Death aged 80 of Werner Klemperer, the German-born character actor who played Colonel Klink on the TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes.
2002 - Exxon Mobil Corp says a federal court in Alaska has decided it should pay $US4 billion ($A4.33 billion) in punitive damages for the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
2005 - A military plane loaded with Iranian journalists slams into a Tehran apartment building as it attempts to make an emergency landing, killing 106 people including all 94 on board.
2006 - Australia's federal parliament votes to overturn a ban on human embryo cloning in a rare conscience vote.
2013 - Qantas announces at least 1000 job cuts after forecasting a $300 million half-yearly loss.
2014 - Australian disability activist, comedian and journalist Stella Young dies aged 32.
2016 - US tourist Sam Beattie is killed by a lightning strike while camping on the summit of Mount Warning, NSW, with his girlfriend.
2017 - Two men are charged over a plot to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Henry VI, last Lancastrian king of England (1421-1471); Anthony Trollope, English novelist (1815-1882); Agnes Moorehead, US actress (1900-1974); Dave Brubeck, US jazz pianist-composer (1920-2012); Ric Charlesworth, Australian hockey coach and former cricketer (1952-); Tom Hulce, US actor (1953-); Peter Buck, American musician, R.E.M (1956-); Judd Apatow, American film director and screenwriter (1967-); Andrew Flintoff, English cricketer (1977-); Tim Cahill, Australian soccer player (1979-).
Thought For Today:
In dreams begins responsibility. - William Butler Yeats, Irish Nobel Prize-winning poet (1865-1939).