Highlights in history on this date:
1666 - Holland signs treaty of alliance with Great Elector of Brandenburg.
1791 - First ship of the third fleet to Australia - the Mary Anne, carrying 150 female convicts - leaves England.
1804 - US Marines slip into Tripoli harbour and burn US Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had been captured by pirates.
1808 - France invades Spain in the Peninsular War.
1873 - Republic is proclaimed in Spain.
1918 - England's port of Dover is bombarded by German submarine in World War I.
1937 - Wallace H Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont, receives a patent for the synthetic fibre nylon.
1942 - 22 members of the Australian Army Nursing Service and other survivors of the sinking of the SS Vyner Brooke are massacred by Japanese soldiers on Bangka Island.
1945 - US troops land on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.
1948 - The US NBC-TV network begins airing its first nightly newscast.
1959 - Fidel Castro is sworn in as prime minister of Cuba after leading a guerrilla campaign that ousted right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista.
1960 - US nuclear submarine Triton begins its underwater round-the-world trip.
1978 - Japan and China sign $US20 billion trade pact in Beijing.
1983 - Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim more than 70 lives.
1984 - Iran says it has broken through Iraqi defences at the start of what Tehran Radio describes as a "massive offensive".
1987 - John Demjanjuk goes on trial in Jerusalem, accused of being Ivan the Terrible, a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp in World War II.
1994 - An earthquake kills at least 134 people in Indonesia.
1995 - Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin agrees to gradually lift the closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and permit 15,000 Palestinian workers to return to their jobs in Israel.
1998 - A China Airlines Airbus A-300 jetliner returning from Bali crashes short of Taipei's airport, killing all 203 passengers and crew and seven people on the ground.
2000 - A former Bank of New York executive and her husband plead guilty to laundering billions of dollars from Russian bankers.
2002 - Australia wins its first-ever Winter Olympics gold medal when Stephen Bradbury triumphs in the 1000m short-track final in Salt Lake City after all the other skaters fell over.
2005 - The Kyoto Protocol on curbing human emissions of heat-trapping gases by 2012 comes into force, but is rejected by the US, the world's top polluter.
2010 - Two years of DNA testing show King Tutankhamun was a frail boy with a cleft palate and club foot who probably needed canes to walk, and that his parents were brother and sister.
2011 - Australian prime minister Julia Gillard makes history as the first foreign leader to address the New Zealand parliament.
2013 - Tropical Island Of Treasure, the reality TV show featuring Reeva Steenkamp, goes to air in South Africa, two days after she was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius.
2016 - Australia's population officially reaches 24 million.
2018 - Former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty says she will close the doors of the Luke Batty Foundation, set up in honour of her murdered son Luke, saying she needs time to mourn him.
2019 - Bruno Ganz, who portrayed Adolf Hitler in historical war drama Downfall, dies aged 77.
John Schlesinger, English film director (1926-2003); Sonny Bono, US congressman and singer (1935-1998); Kim Jong Il, North Korean leader (1941-2011); Ice-T, US actor-rapper (1958-); John McEnroe, US tennis player (1959-); Tammy MacIntosh, Australian actress (1970-); Cathy Freeman, Australian runner (1973-); Valentino Rossi, Italian motorcyclist (1979-); Agyness Deyn, British model (1983-); The Weeknd, Canadian singer-songwriter and producer (1990- ).
Thought For Today:
One does evil enough when one does nothing good. - German proverb.