HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE
1563 - Jews are expelled from France by order of Charles VI.
1657 - English fleet defeats Spanish fleet off Santa Cruz on Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
1789 - George Washington is inaugurated as first president of United States.
1803 - The US purchases Louisiana Territory and New Orleans from France.
1804 - Shrapnel, named after the British soldier Henry Shrapnel, is used for the first time in warfare by the British against the Dutch in Suriname.
1815 - Central provinces are designated as the Kingdom of Poland, under Alexander of Russia.
1824 - Crete, in rebellion against Turkey along with the rest of Greece, is captured by Egyptian allies of the Turks.
1900 - Hawaii becomes a territory of United States; American railway engineer Casey Jones dies saving passengers just before the crash of the Cannonball Express.
1911 - Australia's Department of Home Affairs issues information about a competition to design a federal capital city in Australia. American architect Walter Burley Griffin will win.
1930 - Radio telephone service begins between Australia and England.
1934 - Under a new constitution in Austria, a dictatorship is set up under Engelbert Dollfuss.
1945 - Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker with his wife Eva Braun, on the day Russian troops penetrate the city, capturing the Reichstag and other government buildings; Allied troops capture Munich and the French cross the border into Austria.
1969 - Sir Paul Hasluck is appointed Australian governor-general.
1970 - US President Richard Nixon announces he has ordered American troops into action against Vietnamese Communist sanctuaries inside Cambodia.
1973 - President Nixon accepts responsibility for the bugging that took place at the Watergate apartment complex in 1972.
1975 - Vietnamese Communist troops take over Saigon, ending the Vietnam War.
1976 - The skeleton of Tasmanian Aborigine Truganini is cremated.
1977 - Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo hold their first weekly march to demand the return of their disappeared children.
1980 - A six-day siege begins when armed gunmen seize the Iranian embassy in London, demanding the release of political prisoners in Iran.
1989 - Death of Italian film director Sergio Leone.
1991 - A cyclone hits Bangladesh, killing at least 125,000 people.
1993 - Tennis star Monica Seles, the world's No 1 player, is stabbed between games on court in Hamburg by a German supporter of her rival Steffi Graf.
1995 - US President Bill Clinton ends US trade and investment with Iran, accusing the Tehran government of supporting terrorism.
1997 - Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov survives an assassination attempt in which two people are killed and 60 injured.
1998 - Argentinian police arrest Dinko Sakic, accused of committing atrocities while the commander of a concentration camp in Croatia during World War II.
1998 - Secessionist rebels and the Papua New Guinea government sign a permanent ceasefire, ending a nine-year rebellion on the South Pacific island of Bougainville.
1999 - A bomb at a gay pub in London kills three people and injures more than 70.
2001 - Indonesia's President Wahid faces impeachment after being censured by politicians a second time for corruption and mismanagement.
2001 - California businessman Dennis Tito arrives at the international space station aboard a Russian spacecraft.
2002 - The International Skating Union suspends two French skating officials from the sport for three years, after the two are implicated in a judging scandal at the Winter Olympic Games in February.
2002 - Zimbabwean President Mugabe declares a nationwide "state of disaster" as a food crisis blamed on drought threatens thousands with starvation.
2003 - The US, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations formally publish a "road map" for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that is meant to lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state in 2005.
2008 - DNA tests carried out by a US laboratory prove that remains exhumed the previous year belong to two children of Czar Nicholas II, Crown Prince Alexei and his sister, Maria, putting to rest questions about what happened to Russia's last royal family.
2009 - Iraq war formally ends for British forces as America's main battlefield ally hands control of oil-rich Basra area to US commanders and prepares to ship out its remaining 4,000 troops.
2011 - Thousands of young people flood an ancient Roman field for an all-night prayer vigil honouring Pope John Paul II on the eve of his beatification, remembering his teachings, travels and his own suffering.
2012 - In fresh attacks on symbols of state power, twin suicide bombs explode near a government security compound in northern Syria and rockets struck the central bank in Damascus, killing nine people and wounding 100.
2013 - The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group says Syrian rebels will not be able to defeat President Bashar Assad's regime militarily, warning that "Syria's friends" are ready to intervene on the government side.
2014 - Ukraine's acting president concedes that his police and security forces are helpless to stifle unrest in the country's east where pro-Russian gunmen seized more buildings.
2015 - Dutch investigators announce they have finished recovering human remains and wreckage from the Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane, nine months after it was shot down over eastern Ukraine with the loss of 298 lives.
Casimir III The Great, Polish king (1310-1370); Mathurin Jacques Brisson, French zoologist (1723-1806); Jacques-Louis David, French artist (1748-1825); Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician (1777-1855); Franz Lehar, Hungarian composer (1870-1948); Bobby Vee, US singer (1943-2016); Paul Jennings, Australian children's author (1943-); Jill Clayburgh, US actress (1944-2010); Jane Campion, New Zealand film director (1954-); Ian Healy, Australian cricketer (1964-); Kirsten Dunst, US actor (1982-); Nikki Webster, Australian singer (1987-).
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely. - Jorge Louis Borges, Argentine author (1899-1986)