HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE
1497 - Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama leaves Lisbon in search of a sea route to India.
1524 - Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano arrives in France to report on his discoveries in the New World, which include the New York Bay.
1776 - Colonel John Nixon gives the first public reading of the US Declaration of Independence to a crowd in Philadelphia.
1792 - France declares war on Prussia.
1853 - US Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Tokyo Bay with two armed frigates to force Japan to open up to the West after more than 200 years of seclusion.
1862 - The Sydney Yacht Squadron is formed.
1889 - America's newspaper The Wall Street Journal is first published.
1909 - Taxis are introduced to Sydney.
1911 - Nan Jane Aspinwall enters New York City after becoming the first woman to cross the United States on horseback, taking 301 days to cover the 7500 km journey from San Francisco.
1920 - Britain annexes East African Protectorate as Kenya Colony.
1940 - Norway's government moves to London after 62 days of fighting Nazi invaders in World War II.
1965 - Horse racing starting stalls are introduced in the Chesterfield Stakes at Newmarket, England.
1967 - British actress Vivien Leigh, best known for her award-winning role in Gone with the Wind, dies.
1973 - Bob Hawke becomes president of the Australian Labor Party.
1976 - Former US President Richard Nixon is disbarred by a New York court after his obstruction of justice during Watergate.
1986 - Kurt Waldheim is inaugurated as Austria's president despite admitting lying about serving in the German army in World War II.
1991 - Iraq discloses it is carrying out a nuclear weapons program.
1994 - OJ Simpson is ordered to stand trial on charges of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ronald Goldman.
1996 - The first Islamist-led government in Turkey's modern history narrowly wins a vote of confidence.
1997 - NATO extends membership invitations to three former Eastern European enemies - Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
1998 - The Taliban religious army in Afghanistan outlaws televisions and video cassette recorders.
2001 - Venus Williams wins her second consecutive Wimbledon title, beating Belgian Justine Henin.
2004 - Europe's top human rights court rejects an appeal to grant full human rights to a foetus, saying that is a matter for national governments to decide.
2005 - G8 leaders, meeting in Scotland, agree to more than double aid for Africa to $US50 billion ($A67.84 billion).
2007 - Former Indian Prime Minister and socialist politician Chandra Shekhar dies aged 80.
2008 - Australian SAS signaller Sean McCarthy, 25, is killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
2010 - The largest spy swap between the US and Russia since the Cold War commences as 10 people pleaded guilty to spying in America and were ordered deported to Russia in exchange for the release of four Russian spies.
2011 - The last shuttle thunders into orbit on a cargo run that will close out three decades of both triumph and tragedy for NASA and usher in a period of uncertainty for the US space program.
2012 - Egypt's Islamist president Mohammed Morsi fires the first volley in his battle with the nation's powerful generals, calling on the Islamist-dominated parliament to reconvene despite a military court-backed ruling that dissolved it.
2013 - Brazil becomes the latest country to investigate whether telecommunications firms operating in the country co-operated with the US as part of a spying program.
2014 - Israel launches its largest offensive in the Gaza Strip in nearly two years, killing 25 people in an operation aimed at ending weeks of heavy rocket fire.
2015 - The federal government conditionally approves the Watermark open-cut coalmine in NSW, sparking intense opposition; Jitters continue in China's share markets, with the Shanghai Composite index having dropped 30 per cent since a peak in mid-June.
2016 - Super typhoon Nepartak hits Taiwan, Hong Kong and eastern China, killing more than 10 people; Australia announces it's extending its non-combat operations in Afghanistan until 2020.
2017 - Two partygoers are shot by police during a fancy-dress swingers ball in Melbourne after a fake gun was pulled on officers.
Jean de La Fontaine, French writer (1621-1695); Count Ferdinand Zeppelin, German inventor of the dirigible (1838-1917); John D Rockefeller, US financier (1839-1937); Percy Grainger, Australian-born composer (1882-1961); Bruce Gyngell, Australian TV executive (1929-2000); Jerry Vale, US singer (1932-2014); Steve Lawrence, US singer (1935-); Paul Cronin, Australian actor (1938-); Graeme Blundell, Australian actor, director and presenter (1945-) Anjelica Huston, US actress (1951-); Kevin Bacon, US actor (1958-); Mal Meninga, Australian rugby league footballer (1960-); Beck, US musician, (1970-); Jaden Smith, American actor (1998-).
Thought For Today:
History must stay open, it is all humanity - William Carlos Williams, American author and poet (1883-1963)