HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE
1509 - Troops of Florence take Pisa in Italy; King Henry VIII of England marries the first of his six wives, Catherine of Aragon.
1770 - Endeavour, sailed by Captain James Cook, runs aground on reef off northern Queensland, near present site of Cooktown.
1863 - Electric lighting makes a surprise early appearance when Sydney's Observatory Hill and the Post Office building are lit to celebrate the marriage of the Prince of Wales.
1898 - Emperor Kuang-Hsu of China begins 100 days of Reform in effort to modernise China, but conservative forces soon squelch the attempt.
1955 - Eighty people are killed and more than 100 injured when three cars crash on the Le Mans racetrack in France and plough into a grandstand.
1963 - Buddhist monk Quang Duc immolates himself on a Saigon street to protest against the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem; State Governor George Wallace allows the enrolment of two black students at the University of Alabama after he first blocked their entry by standing in front of the door.
1964 - The Beatles land in Sydney at the start of an Australian tour marked by screaming crowds.
1975 - The first test pumping of oil from Britain's North Sea oil fields begins.
1979 - Death of film legend John Wayne (born Marion Michael Morrison), aged 72.
1981 - Earthquake in south-east Iran kills at least 1500 people.
1985 - Karen Ann Quinlan, a comatose patient whose case prompted a historic right-to-die court decision, dies in New Jersey, aged 31.
1986 - A divided US Supreme Court strikes down a Pennsylvania abortion law, while reaffirming its 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.
1987 - Margaret Thatcher becomes the first British prime minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term of office as her Conservatives hold onto a reduced majority.
1988 - Syrian-backed dissidents battle with loyalists of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at two devastated refugee camps in west Beirut.
1995 - A bomb explodes at an outdoor music festival in Medellin, Colombia, spraying shrapnel that kills at least 28 people and wounds more than 200 others.
1996 - Native title case of Wik people begins in High Court in Canberra.
1998 - Mitsubishi Motors in the US agrees to pay $US34 million ($A51.92 million) to settle allegations that women on the assembly line at its Illinois factory were groped and insulted and that managers did nothing to stop it.
2001 - Timothy McVeigh is put to death by lethal injection for the deaths of 168 people in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
2004 - A Bosnian Serb government commission admits that Serb forces murdered thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995 - a massacre the government had always denied.
2005 - The world's richest countries agree to write off more than $US40 billion ($A53.57 billion) of debt owed by the poorest nations as part of a British-led effort to lift Africa out of poverty.
2009 - The World Health Organisation says swine flu is now formally a pandemic, a declaration that speeds vaccine production and spurs government spending to combat the first global flu epidemic in 41 years.
2012 - A coroner in Darwin finds that a dingo killed nine-week-old Azaria Chamberlain while the family was on a camping trip at Ayers Rock in 1980. The packed courtroom - in what is the fourth coronial and final inquest into the matter - erupts into applause.
2015 - Rupert Murdoch steps down as CEO of 21st Century Fox in favour of son James; British actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93.
2016 - A 22-year-old Dutch woman is being held in Qatar on suspicion of adultery after she said she was raped while on holiday there.
2017 - A US-led coalition airstrike hits a field hospital and mosque in an Islamic State-held area in eastern Syria, killing at least eight civilians a monitoring group says.
Ben Jonson, English poet and playwright (1572-1637); John Constable, British artist (1776-1837); Julia Margaret Cameron, British photographer (1815-1879); Millicent G Fawcett, British suffragette (1847-1929); Richard Strauss, German composer (1864-1949); Kawabata Yasunari, Japanese novelist and Nobel laureate (1899-1972); Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French underwater explorer (1910-1997); Gene Wilder, US actor (1933-2016); Robin Warren, Australian pathologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1937-); Jackie Stewart, British motor racing champion (1939-); Frank Beard, US musician of ZZ Top fame (1949-); Joe Montana, American football great (1954-); Hugh Laurie, English actor (1959-); Jean Alesi, French Formula One driver (1964-); Geoff Ogilvy, Australian golfer (1977-); Joshua Jackson, US actor (1978-); Amy Taylor, Australian soccer player, TV presenter and model (1979-); Shia LaBeouf, American actor (1986-).
Quote from History:
Neither in the life of the individual nor in that of mankind is it desirable to know the future - Jakob Burckhardt, Swiss historian (1818-1897).