HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE
79 - Death of Vespasian, Roman emperor from 69-79 and founder of the Flavian dynasty.
1497 - English navigator John Cabot sights Cape Breton Island, Canada, and claims North America for England.
1509 - Henry VIII is crowned King of England.
1793 - First republican constitution in France is adopted.
1812 - Napoleon Bonaparte and his French forces cross Niemen River to begin invasion of Russia.
1821 - Simon Bolivar leads 8000 South American patriots to free Venezuela from Spanish control.
1852 - Floods wash away Gundagai township, NSW, killing 77.
1894 - France's President MF Sadi-Carnot is assassinated by an Italian anarchist at Lyon.
1901 - The first exhibition by 19-year-old Spanish artist Pablo Picasso opens in Paris to high critical acclaim.
1916 - First Battle of the Somme begins in World War I. It lasts five months and the death toll of over one million gained the Allies just 125 square miles (324 square kilometres).
1940 - France signs an armistice with Italy during World War II; Japan formally asks Britain to close the Burma Road.
1947 - An American pilot reports seeing strange objects in the sky looking like "saucers skipping across the water", leading to the first use of the term "flying saucer".
1948 - Soviet Union begins Berlin blockade, halting road and rail traffic between Berlin and West Germany.
1967 - A referendum in Zaire, in which women vote for the first time, approves a new constitution.
1973 - Eamon de Valera, the world's oldest statesman at age 90, resigns presidency of Ireland.
1978 - The Gay Mardi Gras is held in Sydney for the first time; Yemeni President Ahmed Hussein Ghashami is assassinated by a bomb planted in an envoy's briefcase.
1989 - Following the crackdown on China's pro-democracy movement, Zhao Ziyang is deposed as Communist Party general secretary and replaced by Jiang Zemin.
1992 - NSW Premier Nick Greiner and Environment Minister Tim Moore resign over accusations aired at the state's Independent Commission Against Corruption.
2000 - Volunteer workers collect hundreds of oil-coated penguins and prepare to scrub them clean, one day after a tanker sank off South Africa's coast and unleashed a large oil slick.
2001 - Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic lashes out at a decree ordering his extradition to the Hague for trial on war crimes, calling it "unprecedented legal savagery".
2007 - Iraqi court sentences Saddam Hussein's cousin, known as "Chemical Ali," and two other former regime officials to death by hanging for slaughtering up to 180,000 Kurds in the 1980s.
2010 - Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd loses his job to his deputy Julia Gillard after losing the support of his party.
2012 - Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood becomes President of Egypt.
2014 - Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is convicted of conspiracy to hack phones in the British scandal that led to the newspaper's shutdown, split Rupert Murdoch's powerful media empire and brought an apology from Prime Minister David Cameron who employed Coulson as a spokesman.
2015 - Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is sentenced to death; Liberal MP Ken Wyatt calls on parliament and Australians to end the "deafening silence" on the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the nation's founding document.
2016 - Britain votes to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War II.
2017 - A US war court charges an Indonesian detainee at Guantanamo Bay in connection with the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.
Horatio Lord Kitchener, English soldier (1850-1916); Jack Dempsey, US boxer (1895-1983); Juan Fangio, Argentine motor racing champion (1911-1995); Margaret Olley, Australian artist (1923-2011); Claude Chabrol, French film director (1930-2010); David McTaggart, Canadian Greenpeace co-founder (1932-2001); Mick Fleetwood, British drummer (1942-); Jeff Beck, British guitarist (1944-); Peter Weller, US actor (1947-); John Illsley, British rock musician (1949-); Nancy Allen, US actor (1950-); Raelene Boyle, Australian athlete (1951-); Sherry Stringfield, US actress (1967-); Robbie McEwan, Australian cyclist (1972-); Solange Knowles, American singer-songwriter and actress (1986-); Lionel Messi, Argentine footballer (1987-).
Thought For Today:
To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the popularity of dogs - Aldous Huxley, English author (1894-1963).