Today in History, 14/12

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2016 - Sydney man Robert Adams loses his legal bid for a share of a $40 million Powerball jackpot.

Highlights in history on this date:

1417 - Sir John Oldcastle, a leader of the Lollards religious sect, is hanged and burned in Britain.

1542 - Following the battle of Solway Moss, James V of Scotland has a mental breakdown and dies; his daughter Mary Stuart goes on to accede to the throne at the age of one week.

1799 - Death of George Washington, first president of the United States.

1822 - Congress of Verona ends, ignoring Greek war of independence.

1861 - Prince Albert, consort and husband of Queen Victoria, dies of typhoid at Windsor Castle.

1900 - Max Planck first publishes his Quantum Theory: that radiant energy comes in small indivisible packets and was not continuous as previously thought.

1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becomes first man to reach South Pole.

1918 - Women in Britain vote for the first time in a general election and are allowed to stand as candidates.

1941 - US Marines make stand in battle for Wake Island in Pacific during World War II.

1945 - Josef Kramer, known as "the beast of Belsen," and 10 others are hanged in Hameln for crimes committed at the Belsen and Auschwitz Nazi concentration camps.

1962 - Mariner II space probe begins sending back to Earth man's first information from another planet, Venus.

1968 - Referendum in Tasmania gives go-ahead for Wrest Point casino.

1972 - US Apollo 17 astronauts blast off from Moon after three days of exploration on lunar surface.

1981 - Israel annexes Golan Heights captured from Syria in 1967.

1987 - Allan Border becomes highest run-scorer in Australian cricket with double-century against New Zealand in Adelaide.

1992 - A left-wing British MP introduces legislation to eliminate the Queen's job.

1995 - Australia announces a wide-ranging defence and security treaty with Indonesia.

1999 - US and German negotiators agree to establish a fund of $US5.2 billion for Nazi-era slave and forced labourers.

2000 - Vladimir Putin, the first Russian president to visit Cuba since the collapse of the Soviet Union, holds talks with Fidel Castro in Havana.

2005 - Top European Parliament officials propose to set up an inquiry committee to establish whether US intelligence agents held terror suspects in secret prisons in Europe.

2006 - A British police inquiry rules that Princess Diana was not the victim of a murder plot when she died in a tragic car accident in 1997.

2012 - After killing his mother, 20-year-old Adam Lanza goes on a rampage inside a US primary school in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 26 people including 20 children.

2013 - Actor Peter O'Toole, star of Lawrence of Arabia, dies in London aged 81.

2015 - The ACCC wins a court case to stop British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser selling more-expensive versions of the popular painkiller, Nurofen, identical to its standard ibuprofen pills.

2016 - Sydney factory worker Robert Adams loses his legal bid for a share of a $40 million Powerball jackpot won by 14 workmates.

Today's Birthdays:

Nostradamus, French astrologer and prophet (1503-1566); Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer (1546-1601); Roger Fry, English artist (1866-1934); King George VI (1895-1952); Lee Remick, US actress (1935-1991); Hal Williams, US actor (1938-); Patty Duke, US actress (1946-2016); Kim Beazley, former federal Labor leader (1948-); Cliff Williams, Australian rock musician (AC/DC) (1949-); Rebecca Gibney, New Zealand-born Australian actress (1964-); Michael Owen, English soccer player (1979-); Sophie Monk, Australian actress, singer, and TV star (1979-); Vanessa Hudgens, American singer and actress (1988-).

Thought for Today:

You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories. - Stanislaw J. Lec, Polish author (1909-1966).