In 296, in the First War of Scottish Independence, John Balliol’s Scottish army was defeated by an English army commanded by John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, at the Battle of Dunbar.
1508 - Pope Julius II excommunicated the entire population of Venice.
1667 - The blind and impoverished John Milton sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.
1749 The first performance of George Frideric Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks took place in London’s Green Park. It finished early due to the outbreak of fire.
1828 - London Zoo opened.
1840 - The foundation stone for the new Palace of Westminster was laid by the wife of Sir Charles Barry.
1937 - King George VI opened the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
1939 - Conscription of men aged 20 to 21 was announced in Britain.
1944 - The government banned all foreign travel.
1961 - Sierra Leone was granted its independence from the United Kingdom, with Milton Margai as the first Prime Minister.
1968 - Abortion was legalised in Britain.
1972 - Five colleges at Oxford University agreed to admit female students.
1981 - Xerox PARC introduced the computer mouse.
1986 - The city of Pripyat as well as the surrounding areas were evacuated due to Chernobyl disaster.
1992 -The House of Commons elected a woman, Betty Boothroyd, to the post of Speaker for the first time in its 700-year history.
1992 - The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro, was proclaimed.
1993 - All members of the Zambia national football team lost their lives in a plane crash off Libreville, Gabon en route to Dakar, Senegal to play a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Senegal.
1997 - The last rugby union match was played at Cardiff Arms Park, before it was torn down to make way for the Millennium Stadium.
2014 - Popes John XXIII and John Paul II were declared saints in the first papal canonization since 1954.