In 1864, the Indian city of Calcutta was almost totally destroyed by a cyclone; 60,000 people died.
1880 - The earliest ball-point pen, with its own ink supply and retractable tip, was patented by Alonzo T Cross.
1908 - Bulgaria declared its independence from Turkey.
1917 - Sir Arthur Lee donated Chequers to the nation as a permanent retreat for British prime ministers.
1930 - The British R101 crashed in France en route to India. At the time, it was the world’s largest airship.
1936 - The Jarrow March of unemployed shipyard workers started its southward journey to London from the North East.
1947 - The first televised White House address was given by US President Harry S Truman.
1962 - Dr No, the first in the James Bond film series, was released.
1962 - The Beatles’ first single, Love Me Do, backed with PS I Love You, was released in Britain.
1967 - The first majority verdict by a British jury was taken in Brighton.
1969 - The first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC One.
1973 - Oregon became the first American state to legalise marijuana.
1974 - Five people died and 65 people were injured in bomb blasts in Guildford.
1984 - Actor Leonard Rossiter (Rigsby in Rising Damp), died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy while waiting to go on stage at the Lyric Theatre, London, where he was performing in Joe Orton’s play Loot.
1989 - American evangelist Jim Bakker was convicted of using his television show to defraud his followers of $158 million.
1989 - The Dali Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1999 - Thirty-one people died and dozens were injured when two trains collided near Paddington Station in west London at the height of the morning rush hour.
2001 - Robert Stevens, a picture editor at The Sun magazine in America, died after contracting pulmonary anthrax. His death triggered fears of a bio-terrorist attack.