Highlights in history on this date:
1533 – King Henry VIII of England, defying Rome, marries his second wife Anne Boleyn.
1802 – France’s Napoleon Bonaparte becomes president of the Italian Republic.
1848 – Last convict ship to Port Phillip in Victoria, the Marion, disembarks passengers.
1878 – Turkish steamer becomes the first ship to be sunk by a torpedo, fired from a Russian boat.
1915 – Inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, inaugurates US transcontinental telephone service.
1919 – The League of Nations is founded.
1924 – First Winter Olympics opens at Chamonix, France.
1942 – Thailand, allied to Japan, declares war on Britain and the United States.
1942 – Full mobilisation ordered in Australia because of the threat of Japanese invasion.
1947 – Italian-born gangster Al Capone dies of syphilis in Miami, aged 48.
1964 – The Beatles hit the top of the US charts with their single I Want to Hold Your Hand.
1971 – In Uganda, army officers depose Milton Obote and Idi Amin becomes president.
1971 – Charles Manson is found guilty of masterminding the killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
1974 – Start of major floods in Brisbane in which 13 die.
1986 – Voyager 2, sweeping to within 81,000km of Uranus, discovers a 10th ring, a 15th moon and a north pole that angles downward.
1994 – Without admitting guilt, singer Michael Jackson settles a lawsuit that alleged he molested a young boy.
1998 – US tourists, Thomas and Eileen Lonergan, are left behind by a scuba diving operator on a reef off Port Douglas, north Queensland. Their remains are never found.
2003 – Top-seed Serena Williams defeats her older sister Venus in Melbourne to win the women’s singles title at the Australian Open.
2005 – 258 Hindu pilgrims die in a stampede and fire during a pilgrimage to the Mandher Devi temple in western India.
2006 – Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians crowd polling stations in their first parliamentary elections in a decade. Hamas will emerge victorious.
2009 – Aboriginal leader Mick Dodson is named Australian of the Year.
2010 – Mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry begins his term as Australian of the Year with controversy, describing detention centres for asylum seekers as “factories for producing mental illness”.
2015 – Rosie Batty, campaigner against domestic violence, is named Australian of the Year and dedicates the award to her son, Luke, who was killed by his father in February 2014.
2016 – A mural by British graffiti artist Banksy highlighting the alleged use of tear gas on asylum seekers from a Calais refugee camp appears near the French embassy in London.
2017 – Biomedical scientist and leading stem cell researcher, Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, is named Australian of the Year.
2018 – US President Donald Trump threatens to stop aid to Palestine if they do not agree to partake in peace talks with Israel.
2019 – Divers Richard Harris and Craig Challen named the joint Australian of the Year for their work in helping to rescue 12 soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.
Robert Burns, Scottish poet (1759-1796); W Somerset Maugham, English author (1874-1965); Virginia Woolf, English author (1882-1941); Corazon Aquino, former Philippines President (1933-2009); Etta James, American blues singer (1938-2012); Tobe Hooper, US horror film director (1943-2017); Ros Kelly, Australian politician (1948-); Kay Cottee, Australian sailor (1954-); Princess Charlene of Monaco (1978-); Xavi, Spanish footballer (1980-); Alicia Keys, US singer (1981-); Robinho (Robson de Souza), Brazilian footballer (1984-).
Thought For Today:
“If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: “It seemed a good idea at the time.” – Dame Rebecca West, Irish-born author and journalist (1892-1983)
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