1642 Galileo Galilei, the Italian scientist and astronomer, died.
1815 The Americans defeated the British at the Battle of New
1886 Britain's longest railway tunnel, The Severn Railway Tunnel,
1889 Dr. Herman Hollerith of New York patented an electrically
1897 * Dennis Wheatley, English thriller novelist.
1935 * Elvis (Aaron) Presley, US singer/songwriter with 500 million
1937 * Shirley Bassey, Welsh born international singer.
1940 Food rationing began in Britain because of WW2.
1941 Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouts movement, died.
1942 * Prof Stephen Hawking, English mathematician, author of A
Brief History of Time (1988).
1947 * David Bowie (David Robert Jones), British pop singer and
1958 Bobby Fischer won the United States Chess Championship for the
first time at age 14.
1959 General Charles de Gaulle became President of the French 5th
1961 The French voted to grant Algeria its independence in a
referendum after seven years of guerrilla
1979 Hundreds of Khmer Rouge troops fled Cambodia after being
crushed by Vietnamese-led rebel forces.
1982 Spain ended its siege of Gibraltar and reopened the frontier.
1989 A Boeing 737 airplane crashed onto the M1 motorway near East
Midlands airport, killing 46 people.
1996 France is mourned the loss of its longest-serving president,
Francois Mitterrand, who died at the
age of 79.
xxxx * = Date of birth
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