1540 King Henry VIII of England married his fifth wife, Catherine
1586 The first potatoes arrived in Britain from Columbia, brought by
Sir Thomas Harriot.
1750 The great baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach died.
1821 Peru declared its independence from Spain.
1866 * Beatrix Potter, English children's author who created Peter
1901 * Rudy Vallee, popular US singer and actor who starred in The
Vagabond Lover (1929).
1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, precipitating the start
1929 * Jacqueline (Kennedy) Onassis, widow of assassinated US
President John F. Kennedy.
1936 * Sir Garfield Sobers, West Indian cricketer and one of the
1945 A B-52 light bomber crashed into the 78th floor of the Empire
1959 Post codes were introduced in Britain.
1965 President Johnson committed a further 50,000 US troops to the
war in Vietnam.
1972 Thousands of British Dockers begin an official "National" dock
strike to safeguard jobs.
1976 More than 240,000 people were feared dead after an 8.3
magnitude earthquake hit China. The quake virtually destroyed the
city of Tangshan, north-east of Beijing.
1987 Laura Davis became the first British golfer to win the US
1988 The MP for Yeovil, Paddy Ashdown, was elected the first leader
of the new Social and Liberal Democrat Party.
2000 The final phase of the Good Friday peace accord. 52 republican
and 26 loyalist paramilitaries imprisoned for terrorist offences,
were freed from the Maze prison in Northern Ireland.
2005 The IRA formally ordered an end to its armed campaign and said
it will pursue exclusively peaceful means.
xxxx * = Date of birth
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