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10th October

1731 * Henry Cavendish, English scientist and chemist who discovered hydrogen in 1766.

1813 * Giuseppe Verdi, Italian opera composer of Aida (1871).

1911 The Chinese Imperial Dynasty was forced to abdicate and a republic was proclaimed.

1930 * Harold Pinter, English playwright who wrote the play The Caretaker (1960).

1935 George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess debuted on Broadway.

1940 A German bomb destroyed the altar of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

1943 Chiang Kai-shek took the oath of office as president of China.

1946 * Charles Dance, English actor who starred in The Jewel in the Crown (1984).

1957 A major nuclear accident took place at the Windscale nuclear power plant in Britain.

1969 The Hunt report recommended the RUC should disarm and the Ulster Special Constabulary be abolished.

1970 Fiji gained its independence from Great Britain.

1970 Quebec separatists kidnap Canadian Labour and Immigration Minister Pierre Laporte.

1973 US Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigned due to charges of tax evasion.

1975 Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor secretly remarried in Africa only 16 months after getting divorced.

1980 Two earthquakes strike the northern Algerian city of El Asnam with up to 20,000 dead.

1980 "The lady's not for turning!" The prime minister Margaret Thatcher made her memorably defiant speech at her party's conference in Brighton.

1985 Actor and director Orson Welles died in Hollywood at age 70.

1999 The world's largest Ferris wheel, the London Eye which is 135m tall, was erected over the banks of the Thames.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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