1649 Charles I was beheaded at Whitehall and the Commonwealth of England was founded.
1661 - Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, was ritually executed more than two years after his death.
1790 - The first purpose-built life boat was launched, on the River Tyne.
1826 - The Menai Suspension Bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north west coast of Wales, was opened.
1917 - The first jazz single was recorded.
1948 – Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist.
1961 - The contraceptive pill went on sale in Britain.
1965 - Thousands of people paid their last respects to Britain’s greatest wartime leader at the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill.
1969 - The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London, was broken up by the police.
1972 - Soldiers opened fire on protestors in Londonderry, killing 13; now known as Bloody Sunday.