1656 - Artificial pearls were manufactured for the first time in Paris. They were made of gypsum pellets covered with fish scales.
1782 - The Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon lifted off on its first test flight.
1861 - Albert, Prince Consort died at Windsor Castle, aged 42.
1896 - The Glasgow Underground Railway was opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company.
1903 - The Wright brothers made their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1911 - Roald Amundsen led the first expedition to the South Pole, beating Captain Scott by 35 days.
1918 - British women over the age of 30 voted in a general election for the first time.
1918 - Portuguese President Sidónio Pais was assassinated.
1932 - Leeds took on Wigan at the White City Stadium in the first rugby league match played under floodlights.
1939 - The Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.
1940 - Plutonium (specifically Pu-238) was first isolated at Berkeley, California.
1947 - Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of Real Madrid, staged its first football match.
1962 - US Mariner II sent the first close-up pictures of Venus back to Earth.
1963 - I Want to Hold Your Hand knocked She Loves You off the top spot in the UK charts. It was the first time a band (The Beatles) dethroned themselves.
1973 - A Save Britain fund started in Uganda to help Britain out of its financial crisis.
1990 - After 30 years in exile, ANC President Oliver Tambo returned to South Africa.
1998 - A burglar from Leeds was jailed after experts identified his earprint from the crime scene.
2003 - Saddam Hussein was captured by US forces. He was found in a makeshift bolthole in the floor of a two-roomed hut.
2004 - The Millau Viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world, was formally inaugurated near Millau, France.