1786 - The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, under Pietro Leopoldo I, became the first modern state to abolish the death penalty.
1858 - John Landis Mason received a patent for the first pepper shaker with a screw-on cap.
1872 - the first international football match took place at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, between Scotland and England.
1874 - British statesman Winston Churchill was born IN Blenheim.
1886 - The Folies Bergère staged its first revue.
1900 - Author, playwright and poet Oscar Wilde died of cerebral meningitis at the age of 46, in Paris.
1900 - A German engineer patented front-wheel drive for automobiles.
1934 - The Flying Scotsman became the first steam locomotive to be authenticated as reaching 100mph.
1936 - London’s famed Crystal Palace was destroyed in a fire. The structure had been constructed for the International Exhibition of 1851.
1966 - Barbados became independent from the United Kingdom.
1967 - The People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen became independent from the United Kingdom.
1982 - Michael Jackson’s second solo album, Thriller, was released worldwide. It became the best-selling record album in history.
1999 - British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems merged to form BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence contractor and the fourth largest aerospace firm in the world.
1999 - A ban on beef on the bone – put in place during the BSE crisis – was lifted, meaning T-bone steaks and rib of beef would be on sale by Christmas.
2005 - John Sentamu became the first black archbishop in the Church of England with his enthronement as the 97th Archbishop of York.
2005 - The first human face transplant was performed in France
2007 - Stunt rider Evel Knievel died in Florida, aged 69.