1981: The Caribbean islands of Antigua and neighbouring Barbuda form an independent state, ending nearly 350 years of British rule.
1604: William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello is first presented, at Whitehall Palace in London. 1755: Earthquake rocks Lisbon, Portugal, killing 60,000 people, many in collapsed churches. 1918: The Hapsburgs, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, comes to an end after King Charles renounces his share in state affairs.
1945: Britain announces it has evidence indicating Adolf Hitler killed himself in a bunker in Berlin. 1954: The north African nation of Algeria begins its rebellion against French rule.
1968: US military halts all air, naval and artillery bombardment of Vietnam. But US reconnaissance flights over the North continue.
1989: After travel restrictions are lifted, hundreds of East Germans flock to the West German embassy in Prague seeking passage to the West.
1990: The world's largest industrial countries agree to phase out dumping waste into the sea by 1995.
1991: Thirteen members of the Canadian military are rescued after spending more than 40 hours stranded in the Arctic after their plane crashed. Five additional crew members, including the pilot, survived the crash but froze to death before they were rescued.
1995: Peace talks on the Bosnian conflict open in the United States in Dayton, Ohio, with the leaders of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia present. The talks result in a peace accord overseen by NATO troops.
1996: Rwandan and Zairian forces bombard each another with artillery along the border, while rebels in Zaire supported by Rwanda close in on the town of Goma.
1997: Indonesia closes 16 banks left insolvent by Asia's financial problems.
1999: China agrees to work with conservation groups to stop the use of endangered plants and animals like rhinoceros and tiger parts for medicines and traditional cures.
2001: NATO member Turkey becomes the first Muslim nation to commit troops to the war against Afghanistan.
2005: Police surround opposition parties' headquarters and clash with their supporters on the islands of Zanzibar as the ruling party is declared winner of presidential and parliamentary elections. At least nine people are killed.
2006: Fiji's prime minister insists that his government will not step down despite pressure from the country's military commander, whose relentless criticism of the administration has raised fears of a possible coup.
2007: Tropical Storm Noel drenches the central Caribbean, killing at least 107, destroying at least 20,000 homes and causing crop damage in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba amounting to tens of millions of dollars.
2008: Tutsi-led rebels tighten their hold on newly seized swaths of eastern Congo.
2009: President Hamid Karzai is effectively handed a second fiveyear term when his only challenger drops out of the race, and the Obama administration said it is prepared to work with the man it has previously criticised to combat corruption and confront the Taliban insurgency.
Benvenuto Cellini, Italian artist (1500-1571); Francis Hutcheson, Scottish philosopher (1694-1746); Nicholas Boileau, French poet (1636-1711); Victoria de los Angeles, Spanish soprano (1923-2005); Marcia Wallace, US actress (1942-); Toni Collette, Australian actress (1972-).