Today is the 284th day of 2012. There are 82 days left in the year.
2000: Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who 40 years earlier became the world's first female prime minister, dies of a heart attack in Colombo, Sri Lanka, after voting in parliamentary elections. She was 84.
680: Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's key saints, is killed at the Battle of Karbala in modern-day Iraq.
1842: Britain proclaims victory as second Afghan War ends.
1859: Civil war breaks out in Argentina.
1886: The tuxedo dinner jacket makes its American debut at the autumn ball in Tuxedo Park, New York.
1911: Revolutionaries in Wuhan begin a revolt that spreads through southern China and leads to the overthrow of the 2,000-year-old Manchu dynasty.
1913: Atlantic and Pacific oceans are united when the Gamboa Dam in the Panama Canal is blown up.
1917: Brazil declares war on Germany in retaliation for the torpedoing of Brazilian ships.
1938: Nazi Germany completes the annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland.
1943: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek becomes President of China.
1957: US President Dwight D Eisenhower apologises to Komla Agbeli Gbdemah, the finance minister of Ghana, after the official is refused service in a Dover, Delaware, restaurant.
1961: The entire population of the South Atlantic island Tristan da Cunha is evacuated to Britain after a volcano erupts.
1964: The Tokyo Olympic Games, the first held in Asia, begin.
1970: Fiji becomes independent after nearly a century of British rule; Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte is kidnapped by the Quebec Liberation Front, a militant separatist group. His body is found a week later.
1973: US Vice-president Spiro Agnew resigns after his conviction for income tax evasion.
1990: The US freezes $564 million in economic and military aid to Pakistan, because of its suspected continued development of nuclear weapons.
1991: German political leaders agree to establish large refugee camps to protect people seeking asylum. The agreement comes amid a continuing wave of violence led by neo-Nazi skinhead youths against foreigners in Germany.
1992: A court in Karachi, Pakistan acquits Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, on charges of masterminding the murder of 29 rival political supporters.
1993: Socialist Andreas Papandreou returns to power in Greek elections.
1994: Haitian leader Lt Gen Raoul Cedras resigns, paving the way for the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1999: Cuban President Fidel Castro agrees to an emigration deal with Israel where members of Cuba's small Jewish minority are allowed to move to Israel using Canadian-issued exit visas.
2002: Final results from legislative assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir state confirm that the National Conference party failed to win a majority after ruling the Himalayan region for most of the past 50 years.
2003: US President Bush announces measures to increase US pressure on the government of Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz, including a crackdown on US tourists who visit Cuba illegally and the creation of a high-level task force to plan for a post-Castro Cuba.
2004: Afghans pack polling stations for a historic presidential election that is blemished when all 15 candidates opposing US-backed interim President Hamid Karzai withdraw, charging the government and the UN with fraud and incompetence.
2007: The Russian Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-11 space ship carrying a new crew to the international space station lifts off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
2008: Martti Ahtisaari, Finland's ex-president, wins the Nobel Peace Prize
2009: Turkey and Armenia sign a landmark agreement to establish diplomatic relations and open their sealed border after a century of enmity.
2010: Churches, banquet halls and other wedding venues across the US are extra busy as couples seeking a perfect 10 rush to tie the knot on a once-in-a-century milestone: October 10, 2010.
Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer (1813-1901); Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer (1861-1930); Ivo Andric, Yugoslav writer and Nobel laureate (1892-1975); Alberto Giacometti, Swiss artist (1901-1966); Thelonious Monk, US jazz musician (1917-1982); Harold Pinter, US writer/director (1930-2008), David Lee Roth, US singer (1954-); Nora Roberts, (aka JD Robb) US romance/mystery author (1950-).