Today is the 301st day of 2011. There are 64 days left in the year
2008: Former political prisoner Mohamed Nasheed defeats President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Asia's longest-serving ruler, in the Maldives' first democratic presidential election.
1492: Christopher Columbus lands on Cuba's shores on his first voyage to New World.
1836: Federation of Peru and Bolivia is proclaimed.
1886: The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, is dedicated in New York Harbour by US President Grover Cleveland.
1890: The German East Africa Company cedes its territorial rights to Germany.
1916: Australian voters reject conscription for World War I by narrow margin.
1922: Fascism comes to Italy as Benito Mussolini takes control of the government.
1956: Israeli troops invade Sinai Peninsula, later to be joined by British and French forces, following Egypt's seizure of the Suez Canal from European control.
1962: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev announces he has ordered the withdrawal of Soviet missiles from Cuba.
1971: House of Commons votes in favour of Britain's entry into the European Common Market.
1974: Arab heads of state, including Jordan's King Hussein, issue declaration calling for the creation of independent Palestinian state.
1983: The UN General Assembly approves a resolution calling on Vietnam to withdraw its occupation forces from Cambodia.
1989: More than 10,000 rally in protest of the government on the 71st anniversary of Czechoslovakia's independence; scores are beaten or detained.
1990: A coalition of noncommunist pro-independence parties wins the elections in Georgia, the last of the 15 Soviet constituent republics to hold such elections in 1990.
1994: For the first time since violence erupted 25 years earlier, representatives of the Irish Republican Army meet with leaders from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to discuss peace talks.
1997: Forces loyal to Zambian president Frederick Chiluba quash a coup by disgruntled military officers, arresting nine men including the captain who said an angel told him to overthrow the government.
1998: Hurricane Mitch pauses over Honduras with 205 kph (120 mph) winds, sweeping away bridges, flooding neighbourhoods and killing hundreds of people.
2005: Russia issues a scathing response to a UN report documenting massive corruption in the oil-for-food programme, contending that documents indicting Russian companies are fake.
2007: First lady Cristina Fernandez claims victory in Argentina's presidential election to become the first woman elected to the post.
2010: Two volcanoes erupt on Russia's far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, tossing massive ash clouds miles (kilometres) into the air, forcing flights to divert and blanketing one town with thick, heavy ash.
Evelyn Waugh, British novellist (1903-1966); Ivan Turgenev, Russian writer (1818-1883); Auguste Escoffier, chef par excellence (1846-1935); Francis Bacon, British painter (1909-1992); Dr Jonas Salk, US doctor, developer of first polio vaccine (1914-1995); Bill Gates, US chairman of Microsoft (1955-); Julia Roberts, US actress (1967-); Ben Harper, rock singer (1969-).