This Day in History
2008: Jamaica's Shericka Williams wins silver in the women's 400 m — bypassing the US's Sanya Richards — giving Jamaica a tally of two golds, three silvers to date at the Beijing Games.
1856: European powers decide to unite Moldavia with Wallachia.
1940: Italian forces take British Somaliland.
1945: Start of the August Revolution against French rule in Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh.
1953: In Iran, the nationalist government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq collapses in a US-backed military coup; Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi returns to the country in triumph.
1971: General Duong van Minh withdraws from presidential elections in South Vietnam, leaving President Nguyen van Thieu unopposed.
1982: Svetlana Savitskaya is the second Russian woman to go into space when she is launched with two crewmates aboard a Soyuz T-7 spacecraft.
1991: Communist hard-liners stage coup of Soviet President Mikhail S Gorbachev.
1996: Philippine President Fidel Valdez Ramos and a rebel leader announce a settlement of the 26-year Muslim secessionist rebellion.
1999: Nearly 150,000 demonstrators converge on Belgrade to demand Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic resign. Protests began after the NATO air campaign leaves the country impoverished, isolated and without control over the southern province of Kosovo.
2002: An Islamic high court in the Katsina state of Nigeria, upholds a sentence of death by stoning for Amina Lawal, who was convicted of adultery by a village court in March for having a child more than nine months after her divorce.
2005: A former Hutu rebel leader is elected Burundi's president, culminating a three-year peace process after almost 12 years of ethnic war. Pierre Nkurunziza appeals for support from all Burundians to heal ethnic divisions and rebuild a shattered economy.
2006: A boat loaded with illegal immigrants heading from North Africa to Italy sinks south of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, killing at least 10 people.
Jeanne Becu du Barry, French mistress of Louis XV (1746-1793); Bernard Baruch, US financier (1870-1976); Orville Wright, US aviation pioneer (1871-1948); Georges Enesco, Romanian composer (1881-1955); Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, French fashion designer (1883-1971); Ogden Nash, US poet (1902-1971); Bill Clinton, US president (1946-); Peter Gallagher, US actor (1955-); Adam Arkin, US actor (1956-).
— Jamaica Observer and AP