Today is the 291st day of 2013 There are 74 days left in the year.
1995: The United States announces it will grant Fidel Castro a visa, permitting the Cuban president to address the United Nations.
1648: Boston's shoemakers, barrelmakers and tubmakers set up the first American labour organisation.
1685: King Louis XIV of France revokes the Edict of Nantes, which had established the legal toleration of France's Protestant population, the Huguenots.
1867: The United States takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia.
1892: The first long-distance telephone line is opened between Chicago and New York.
1898: The American flag is raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquishes control of the island to the United States.
1964: Pope Paul VI proclaims 22 new African saints. The saints, known as the Blessed Martyrs of Uganda, were a group of converts who were persecuted and martyred in 1885-87.
1968: The US Olympic Committee suspends two black athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a black-power salute as a protest at a victory ceremony in Mexico City.
1969: The federal government bans artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.
1981: Andreas Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement wins 48 percent in national elections, becoming Greece's first leftist government.
1991: Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia and Azerbaijan refuse to sign an economic union treaty with the Soviet constituent republics.
1993: UN oil embargo takes effect against Haiti.
1994: Boat people begin to return to Haiti after the reinstatement of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1998: A pipeline explosion in Nigeria apparently sparked by thieves siphoning off oil leads to an inferno that kills at least 250 people and destroys villages.
1999: Former South African President Nelson Mandela begins his first visit to Israel, a gesture of final reconciliation with a nation that had backed South Africa's apartheid regime.
2000: Fighting between Nigeria's Hausa and Yoruba tribes leaves 100 dead in Lagos. Thousands of people are killed in ethnic and religious conflicts in Africa's most populous nation in 2000.
2005: US Defence Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld accuses China of understating the growth of its military budget, saying the country is raising global suspicion about its military intentions by failing to acknowledge the true size of recent increases in its defence spending.
2007: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returns to Karachi after eight years of exile. A suspected suicide bomber strikes near the truck carrying her, killing 108 people, but Bhutto escapes unhurt.
2008: Canada declares a chemical widely used in food packaging a toxic substance, and says it will now move to ban plastic baby bottles containing bisphenol A.
2009: A suicide bomber kills five senior commanders of the powerful Revolutionary Guard and at least 37 others Sunday near the Pakistani border in the heartland of a potentially escalating Sunni insurgency.
2010: The latest Facebook privacy fiasco shows that the world's largest online social hub is having a hard time putting this thorny issue behind it even as it continues to attract users and become indispensible to many of them.
2011: Looking thin, weary and dazed, Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit emerges from more than five years in captivity, surrounded by Hamas militants with black face masks who hand him over to Egyptian mediators in an exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
2012: A Libyan Islamist militia commander who a witness and officials say helped lead the deadly assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi says that he was at the building that night, but denied he was involved in the attack.
Henri Bergson, French philosopher and Nobel laureate (1856-1941); Pierre Elliott Trudeau, former Canadian Prime Minister (1919-2000); George C Scott, US actor (1927-1999); Lee Harvey Oswald, accused killer of US President John F Kennedy (1939-1963); Chuck Berry, US singer (1926-); Martina Navratilova, Czech tennis player (1956-); Wynton Marsalis, jazz/classical trumpeter (1961-).
CAP: Fidel Castro