This is the 255th day of 2023. There are 110 days left in the year.
1988: Hurricane Gilbert slams into Jamaica with torrential rains and winds of 233 kph (145 mph), killing 45 people and causing damage estimated at $1 billion.
1609: English explorer Henry Hudson sails into the New York river that now bears his name.
1776: Congress officially renames the country as the United States of America (formerly called the United Colonies).
1801: Alexander I of Russia announces the annexation of Georgia.
1817: Alexander Twilight becomes likely the first African American to graduate from a US college, receiving a bachelor of arts degree at Middlebury College.
1909: The world's first patent for synthetic rubber is granted to German chemist Fritz Hofmann.
1938: During a speech in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler demands self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.
1940: Four teens, following their dog down a hole near Lascaux, France, discover 17,000-year-old drawings now known as the Lascaux Cave Paintings.
1958: The US Supreme Court, in Cooper v Aaron, unanimously rules that Arkansas officials who were resisting public school desegregation orders could not disregard the high court's rulings.
1964: Dissident army officers try unsuccessfully to overthrow the Government of South Vietnam.
1972: The Soviet Union beats the United States 51-50 in the most controversial game in international basketball history; with the US leading 50-49 the final three seconds are replayed three times until the Soviets finally win.
1974: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed by a military junta.
1977: South African black student leader Steven Biko dies while in police custody, triggering international outcry.
1990: President Alberto Fujimori's Government turns down a US offer of US$35.9 million for anti-drug counter-insurgency operations in Peru.
1991: Scores of Iraqi soldiers on the Iraq-Saudi Arabian border are buried alive by US tanks that push tons of sand and earth into their trenches during the Persian Gulf war.
1992: Mae Jemison is the first African American woman to go into space, doing so aboard Endeavour STS-47.
1993: Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization exchange letters of mutual recognition.
1998: Azem Hajdari, a leading Albanian Opposition lawmaker, is assassinated by an unidentified gunman.
1999: Indonesia says it will accept a peacekeeping force in East Timor, which was ravaged by Indonesian-controlled militias after residents voted for independence.
2000: A suspected car bomb rips through an underground garage in the Jakarta Stock Exchange building, killing 15 people and injuring dozens more.
2003: The UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions against Libya that had been in place for 11 years as a response to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
2004: Hurricane Ivan heads toward western Cuba and the south-eastern United States after killing at least 60 across the Caribbean.
2005: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe quietly adopts constitutional changes that make it easier for the State to seize private property and prevent opponents from travelling abroad to criticise his 25-year rule.
2006: Syrian guards foil an attempt by suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants to blow up the US Embassy in Damascus, exchanging fire outside the compound's walls.
2007: Authorities confirm a new foot-and-mouth disease outbreak on the outskirts of London, just days after the Government lifted livestock restrictions following the appearance of the devastating disease in the previous month.
2009: About 50 civilians, security force personnel, and militants die in a wave of violence around Afghanistan, including a bomb that leaves 14 Afghan travellers dead, in one of the country's most dangerous regions.
2010: Chile's mining minister acknowledges that a problem has stalled the most advanced of three tunnels being drilled to 33 miners trapped underground, and says officials might have to restart the bore hole in another location.
2011: A leaking gasoline pipeline explodes, sending flames racing through a section of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi that kills at least 75 people.
2012: A mob armed with guns and grenades launches a fiery attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing the US ambassador and three other Americans.
2014: Politician Ian Paisley — who was a militant Protestant leader in the factional conflict that divided Northern Ireland from the 1960s until the early 21st century — dies at age 88.
2015: Queen Elizabeth II becomes Great Britain's longest-reigning monarch at 63 years and seven months, surpassing the previous record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
2017: More than nine million Floridians, or nearly half the state's population, remain without power in the late-summer heat, due to Hurricane Irma. Gay rights pioneer Edith Windsor, whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down parts of a federal anti-gay marriage law, dies in New York at the age of 88. Lady Gaga confirms her battlle with chronic illness fibromyalgia. A monster fatburg that's 250m long and weighs 130 tons — the size of 11 buses — is found in sewers under east London.
2018: The European Parliament votes to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary for anti-democratic actions, the first-ever such vote.More than 3,600 children are reported abused by Catholic priests in Germany (1946-2014), in a leaked report. The oldest-known human drawing is discovered — a hashtag-like abstract drawing with red ochre, dated 73,000 years old, in Blombos Cave, South Africa; the finding is published in the journal Nature.
2021: The Taliban says women must study in gender-segregated classrooms in Afghanistan.
2022: The UN's International Labour Organization reports that modern slavery (forced labour and forced marriages) has increased by 10 million to 50 million people in the last five years.
France's King Francis I (1494-1547); Herbert Henry Asquith, British prime minister (1852-1928); Maurice Chevalier, French actor-entertainer (1888- 1971); Jesse Owens, US athlete (1913-1980); Ian Holm, English actor (1931-2020 ); Paul Walker, actor (1973-2013); Yao Ming, Chinese basketball player (1980- )
— AP/Jamaica Observer