Today is the 266th day of 2015. There are 99 days left in the year.
1993: The South African Parliament approves a law giving blacks their first official say in the running of the country, authorising the creation of a transitional executive council before the first universal elections.
1518: During the reign of Great Britain's King Henry VIII, the Royal College of Physicians is established to protect citizens from medical charlatans and quacks.
1642: Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, holds its first commencement.
1817: Spain signs treaty with Britain to end the slave trade.
1821: In the Fall of Tripolitsa, Greek forces massacre 30,000 Turks during the Greek War of Independence.
1846: The planet Neptune is discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.
1862: Otto von Bismarck is appointed prime minister and foreign minister of Prussia by King Wilhelm I.
1884: American Herman Hollerith patents his mechanical tabulating machine, the beginning of data processing.
1889: Nintendo Koppai (later Nintendo Company, Limited) is founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and market the playing card game Hanafuda.
1942: The Russians launch a counter-attack against the Germans in Stalingrad after being reinforced by troops that had crossed the Volga. More than 2,000 Germans are killed.
1951: United Nations forces capture "Heartbreak Ridge" in Korea from Communists.
1952: US Republican vice-presidential candidate Richard M Nixon delivers his Checkers speech on TV to refute allegations of improper campaign financing.
1956: Britain and France submit the Suez Canal dispute to UN Security Council.
1957: Nine black students who entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas withdraw because of a white mob outside. Romania's request to join the Balkan Pact is refused by Greece.
1967: The Soviet Union pledges to send military and economic assistance to North Vietnam, including aircraft, ground-to-air missiles and rocket equipment.
1972: President Ferdinand Marcos declares martial law in the Philippines. It lasts for more than eight years.
1973: Juan Peron is elected for his third and last presidential term in Argentina.
1978: Egypt's President Anwar Sadat returns home to a hero's welcome after a Camp David summit that resulted in agreement on a framework for peace with Israel.
1980: The UN Security Council calls on Iran and Iraq "to desist from all armed activities forthwith and to settle their dispute by peaceful means". Meanwhile, the US and Soviet Union declare neutrality in the conflict.
1986: A force of about 50 armed dissidents infiltrates the Togolese capital of Lome in an attempt to topple President Gnassingbe Eyadema's Government. They are defeated by the military.
1990: Saddam Hussein says he will destroy Israel and launch an all out war before allowing the UN embargo to "strangle" Iraq.
1992: France's deadliest storm in 34 years kills at least 32 people.
1994: The UN Security Council eases sanctions on Yugoslavia for 100 days after Serbia promises to support a peace plan for Bosnia and accept civilian monitoring of the Serbian-Bosnian border.
1996: A typhoon batters China's Hainan Island, leaving at least 38 people dead and 96 missing.
1997: Armed men raid an Algerian village, shooting or stabbing to death at least 200 people and wounding 100 others.
2003: An Indian court sentences one man to death by hanging and 12 others to life in prison for killing a Christian missionary from Australia and his two young sons in an arson attack in 1999.
2005: Simon Wiesenthal, who spent decades tirelessly tracking down Nazis hiding throughout the world, is laid to rest in Israel.
2006: A high-tech train that floats on powerful magnetic fields smashes into a maintenance car on an elevated test track in Germany, killing 23 people and injuring 10 — the first fatalities on a maglev train.
2007: Former President Alberto Fujimori returns to Peru to face charges of corruption and sanctioning death-squad killings, seven years after he fled the country as his Government collapsed in scandal.
2008: A 22-year-old gunman opens fire at his trade school in Kauhajoki, Finland, killing 10 people before fatally shooting himself.
2009: President Barack Obama challenges world leaders to shoulder more of the globe's critical burdens, promising a newly cooperative partner in America but sternly warning they can no longer castigate the US as a go-it-alone bully while still demanding it cure all ills.
2011: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas takes his people's quest for independence to the heart of world diplomacy, seeking UN recognition of Palestine and sidestepping negotiations that have foundered for nearly two decades.
2013: Kenyan forces enter the final stages of flushing out terrorists from a besieged shopping mall, two days after it was seized by the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab which is linked to al-Qaeda.
Augustus Caesar, first Roman emperor (63 BC-14 AD); John De Witt, Dutch statesman (1625-1672); Raymond Chandler, US writer (1888-1959); Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia (1892-1975); Mickey Rooney, US actor-entertainer (1920-); Ray Charles, US singer-composer (1932-2004); Julio Iglesias, Spanish singer (1943-); Bruce Springsteen, US rock singer (1949-); Ani DiFranco, US singer (1970-).