1581 - English navigator Francis Drake returned home after sailing around the world, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I.
1721 - Sir Robert Walpole became the first British prime minister.
1873 - The Kennel Club was founded; the oldest and first official registry of purebred dogs in the world.
1931 - The first airmail left Australia for England.
1934 - Cats’ eyes were used on the roads for the first time, on roads near Bradford in Yorkshire.
1957 - The Government announced it would be ending National Service.
1968 - Civil rights leader Martin Luther King was assassinated, while standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
1969 - Dr Denton Cooley implanted the first temporary artificial heart.
1979 - Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged for the murder of a political opponent in spite of international calls for clemency.
1981 - A female cox was used for the first time in the history of the University Boat Race.
1997 - The Hebridean island of Eigg was bought by its 64 inhabitants for £1.5 million.