HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE

burma adventure tours1570 - Turkey declares war on Venice for refusing to surrender Cyprus, and Spain comes to Venice's aid.

1646 - British forces under King Charles I surrender to Scots at Newark, England.

1762 - Russia and Prussia sign Treaty of St Petersburg, under which Russia restores all conquests and forms defensive and offensive alliance.

1821 - France's Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of St Helena.

1824 - British troops take over Rangoon, burma adventure tours.

1862 - Mexican army defeats invading French forces in the Battle of Puebla.

1862 - In the American Civil War, the Confederates with 32,000 men succeed in blocking 40,000 Union troops at the Battle of Williamsburg.

1893 - Stocks in New York drop sharply as investors sell at the start of the "panic of 1893".

1906 - Melbourne's first electric trams begin running, from St Kilda to Brighton.

1911 - New Zealand pilot JJ Hammond makes first flight over Sydney.

1925 - John Scopes is arrested in Tennessee for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.

1930 - Mahatma Gandhi is arrested by the British in India after his campaign of disobedience.

1931 - People's National Convention in Nanking, China, adopts provisional constitution.

1936 - Italian forces occupy Addis Ababa, ending Abyssinian (Ethiopian) War.

1942 - Battle of the Coral Sea begins.

1945 - US poet Ezra Pound is arrested in Italy for treason over his World War II broadcasts and taken back to the United States. He was declared insane and allowed to return to Italy.

1947 - Sixteen people die in train derailment at Camp Mountain, Queensland.

1954 - General Alfredo Stroessner heads coup against civilian president Federico Chavez, beginning 34-year dictatorship in Paraguay.

1955 - The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) becomes a sovereign state after the Allied High Commission dissolves itself.

1961 - Alan Shepard becomes the first American into space in a 15-minute sub-orbital flight in a Mercury spacecraft.

1965 - First large US military units arrive in Vietnam.

1966 - First Australian National Servicemen arrive in Vietnam battle zone.

1978 - Red Brigades in Italy announce they are carrying out death sentence against former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro, whose body is found two days later.

1980 - SAS troops storm the Iranian Embassy in London, killing four of the five gunmen who take over the building and seize hostages.

1981 - Bobby Sands becomes the first of the 10 IRA hunger strikers to die in the Maze prison, Northern Ireland.

1989 - Estonia's Communist Party removes 22 party leaders in sweep that gives greater strength to reformers.

1990 - Talks on German unification, involving Britain, France, Soviet Union, United States and two Germanies, open in Bonn..

1995 - John Major's governing Conservative Party in Britain is nearly obliterated in local elections.

1996 - Bob Bellear is appointed as Australia's first Indigenous judge, in the NSW District Court.

1997 - Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, the political leader of militant Islamic organisation HAMAS, is deported from the United States to Jordan after the US fails to find evidence enough to prosecute him for involvement in terrorist attacks.

1999 - Indonesia and Portugal sign an agreement allowing the people of East Timor to vote on whether to remain part of Indonesia or seek independence.

2001 - The world's first paying space tourist, Dennis Tito, returns to Earth after a week in space.

2001 - In Angola UNITA rebels kidnap 51 boys and nine girls from a boarding school for war orphans outside Caxito, northeast of Luanda. Some 200 civilians die in the raid.

2002 - The conservative Jacques Chirac wins 82 per cent of the vote in second round of a French presidential election, crushing far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen with the largest vote in the Fifth Republic's 44-year history.

2003 - Rwanda frees more than 22,000 detainees, most of whom were held in connection with the 1994 massacre of some 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu by Hutu militias.

2004 - Athens is rocked by a three explosions 100 days before the Summer Olympics begin. No one is injured in the blasts.

2004 - Picasso's Boy With the Pipe sets a new world record for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction when it fetches $US104,168,000 at Sotheby's in New York.

2007 - Kenya Airways Flight 507 crashes just 5 kilometres from the Cameroonian city of Douala, where it had taken off during a storm, killing all 114 on board.

2008 - Troops open fire and kill at least two people as tens of thousands of people riot over high food prices in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

2011 - Pakistan's army breaks its silence over the US commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden, acknowledging its own "shortcomings", but threatening to review co-operation with Washington if there is another similar violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

2011 - Claude Stanley Choules, the last surviving combatant from World War I, dies in Perth, aged 110. British-born Choules served in Britain's Royal Navy before moving to Australia and serving in the navy for 40 years, including through WWII.

2012 - Khaled Sheikh Mohammed - the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks - refuses to answer a judge's questions in protest against the military proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

2014 - Egypt's former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, seen as certain to become the next president, says the Muslim Brotherhood will never return if he is elected.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher-theologian (1813-1855); Karl Marx, German socialist (1818-1883); Empress Eugenie of France (1826-1920); Nellie Bly, US pioneer of investigative journalism (1867-1922); Sir Douglas Mawson, British-born explorer (1882-1958); Spencer Tracy, US actor (1900-1967); Tyrone Power, US actor (1913-1958); Lance Henriksen, US actor (1940-); Tammy Wynette, US country singer (1942-1998); Michael Palin, British actor-traveller (1943-); John Rhys-Davies, British actor (1944-); Richard E Grant, Swaziland-born actor (1957-); Ian McCullough, British singer of Echo & the Bunnymen fame (1959-); Adele, English singer (1988-).

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Courage is grace under pressure - Ernest Hemingway

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