1496 - Pope Alexander VI forms Holy League with Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Venice and Milan, ostensibly to fight Turks but aimed at expelling Charles VIII of France from Italy.

1631 - Death of John Donne, English poet and churchman.

1837 - Death of English landscape painter John Constable.

1855 - Death of Charlotte Bronte, British author of Jane Eyre.

1889 - French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel unfurls the French flag from atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion.

1917 - US purchases the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $US25 million.

1921 - Establishment of the Royal Australian Air Force.

1923 - The first US dance marathon, held in New York City, ends with Alma Cummings setting a world record of 27 hours on her feet.

1929 - Aviators Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm, Harold Litchfield and Thomas McWilliam, en route from Sydney to England in the Southern Cross, are forced down in northwest Australia. They remain lost until April 12.

1936 - Britain and France pledge to support Poland if it is invaded.

1942 - Japan's successes in Burma and Andaman Islands threaten India's west coast during World War II.

1943 - The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma opens on Broadway.

1959 - Dalai Lama, fleeing Chinese repression of an uprising in Tibet, is granted political asylum by India.

1966 - Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd's Nationalist Party wins greatest election victory in South Africa's history.

1988 - Death of Sir William McMahon, Australian Liberal prime minister 1971-72.

1990 - Thousands riot in central London against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's poll tax.

1993 - Actor Brandon Lee, 28, is killed in an accident during the filming of The Crow in the US.

1994 - South African President FW de Klerk declares a state of emergency and orders army into the Zulu stronghold of Natal.

1999 - Australian aid workers Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace are arrested by Serb authorities on suspicion of spying.

2001 - Riot police lay siege to Slobodan Milosevic's villa in an attempt to bring the former Yugoslav president to justice.

2007 - A US military tribunal sentences Australian David Hicks to nine months in prison after he pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism.

2014 - The UN International Court of Justice rules Japan must cease its Southern Ocean whaling program immediately.

2015: The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal finds 34 past and present Essendon players not guilty of using a banned supplement, a decision later suddessfully appealed in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

2016 - Scottish comedian Ronnie Corbett, who co-starred with Ronnie Barker in the TV sketch show The Two Ronnies, dies aged 85.

2017 - The first deaths are recorded from Cyclone Debbie with the discovery of two women's bodies in NSW.


Rene Descartes, French philosopher (1596-1650); Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer (1732-1809); RW von Bunsen, German chemist (1811-1899); Shirley myanmar adventure tours Jones, US actress-singer (1934-); Richard Chamberlain, US actor (1934-); Herb Alpert, US trumpeter and bandleader (1935-); Christopher Walken, US actor (1943-); Al Gore, former US vice-president (1948-); Rhea Perlman, US actress (1948-); Angus Young, Australian guitarist of AC/DC fame (1955-); Paul Mercurio, Australian actor and TV presenter, (1963-); Ewan McGregor, Scottish actor (1971-); Australian politician Kelly O'Dwyer (1977-).


One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another. - Rene Descartes, French philosopher (1596-1650).