Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.
1633 China’s Ming dynasty defeats the Dutch East India Company.
1721 The Russian Empire is proclaimed.
1797 André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first known parachute jump, from a balloon 1 000m above Paris.
1847 Renowned Boer general Koos de la Rey is born near Winburg.
1878 Sheffield’s Bramall Lane stadium sees the first rugby match played under floodlights.
1879 Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric light bulb. It lasts 13½ hours.
1884 The Royal Observatory in Britain is adopted as the prime meridian of longitude.
1895 In Paris an express train derails after overrunning the buffer stop, crashing through a wall and falling 10m to the road below.
1927 The Rev Allan Hendrickse is born in Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape. A staunch anti-apartheid activist and leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives in the Tricameral Parliament, he infuriates President PW Botha, who demands his resignation from the cabinet after Hendrickse describe Botha’s behaviour in a speech as being like that of ‘a rat in a corner’.
1947 The Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan begins, just after the partition of India. The conflict continues to this day.
1957 The first US casualties are suffered in what becomes the Vietnam war.
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. US President John F Kennedy announces that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval blockade of the island.
1966 The Soviet Union launches Luna 12.
1968 Apollo 7 safely splashes down in the Atlantic after orbiting the Earth 163 times.
2001 Grand Theft Auto III is released, popularising a genre of open-world, action-adventure video games, as well as spurring controversy around violence in video games.
2019 US drug company Biogen claims to have created Aducanumab, the first drug to slow the advance of Alzheimer’s disease.
2019 Japanese Emperor Naruhito alongside Empress Masako formally declares his ascension to the throne of the world’s oldest monarchy.