1327: Edward III acceded to the English throne.

1533: Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (wife number two of six) were married secretly by the Bishop of Lichfield.

1759: Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, who used the Scottish dialect in

his poems and many songs, including To A Mouse, was born in Alloway, Ayrshire.

1857: Lord Lonsdale (Henry Cecil Lowther), president of the National Sporting

Club, who gave boxing its rules and Lonsdale Belts to its champions, was born in London.

1874: W Somerset Maugham, master of the short story, was born in Paris.

1924: The first Winter Olympics began at Chamonix, France.

1938: The aurora borealis (Northern Lights) were seen as far south as London's West End and throughout western Europe. It was due to intense sunspot activity.

1947: Al Capone, Chicago gang boss in the Prohibition era, died of a heart attack, days after suffering a stroke, aged 48.

1981: The Gang of Four (Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Shirley Williams and Bill

Rodgers) broke away from the Labour Party to set up the Social Democrats.

1990: A Boeing 707 jet crashed on Long Island after running out of fuel,

killing 73 people including the pilot. More than 80 passengers survived.

2010: One of Saddam Hussein's closest allies, Ali Hassan al-Majid, the man

known as "Chemical Ali", was executed in Iraq.


Angela Thorne, actress, 79; Tom Paulin, poet and critic, 69; Emma Freud, broadcaster, 56; David Ginola, former footballer, 51; Jennifer Lewis, actress, 61; Ana Ortiz, actress, 47; Alicia Keys, singer, 37; Francis Jeffers, footballer, 37.