1421 The sea crashes through dykes at Dort, in the Netherlands, drowning more than 100,000 people.
1790 Death of Benjamin Franklin, US scientist and statesman. He carried out major research on electricity but is best remembered for his contributions to the American Declaration of Independence.
1916 Birth of Sirima Bandaranaike, famed Sri Lankan stateswoman. In July 1960, she became the world’s first woman prime minister.
1945 The Japanese establish a puppet government in Vieät Nam, headed by Traàn Troïng Kim.
1946 Syria achieves independence after the last French troops exit the country.
1948 Birth of Löu Quang Vuõ (died 1988), Vietnamese writer, poet and playwright. He is best known for his topical plays written at the beginning of the renovation period in Vieät Nam, including Hoàn Tröông Ba Da Haøng Thòt (Tröông Ba’s Soul in the Butcher’s Body), Toâi Vaø Chuùng Ta (I and We), and Lôøi Theà Thöù Chín (The Ninth Oath).
1961 An attempt to invade Cuba by US-backed right-wing Cuban exiles fails at the Bay of Pigs.
1969 Sirhan B Sirhan is found guilty of first-degree murder for the killing of Robert F Kennedy, who was shot while campaigning in California in June 1968.
1975 The Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, ending a five-year rule by a US-backed regime and beginning a reign of terror in which more than 1 million people died.
1997 The Republic of Korea’s Supreme court upholds verdicts sentencing former president Chun Doo Hwan to life in prison and his successor, Roh Tae Woo, to 17 years. They had been found guilty of abuse of power and corruption.
1999 The Indian nationalist coalition government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee resigns after a vote of no confidence is passed in parliament.
2000 Paul Kagame is selected president of Rwanda, the nation’s first Tutsi leader since independence in 1962 and a former rebel leader whose forces stopped the 1994 genocide.
2001 Jury selection begins in Brussels in the landmark trial of four Rwandans, including two Roman Catholic nuns, who faced charges of aiding and abetting the murder of Tutsis during the 1994 genocide.
2008 A suicide bomber strikes the funeral of two anti-al-Qaeda Sunni tribesmen in a town north of Baghdad, killing at least 50 people and wounding dozens.
2010 Some 100,000 Poles fill Warsaw’s biggest public square, joining together for a memorial and funeral Mass for the 96 people killed in a plane crash in Russia a week earlier.
2012 In a scene unimaginable in many countries, Norway’s worst mass killer gets the chance to explain his fanatical views to the court and the world, unrepentant and dressed in a business suit. Prosecutors and lawyers for the families of his 77 victims even shake his hand
2012 Syrian President Bashar Assad accuses the West of backing al-Qaida in his country’s civil war and warns it will pay a price "in the heart" of Europe and the United States as the terror network becomes emboldened.
2015 Delegates from Libya’s rival parliaments gathered in Morocco for what UN mediators demanded be a "final" push for a unity government to stem mounting jihadism and a desperate exodus of asylum-seekers. – AP/REUTERS/VNS