1989 – Berlin wall breached when a million East Germans poured into West Berlin early today, free at last to leave their country without special permission.
1982 – Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet leader for 18 years died of a heart attack aged 75. His years of power saw Russia achieve superpower status.
1952 – 77 year old, Albert Schweitzer is awarded Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his humanitarian work in Africa.
1942 – Winston Churchill “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning” – refers to the Battle of Egypt.
1917 – British General Douglas Haig’s plan of smashing through the German lines and on to the Channel was abandoned today, after 156 days, and anything up to 250,000 casualties.
1914 – Australian cruiser Sydney sinks the German cruiser Emden off Sumatra.
1871 – Henry Morton Stanley found David Livingstone, the missing explorer and missionary. Livingstone was 58 years old at the time and was famous for exploring Zambezi, discovering Victoria Falls and being the first European to cross the continent from coast to coast.
1697 – William Hogarth’s birthday, English painter and engraver famous for a series of cartoons.
1668 – Francois Couperin’s birthday, French composer and harpsichordist.
1483 – Martin Luther’s birthday, German religious reformer who began the Reformation.