60 St Paul thought to have been shipwrecked at Malta.
1258 Baghdad falls to the Mongols, bringing the Islamic Golden Age to an end.
1306 In front of the high altar of Greyfriars Church in Dumfries, Robert the Bruce murders John Comyn, sparking the revolution in the Wars of Scottish Independence
1535 Forty Anabaptists run naked through the streets of Amsterdam because they are fed up with a dominant religion (Catholicism) in bed with the wealthy without a thought for the poor. The next day, city officials have them all massacred.
1840 Commandant-General MW Pretorius installs Mpande as king of the Zulus after the power of Mpande’s brother, Dingane, is broken at Magongo on the Umkuzi River.
1890 Boris Pasternak, Russian poet, novelist author of Doctor Zhivago, literary translator and Nobel Prize laureate, is born.
1901 General Christiaan de Wet invades the Cape Colony at Zanddrif, near Philippolis.
1906 HMS Dreadnought, the first of a new breed of battleships, is christened, rendering all other capital ships obsolete.
1916 The Cerro Azul No 4 oil well, in Mexico, blows her top and gushes 183m in the air.
1940 Tom and Jerry make their debut with
1954 US President Dwight Eisenhower warns against the US becoming involved in Vietnam.
1962 Captured American U2 spy-plane pilot Gary Powers is exchanged for a Soviet spy.
1964 An Australian aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne, collides with and sinks the destroyer HMAS Voyager off New South Wales, Australia, killing 82 seamen.
1984 Kenyan soldiers slaughter 5 000 ethnic Somali Kenyans.
1985 Nelson Mandela rejects President PW Botha’s offer of a conditional release.
1990 President FW de Klerk announces Nelson Mandela will be freed on February 11.
1991 Minister of Law and Order Adriaan Vlok says more than 17 million people were arrested under influx control laws between 1921 and 1986.
1996 The IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in chess for the first time.
2005 Heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, announces his engagement to longtime paramour Camilla Parker Bowles
2009 Two communications satellites collide in orbit, destroying each other.
2013 Five people are killed by a falling lifeboat from a cruise ship in the Canary islands. | THE HISTORIAN