On this day
65 BC: Horace, Roman poet, was born in Venusian Apulia.
1542: Mary, Queen of Scots, was born at Linlithgow Palace.
1733: A Dorset man reported seeing a polished silver disc in the sky - the first known sighting of an Unidentified Flying Object, or UFO.
1854: Pope Pius IX settled an ancient controversy by declaring that Christ’s mother, the Virgin Mary, was preserved from all sin from the moment she was conceived.
1859: Thomas de Quincey, essayist and opium addict, died in Scotland.
1864: The Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon at Bristol, designed by Brunel, was opened.
1894: James Thurber, American humorist and creator of Walter Mitty, was born in Columbus, Ohio.
1941: Britain and the United States declared war on Japan.
1980: John Lennon (pictured below in the Beatles’ early days) was shot dead in New York.
1991: Leaders of the three republics - Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine - formed a “commonwealth of independent states” and pronounced the Soviet Union dead.
2017: A YouTube prankster freed by a fire crew after using Polyfilla to ‘cement’ his head inside a microwave was warned against risking his life for ‘other people’s entertainment’.