Born on this day
1674 Jethro Tull
1853 Vincent Van Gogh
1930 Rolf Harris
1937 Warren Beatty
1940 Astrid Gilberto
1945 Eric Clapton
1949 Sue Book
1968 Celine Dion
Oh, and one other person
1842 The first surgical operation using an anaesthetic was performed by Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, Georgia to remove a cyst from the neck of James Venable.
1858 Pencils with attached erasers were first patented by Hyman Lipman of Philadelphia, USA.
1867 America bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. The 375 million-acre territory worked out at less than 2 cents an acre.
1978 The Conservative Party called in the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi to give their image and that of new leader Margaret Thatcher a face-lift.
1979 Airey Neave, a British politician, is killed by a car bomb as he exits the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claims responsibility.
1989 British Airways launched an investigation into how a Boeing 747 had been travelling back and forth across the Atlantic for 3 months carrying a stick of gelignite which police had forgotten to remove after a training exercise.