1813: Italian composer Verdi was born in Roncole.

1877: Motoring pioneer William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield, was born in Worcester.

1881: The Savoy Theatre, first public building to be lit by electricity, opened.

1886: The dinner jacket made its first appearance in public when it was worn by its creator at a ball at the Tuxedo Park Country Club, New York.

1903: Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst formed the Women's Social and Political Union to fight for female emancipation in Britain.

1935: Gershwin's Porgy And Bess opened in New York.

1957: A major radiation leak was detected at the Windscale nuclear plant in Cumbria after an accident three days earlier.

1961: A volcano erupted on the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha and the whole population was brought to Britain.

1972: Sir John Betjeman was appointed Poet Laureate.

1975: After divorce in the early 70s followed by several reconciliations and separations, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, above, remarried in a remote village in Botswana. They divorced the following year.

On this day last year: Notorious gangster Kenneth Noye failed in his bid to have his conviction for the road rage murder of Stephen Cameron quashed by the Court of Appeal.

BIRTHDAYS: Murray Walker, commentator, 79; Nicholas Parsons, radio & TV personality, 74; Harold Pinter, playwright, 72; Judith Chalmers, TV presenter, 66; Charles Dance, actor, 56; Chris Tarrant, broadcaster, 56; Midge Ure, rock singer, 49; David Lee Roth, rock singer, 47; Fiona Fullerton, actress, 46; Martin Kemp, actor/rock musician (Spandau Ballet), 41; Tony Adams, footballer, 36; Matthew Pinsent, Olympic gold medal rower, 32.