490BC: The original Marathon was won by a breathless messenger who ran 24 miles from the scene of the Battle of Marathon to the city of Athens. "Rejoice, we conquer," he gasped - then dropped dead.

929: King Wenceslaus of Bohemia, Good King Wenceslas of the Christmas carol, was murdered by his younger brother, Boleslaw.

1573: Caravaggio, Italian painter, was born in Italy.

1685: Judge Jeffreys was appointed Lord Chancellor of England.

1745: God Save The King was first performed at Drury Lane Theatre, arranged by Thomas Arne.

1865: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson qualified to become Britain's first practising woman doctor.

1923: The Radio Times was first published.

1964: Harpo Marx, the silent one who chased girls and played the harp, died aged 75.

1978: Pope John Paul I died after only 33 days as Pontiff.

1991: Miles Davis, the legendary jazz trumpeter, died aged 65. He invented an entirely new sound which became known as "cool" jazz.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Physiotherapists expressed concern that online shopping is ruining people's muscles, as they fail to carry home their own groceries.

BIRTHDAYS: Sir Jeremy Isaacs, TV producer and former general director of the Royal Opera House, 86; Brigitte Bardot, actress and animal rights activist, 84; Helen Shapiro, singer, 72; Jon Snow, journalist, 71; Jennifer Rush, singer, 58; Janeane Garofalo, actress and comedian, 54; Mira Sorvino, actress, 51; Mika Hakkinen, former racing driver, 50; Carre Otis, model and actress, 50; Naomi Watts, actress, 50; Hilary Duff, actress and singer, 31.