1452: Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, was born at Fotheringhay, Northants.

1608: The first telescope was demonstrated by Dutch lens-maker Hans Lippershey.

1909: The first rugby match at Twickenham was played - Harlequins versus Richmond.

1925: London's first red buses with roofed-in upper decks went into service. Police restrictions had previously prevented them being used in the capital, although they had been in operation in Widnes since 1909.

1935: Italian forces invaded Abyssinia after Mussolini's bombers pounded border towns.

1940: The Empress of Britain, en route to Canada with child evacuees, was sunk by a German submarine. British warships rescued most of the 634 crew and passengers.

1953: The photograph of William Pettit, wanted for murder, was shown on BBC TV by request from the police, the first time television was used in Britain to help find a wanted man.

1985: Hollywood heartthrob Rock Hudson died of Aids, aged 59.

1996: Cyclist Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He commemorated the date with a range of "10/2" branded Nike sportswear.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Scientists in Ireland revealed they had discovered a method of producing electricity from tears.

BIRTHDAYS: Anna Ford, broadcaster, 75; Don McLean, folk singer, 73; Sir Trevor Brooking, football pundit, 70; Donna Karan, fashion designer, 70; Richard Hell, rock singer/writer, 69; Mike Rutherford, rock musician, 68; Sting (Gordon Sumner), singer, 67; Philip Oakey, pop singer (The Human League), 63; Jana Novotna, former tennis player, 50; Simon Gregson, actor, 44.