1796: Spain declared war on Britain by signing the Treaty of San Ildefonso, aligning with revolutionary France.

1908: Bulgaria declared its independence from Turkey.

1917: Sir Arthur Lee donated Chequers to the nation as a country retreat for British Prime Ministers.

1927: The Labour Party voted to nationalise coal mines at its party conference in Blackpool.

1930: The British airship R101 crashed at the edge of a wood near Beauvais, France, killing 48 of the 54 passengers including Air Minister Lord Thompson.

1936: The march of unemployed shipyard workers - from Jarrow to London - started.

1972: The Congregational Church in England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England combined to form the United Reformed Church.

1974: Five people died and 65 were injured when the IRA bombed two pubs in Guildford.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: A tin of Heinz kidney soup dating back at least 46 years was donated to a foodbank, which was also given a 35-year-old tin of sweetcorn.

BIRTHDAYS: Glynis Johns, actress, 95; Stephanie Cole, actress, 77; Brian Johnson, rock singer, 71; Clive Barker, author, 66; Bob Geldof, rock singer, 67; Laura Davies, golfer, 55; Guy Pearce, actor, 51; Kate Winslet, actress, 43.