1577: English explorer and navigator Sir Francis Drake began his voyage to sail

around the world.

1708: William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham, was born in London.

1738: Astronomer Sir William Herschel, who discovered Uranus, was born in

Hanover. He died in Slough in 1822.

1837: Isaac Pitman's stenographic sound-hand, the first shorthand system, was published, price 4d.

1899: Winston Churchill was captured by the Boers while covering the war as a reporter for the Morning Post. He escaped a few weeks later.

1901: An electrical hearing aid was patented by Miller Reese of New York.

1923: Rampant inflation in Germany reached a peak when the mark (4.2 to the

dollar in 1914) rose to 4,200,000,000 to the dollar.

1956: Elvis Presley's first film, Love Me Tender, was premiered in New York.

1968: The Cunard flagship Queen Elizabeth docked at Southampton for the last time. She was replaced by the Queen Elizabeth II.

1969: ITV channel ATV screened the first colour television commercial in

Britain - for Birds Eye peas.

1983: The Greenham Common women's group mounted their first protest as cruise missiles arrived at the US airbase in Berkshire.

2002: Moors murderer Myra Hindley died in jail, aged 60.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: The Prince of Wales planned a visit to the Caribbean to meet survivors of the recent devastating hurricanes and learn how communities are recovering.

BIRTHDAYS: Ed Asner, actor, 89; Petula Clark, singer, 86; Sam Waterston, actor, 78; Frida Lyngstad, singer (ABBA), 73; Beverly D'Angelo, actress, 67; Johnny Lee Miller, actor, 46; Peter Phillips, son of the Princess Royal and Capt Mark Phillips, 41; Gemma Atkinson, actress, 34.