Before a naval battle with England in 1545, French king Francis I held a farewell dinner on his flagship, which shortly afterwards sank having caught fire when her guns went off by themselves.
Fact of the Day
Quote of the Day
"I remain just one thing, and one thing only - and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician. "
~ Charlie Chaplin
On This Day
9 Future emperor of Rome and founder of the Flavian dynasty, Vespasian, was born.
1292 John Balliol became King of Scots.
1558 The beginning of an era: 'Bloody' Mary died and her half-sister, Elizabeth, became queen.
1603 Sir Walter Raleigh's trial for treason began. He conducted his own defence and lost, although his life was spared.
1724 Thief, gaol-breaker and working class hero Jack Sheppard was hanged in front of a crowd of 200,000 at Tyburn.
1796 Catherine the Great died of a stroke, aged 67.
1810 A war only on paper: Sweden declared war on its British ally to appease France. No battles were ever fought.
1869 After ten years in the making, the Suez Canal opened. It connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea.
1913 German monarch Kaiser Wilhelm banned the armed forces from dancing the tango.