ON THIS DAY.
1521: Martin Luther, the founding father of the Protestant faith, was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Leo X. 1777: British forces are defeated by American forces at the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey.
1910: British miners go on strike demanding an eight-hour day. 1925: Fascist Benito Mussolini announces he is to take dictatorial powers in his ruling of Italy.
1945: United States aircraft carriers begin the pulverisation of Okinawa as World War Two moves into its final year.
1967: Mobster Jack Ruby, assassin of JKF killer Lee Harvey Oswald, dies in jail in Dallas, Texas.
1988: Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century. 1993: Outgoing US President George Bush signs a landmark arms reduction treaty with Boris Yeltsin in Moscow.
2004: NASA's Spirit Rover lands on Mars and begins to beam back black and white images of the planet's terrain.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: State officials in Arkansas, USA, are perplexed when around 1,000 blackbirds fall dead from the sky.