On this day.
| 1741: A weary Handel finished his Messiah, 24 days after he had started it. Supplied with the libretto, he confined himself in his room at Brook Street, London, living almost entirely on coffee until he completed the music.
| 1812: Napoleon entered Moscow, which had been abandoned by the Russians and their scorched earth policy. But winter was approaching and Napoleon soon had to retreat.
| 1852: The Duke of Wellington, English military commander, the "Iron Duke", victor at Waterloo, statesman and Tory prime minister, died aged 83 at Walmer Castle in Kent.
| 1886: The typewriter ribbon was patented by George Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee.
| 1891: The first penalty kick in an English League football game was taken by Heath of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Accrington. Previously, an infringement resulted only in a free-kick for the wronged side. | 1901: US president William McKinley died in Buffalo, eight days after being shot by an anarchist. He was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.
| 1927: Isadora Duncan, the American dancer, was strangled by her scarf in Nice when the fringe caught in the wheel of a Bugatti sports car.
| 1964: The British daily newspaper the Daily Herald ceased publication and was replaced by The Sun.
| 1974: Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching, giant pandas, arrived at London Zoo. | 1982: Princess Grace of Monaco, sometimes better known as American actress Grace Kelly, died in Monaco's hospital without regaining consciousness after a car crash the previous day. | ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: China was in mourning after the world's oldest panda, Basi, died at the age of 37. | BIRTHDAYS: Amanda Barrie, actress, 83; Walter Koenig, actor, 82; Sam Neill, actor, 71; Ray Wilkins, football coach, 62; Mary Crosby, actress, 59; Morten Harket, singer, 59; Kimberly Williams, actress, 47; Andrew Lincoln, actor, 45; Tinchy Stryder, rapper, 31.
| Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching at London Zoo