1924 - Italian Socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti was kidnapped and murdered by Fascists.
1934 - Frederick Delius, English composer, died.
1942 - German troops destroyed the Czech village of Lidice in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi ''protector'' of Bohemia and Moravia, by Czech resistance fighters.
1943 - Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro patented his ballpoint pen.
1944 - Nazi troops massacred nearly all residents of Oradour-sur-Glane, France, in a reprisal against the French resistance movement.
1946 - U.S. boxer Jack Johnson, the first black to hold the world heavyweight boxing championship, died.
1946 - Italy voted in a referendum to become a republic and King Umberto stepped down three days later.
1967 - The Six-Day War ended after Israel had captured Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian territories, including East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Sinai peninsula.
1967 - U.S. film actor Spencer Tracy died. Best known for his appearances in the films ''Bad Day at Black Rock'' ''Father of the Bride'' and ''Captain's Courageous'' for which he won an Oscar.
1971 - The United States formally ended its 20-year-old embargo on trade with China.
1985 - U.S. socialite Claus von Bulow was found not guilty of murdering his wife.
1990 - The Civic Forum movement founded by Vaclav Havel won Czechoslovakia's first free elections since 1946.
1990 - Bulgaria's former communist party won the country's first free elections in more than four decades.
1997 - Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot killed his defence chief Son Sen and 11 members of his family and fled his northern stronghold.
1998 - President Nursultan Nazarbayev formally opened Kazakhstan's new capital city Astana.
1999 - NATO suspended its air campaign against Yugoslavia as the first Yugoslav troops left Kosovo.
2000 - Syrian President Hafez al-Assad died aged 69.
2002 - Top Serbian Interior Ministry official Bosko Buha, Serbia's deputy head of public security, was shot dead outside a Belgrade hotel by an unknown gunman.
2002 - John Gotti, U.S. gangster boss, died. Gotti's life of luxury and brutality ended in 1990 after he was caught on tape discussing crimes.
2003 - Two Toronto men were wed in the first legal gay marriage ceremony to be held in North America after a landmark Canadian court ruling set aside the heterosexual definition of matrimony.
2004 - Ray Charles, who overcame poverty, blindness and heroin addiction to become one of America's most beloved entertainers and to be hailed as ''The Father of Soul'', died aged 73.
2005 - 117 people, most of them children, drowned when a flash flood swept through a primary school in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province.
REUTERS CH KP1021