In 1889, pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly(aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in seventy-two days. Jules Verne eat your heart out.
Czechoslovakia became a republic on this day in 1918, while in 1940, the city of Coventry is attacked and Coventry Cathedral almost razed to the ground by the Luftwaffe.
In 1971, the Mariner 9 reaches Mars, inspiring David Bowie as well as one of the best cops shows on British television so far this century. In 1982, Lech Walesa, leader of the outlawed Solidarnosc movement in Poland, is released from internment.
Happy Birthday to Freddy Garrity of Freddie and the Dreamers, Bernard Hinault the cyclist, Letitia Dean, Sharon from EastEnders, and, interestingly, both Dominique De Villepin and Condoleezza Rice (which just goes to show that astrology must be a load of bollocks).