1988 - Greek Cypriots elected leftist-backed independent George Vassiliou as their new president after the most closely fought campaign since independence from Britain 28 years ago. Vassiliou, 56, beat veteran right-winger Glafkos Clerides by just over three percentage points in a run-off poll and appealed for calm in a television address. “There should be no provocations,” he said. “We should not divide the people between winners and losers.” Cars with horns blaring raced through the streets of Nicosia as the result was announced after midnight. Vassiliou said one of his first acts would be to set up a national council to deal with the “Cyprus problem” the reunification of the island following occupation of the northern third by Turkish troops in 1974.
Other important events
1613 - Michael Romanov is elected czar of Russia.
1795 - Dutch surrender Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to the British.
1838 - American Samuel Morse gives the first public demonstration of the telegram in New York.
1866 - Lucy B. Hobbs becomes the first American woman to graduate from dental school, the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati.
1878 - First US telephone directory is issued by the District Telephone Co. of New Haven, Connecticut.
1919 - Bavarian Premier Kurt Risner is assassinated in Munich.
1921 - Reza Khan Pahlavi overthrows Iranian government in military coup and later becomes Shah.
1922 - British protectorate in Egypt ends.
1934 - Nicaraguan patriot Augusto Cesar Sandino is assassinated by National Guard.
1947- American inventor Edwin Land demonstrated the first instant camera, the Polaroid Land Camera at the Optical Society of America, New York.
1965 - Malcolm X is shot and killed by assassins in New York City.
1972 - US President Richard M. Nixon starts his historic visit to China.
1973 - Israeli fighters shoot Libyan aircraft down, killing 108.
1981 - Shaikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain dies.
1987 - Pakistan President Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq arrives in New Delhi to watch a cricket match between India and Pakistan.
1989 - Playwright Vaclav Havel is convicted for his role in an officially banned rally in Czechoslovakia.
1992 - China welcomes foreigners back to Shanghai stock market for the first time since 1949.
1995 - American adventurer Steve Fossett becomes the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
2002 - Sri Lankan Government signs permanent ceasefire with Tamil Tigers.
2007 - Leaders in Britain and Denmark announce plans for withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
2012 - Saudi Arabia names first ambassador to Iraq since 1990.
2015 - A massive fire erupts at Torch tower in Dubai Marina.