1993 - A Polish ferry capsized in fierce storms off Germany’s Baltic coast, probably drowning 54 of the 60 people aboard. The rail ferry Jan Heweliusz turned over in the morning off the island of Ruegen, Germany’s north-eastern tip, after listing in churning seas with winds of up to 160km/h. A Mecklenburg state police spokesman confirmed eight bodies had been plucked from the chilly waters. The ferry had a crew of 28 and 32 passengers, including truck drivers from Germany, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. In Warsaw, Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka set up a special government committee to investigate the disaster. “I would like to join in the pain and sympathy of all who were personally touched by the tragedy,” Suchocka told reporters.
Other important events
1809 - England and Spain form alliance against Napoleon Bonaparte.
1814 - Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden in Treaty of Kiel.
1867 - Peru declares war on Spain.
1907 - Earthquake in Jamaica destroys Kingston and takes 1,000 lives.
1912 - Raymond Poincare becomes premier of France.
1929 - Afghan King Amanullah is forced to resign.
1935 - Oil pipeline Iraq-Mediterranean goes into use.
1950 - United States recalls all consular personnel from China.
1953 - Josip Broz Tito is elected President of Yugoslavia.
1966 - Indonesia closes its mission at United Nations.
1974 - World Football League is founded.
1975 - USSR breaks trade agreement with US.
1990 - A blaze sweeps through a discotheque in Saragossa, Spain, killing 43 people.
1991 - Palestine Liberation Organisation security chief Abu Iyad is gunned down in Tunis.
1992 - Israel opens peace talks with Jordan and resumes bargaining with Palestinians.
1994 - Ukraine and US sign a landmark deal on scrapping Ukraine’s nuclear arsenal.
1996 - Alvaro Arzu is sworn in as Guatemala’s new President.
1997 - A crowded public bus smashes through a metal fence and plunges 35 metres into the Nile, Egypt, at least 39 people die.
2000 - A UN tribunal sentences five Bosnian Croats to up to 25 years in prison for killing of more than 100 Bosnian Muslims.
2002 - Raed Al Karmi, leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, is killed in West Bank.
2005 - European space probe lands on Saturn’s moon Titan.
2008 - Republican Bobby Jindal, the first elected Indian-American governor in the United States, takes office in Louisiana.
2011 - Tunisian President Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali steps down.
2012 - A South Korean fuel tanker sinks near Jawol island after an explosion on board, leaving five crew members dead.
2016 - British actor Alan Rickman, 69, one of the great Hollywood villains, dies of cancer.