1998 - Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, took over as president of the Indian National Congress following a swift though controversial decision by the Congress Working Committee to replace a reluctant Sitaram Kesri. The CWC resolution appointing Sonia “with immediate effect” stated that since Kesri had publicly announced his decision to quit as party president in favour of Sonia Gandhi all organisational work had come to a standstill. Kesri’s subsequent reluctance to resign, it added, was causing irreparable and immense harm to the party. A furious Kesri, who stormed out of the CWC meeting, later told journalists at his residence that there was no doubt about the fact that the CWC had no powers to remove him in the manner in which it did.
Other important events
1844 - Carlos Antonio Lopez is sworn in as Paraguay’s first constitutional president.
1891 - The first underwater telephone cable between England and France is laid.
1900 - US Congress ratifies the Gold Standard Act.
1917 - China severs diplomatic relations with Germany in First World War.
1923 - US President Warren Harding becomes the first chief executive to file an income tax report.
1951 - UN forces recapture Seoul during the Korean War.
1981 - A Pakistan airline hijacking ends in Syria.
1983 - Opec announces the biggest price cut in 23-year history, slashing oil price by 15 per cent to $29 a barrel.
1984 - Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is shot and seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1989 - Prince Charles and Princess Diana arrive in Abu Dhabi on their first official visit to the UAE.
1991 - Emir Shaikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah returns to Kuwait after seven months in exile.
1995 - Astronaut Norman Thagard becomes the first American to enter space aboard a Russian spacecraft Soyuz.
1999 - University of Sharjah is inaugurated.
2000 - Aviation Museum is opened in Sharjah.
2002 - Serbia and Montenegro sign an accord to restructure their ties and formally drop the name Yugoslavia.
2003 - South Korea urges North Korea to defuse its nuclear standoff through multilateral talks.
2006 - Dubai Government issues property law that legalises foreign ownership of properties in pre-designated areas.
2007 - A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency visits North Korea for the first time since the country kicked inspectors out in 2002.
2013 - Xi Jinping becomes president of China.
2014 - Veteran British Labour politician Tony Benn dies at the age of 88.
2017 - France’s right wing presidential candidate Francois Fillon is charged over jobs scandal.